Regardless of whether you run an SME or are a solopreneur, you have one thing in common with everyone else: there are only 24 hours in a day. If you want to set yourself apart, you have to manage your time effectively.
Like most people, you probably have lots of tiny administrative, non-billable tasks that quickly end up taking up your entire day. Suddenly, you find yourself needing to work late so that you complete the work you should have been focusing on all day.
Maybe you try to set aside some time for deep work, but then the phone rings or you have an influx of emails that urgently need a reply. These distractions not only waste time, but they also disrupt your workflow, meaning you’ll require extra time to regain your concentration.
To help you take back control of your workday, here are 3 steps to improve your productivity so you can focus on important tasks.
1. To-Do List: What’s on?
To-do lists are the classic productivity method. You must know the feeling of juggling dozens of tasks in your mind, hoping you won’t forget anything. Or maybe you’re the type who likes to leave reminders littered around your workspace: Post-it notes everywhere, notes on your phone, maybe even writing notes on your arm.
Write down all the things you need to do on a centralised list so you can get an overview. It doesn’t matter how big or small the tasks are. You will feel better when you have everything written down and gathered in one place.
2. Setting priorities: What is important?
Making a list is the first step. After gaining an overview of what you need to do, now you need to figure out which items deserve your attention first. You might feel overwhelmed and it will be difficult to decide where to start. Now is when you set priorities by separating the important tasks from the unimportant. This can be harder than it sounds. Often people think too linearly, starting with item one and moving on to the next. With this mindset, you might accomplish a lot, but maybe your time was focused on unimportant tasks, leaving the important ones undone? The key is to implement the Eisenhower Matrix, which helps you divide tasks based on their urgence and importance. Determine where each of your tasks would fall on the following matrix:
This quickly helps you see which items should be prioritised.
3. Time blocker: When will it be processed?
Just by creating a to-do list and prioritising your tasks, you’ll be far ahead from your past, disorganised self. Now you need to process the tasks. We recommend time blocking for this. It doesn’t matter how many items you have on your list or how important they are, if you don’t allocate time for each task, they won’t get done.
Basically, time blocking is simple: you block the time on your calendar to work on a single project or task without interruption, and then move on to the next.
Unlike a classic to-do list that tells you what to do, time blocking tells you when you are going to do it.
By assigning tasks to a specific time frame, they become a non-negotiable event. When your calendar is full of tasks and projects to complete, it’s harder for others to steal your time.
Blocking time makes it easy to break down a project’s tasks into daily or weekly blocks based on their priorities. In return, it ensures that projects are moved to the top of your priority list and everything else happens around you. Moreover, it gives you a true sense of what you can accomplish in a given time. This allows you to not over commit, as well as provide reasonable expectations of how long a certain task will take.
Be sure to schedule some down time as well. There is no need to plan your calendar to the last minute. Unpredictable things can arise at any moment, so it’s good to add some buffer room.
Take back your day with TIMIFY
Enter appointments: Organise your day in the calendar
With TIMIFY you can easily block times in your calendar and design them individually. For example, if you have regular tasks that need to be done weekly or monthly, you can set yourself a recurring blocker.
Adding resources is also not a problem. For example, if you need a specific room or equipment for your tasks, you can simply add it.
Different colours are available, providing an easy way to colour code your tasks and group things together.
With TIMIFY you can also create a virtual work shift on the calendar so your colleagues know when you’re working, when not to disturb you and what times you are available for appointments. This is extremely helpful for colleagues who work different shifts or in different time zones.
Avoid distractions: get assistance
TIMIFY has your back covered. With the Booking Links app colleagues or customers can see exactly when you are available and when you don’t have time to meet. If customers or colleagues want to make appointments with you, they can do it themselves without asking about your availability. You no longer need to send time-wasting e-mails back and forth or disrupt your workflow with a phone call.
With the Booking Links app you can create individual links that you can send to the relevant people. These links lead to your calendar, in which certain time slots are available for booking. For example, you could set it up so your team can see all your free time slots, but customers or external partners can only see two slots for appointments in the afternoon. You can pre-set everything for the appointments: ensure a meeting room is always booked at the same time when a specific colleague schedules an appointment with you or ensure a video call link is created for a meeting with an external party. You can read about the many possibilities available with the Bookings Link app in this article: Booking Link App: Booking Link App: Total flexibility to make your services and resources online bookable
Receive notifications: stay on schedule
After you become a time management champion by entering time blockers and appointments in the calendar, TIMIFY reminds you of upcoming events at desired intervals. The notifications ensure that you make your appointments and are focusing on the right tasks at the right time.
Test the TIMIFY calendar to work more productively and also discover the many other functions that TIMIFY offers: automated payment processes, the creation of a customer database with all the important information available when you need it, automated messages to your customers and colleagues and much, much more.
Discover these and other exciting uses of TIMIFY in our blog. If you want advice on how TIMIFY is the right solution for your business, visit our website to chat with a team member. There is only a click between you and the time management of your dreams!