Time management is a popular buzzword in the business world, and with good reason. By being more prudent with your schedule, you can find more time in each day that you can dedicate to anything—getting ahead on work, an extra yoga class, or an afternoon with the family.
However, true efficiency and time management can be hard to attain. After all, we live in a world of distractions and multi-tasking. So, how can a busy entrepreneur be more intentional and deliberate with their time?
Let’s hear what top national event pros have to say about their favorite time management strategies.
Create a morning routine
How you start your morning can have a major impact on how the rest of the day unfolds. Be intentional with your morning routine so you can get the most out of your hours in the office. Keith Phillips of Classic Photographers shares, “I always start my day with analyzing the data from the day before. After that, I knock some easy tasks off of my list. This gets me in a rhythm of success that will set the tone for the rest of the day.”
Plan your schedule with strategy
If you don’t treat your calendar like a game plan, it’s easy to fall off and lose track of time during the day. When it comes to planning your schedule, it’s always better to be proactive than reactive.
“I’m a big proponent of time blocking,” explains Kevin Dennis of Wedding IQ. “At the end of every day, I look at the following day and map out time for everything. I build in the blocks to my calendar so when I come into the office in the morning, I can take a look at my calendar and see my plan for getting everything done.”
Use virtual tools to your advantage
Technology is our friend. Lucky for us, tech is constantly evolving and it seems like there are new productivity tools to embrace every month. “Everyone that manages time and teams really needs a tool that can collaborate, set tasks and checklists, chat, and pretty much anything you need to make it work,” says Sandy Hammer of AllSeated. “My favorites are Trello, Slack, and Skype. These apps allow my teams to work very independently and we usually have a meeting once a week for updates that follow our Trello board.”
Provide your team with flexibility
Some people are early birds, others are night owls. Everybody has a different style of work and their own strategies for productivity, so try to avoid forcing employees into your own structure. Not only does this ensure everyone is at their prime, but it also boosts overall team morale.
“I give my employees a lot of autonomy on how to structure their time,” says Jake Anderson of FêteTech. “We have standard business hours for when they need to be at work, but it’s up to them at that point how they want to manage their day. I feel like we’re all wired a little differently in how we operate, and what works well for me may not be the case for someone else.”
Sometimes, we all need to say ‘no.’ For such a short word, it can be one of the hardest in our vocabulary. Still, it’s important to check in with yourself to see if you are truly making the most of your time and, if not, how you can readjust for maximum productivity.
“When it comes to time management, you have to be really self-reflective,” encourages Katie Easley of Katie Easley, Sales Consultant. “Know what your main distractions are and avoid them at all costs. I know I can’t take a call from my sister in the middle of the day, just like I know that ‘only a minute’ of Facebook is unrealistic. If you know something can derail you, learn to say no to it before it becomes a problem.”
These are all excellent strategies for making the most out of your day and saving time in the long run. However, don’t feel pressured to implement them all at once. Start slow and build up to what you consider peak efficiency—taking on too much change at once can be overwhelming. Once you start to see the results of your efforts, you’ll start to find your own ways to save time throughout the day.