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Business is fun

Whose diary is it anyway?

For many of us in business, other people can often take over your life. Whether that's your diary or what you'll do each day by constantly looking for help with their projects. It happens ever so imperceptibly and always in "your" best interests of course. We'll deal with the second one of those another day.

So the diary problem...

So what can you do about it?

The obvious thing is to take control of your diary yourself - you already have? ...and its still happening?

The main problem is that as everyone is clamouring for your time which is special and expensive, and if you allow every meeting to go into your diary to meet your customer's urgency schedule, you'll end up getting none of the important things done for YOUR business. Like reviewing how your financial position is, or planning a new marketing campaign, or developing a new product or just thinking.

All of these activities need space in your diary so here's my simple solution to YOUR diary problem:

Start with a clean week in the diary.

Decide what you want to/ need to do first of all - all those things I just mentioned and there are likely to be more!

Put those in your diary first and block off the time.

Allocate space and time for other important things like staff appraisals; team meetings and dealing with the post and emails.

Of the time that is left, make some space for client appointments - I'd suggest some time on each day of the week, mornings/ afternoons and lunchtimes to give your customers a choice.

Leave everything else as "busy". This is now called your default diary - because everything starts from here from now on.

If you're using Outlook, consider using the Categories option to make it easier to see what should be happening when.

Be clear with your PA or administrator that the only times available are the appointment spaces.

Job done.

How to stop smoking

 

  1. "Time is my greatest enemy."

 

Ev(it)a Peron is credited with that particular quotation and it may be true that time is the enemy. However that all depends on your perspective; whether you percieve yourself as a responsible person or as one who suffers constantly at the hands of others "it wasn't my fault. If only I had had more time".

Time management is considered by many to be merely a fad of consultants and business improvement specialists. Its been around for as long as me and probably longer so it's certainly not new but there is always a new angle or technique you can attempt to make your application of time management better; with better outcomes and a happier you.

Time however defies management. How do you consider that you will make time itself more efficient?Will you increase the availability of it as a resource as you would computers or people by simply buying more, or would you prefer to adopt portion control and award your co-workers 1.5 minutes 3 times a day to interact with you? Time is created as units by mankind as a convenience for measurement - you cannot impact on the rotational speed of the earth, to make the units last longer or shorter. It will not be squeezed or stretched to suit your whim or mine although I often would dearly love to and especially in January!

So if not time, what must we manage?

Yourself.

I know from bitter experience that when I am disciplined about my tasks and objectives I achieve far more than when I am not; that my days are far more enjoyable; there is a sense of real achievement that is infectious.