|Time Managment Information||
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Time is on Your Side - Manage it Wisely
How do you manage your time? Or is the more appropriate question do you wish you had better time management skills? I have clients and friends who rely on everything from legal pads to brightly colored sticky notepads to manage their time and appointments - practically everything in their life. I don't understand why some folks place so little importance on something as important as time management!
As a professional Virtual Assistant, I have numerous clients and tasks I must complete every day. I also have a hectic personal life, full of family responsibilities and my hobbies. Organizing my time is critical to my success and to maintaining my sanity.
Submitted for your reading pleasure, and to enhance your brain, are some of my tips for effectively and efficiently managing one of your most valuable resources: time.
Determine What Works Best for You
We're all different in regards to time management -- what works for you may not suit me or my style. Are you constantly on the go and need your calendar at your fingertips? Or, do you prefer to keep a paper calendar? Do you loath computers and all they stand for, or are you so wired Edison would be jealous? Whatever tools you choose to include in your arsenal, ensure they're tools you'll use consistently.
The Building Blocks of Better Time Management
My time management tools are Microsoft Outlook® and my trusty PDA. Outlook serves all my appointment, e-mail and tasking needs in one easy-to-use package.
Two of my favorite Outlook tools are the Categories and Labels features. Categories allow me to classify my calendar items and tasks in a variety of ways, such as Clients, Potential Clients, Personal, and so forth. In addition, you can also Advanced Find (search) Categories, so no more wasted time looking for a calendar appointment or journal entry for a particular client.
Unlike the seemingly unlimited number of Categories you may setup, you are limited to ten (10) Labels (at least in the 2002 version). Labels allow you to color code your Calendar so you'll know at a glance which items are personal in nature, and which are client related.
Consistency is the Key
Whatever system you have in place or are considering to implement, the key point to remember is consistency. Follow the same procedures each and every time, without fail. Ensure you put good habits into play and more important, follow those good habits!
When I create new appointments or tasks, I use the first few characters to define the "owner" (client or myself) of that appointment or task. For example, when creating items for client Tom Smith, I'll preface all items with TSMITH. When searching for items for Tom, I know if I search for "TSMITH" I'll access all items related to this client. I'll also apply a Label to my appointments, such as TeleCon, PCI (Potential Client Interview), or Personal.
I pad all appointments with a 15-minute buffer on each side. I also schedule breaks during my workday.
My clients appreciate that each Monday I release my "Lori's Schedule" e-mail, a brief note notifying my clients when I'll be out of the office for that week. For example, all my clients know I'm a member of the Editorial Team for a well-known eZine and they know that unless it's an emergency, I am not available during this meeting.
When I interview potential clients, interns and vendors, I keep detailed conversation notes in the memo field for that Contact. I date all telephone conversations and apply color coding (font coloring) to each conversation. All interviews are kept to 30 minutes - no exceptions. My Desktop timer helps me keep track of the time, and sounds a horn .WAV file when it's time to end the interview.
If I need to follow up with someone, I immediately create an appointment, applying Categories and a Label, and attach any necessary external documents (Word, Excel, etc.). For Calendar appointments, I also keep track of the number of times I've attempted to contact that person. Example: For vendor Lisa Andrews, I'll preface the appointment with LA(2), where the parenthetical (2) means this is my second attempt to contact Lisa. I allow a maximum of three follow up attempts - no exceptions. Chasing people down is a waste of my time -- time I'd prefer to spend making money and running my business.
You Make the Call
Pet Peeve: Folks who call me and have no clue what they want to say. I've been known to hang up on such occasions, so let's ensure you don't make the same mistake!
A few basic rules of etiquette follow:
1. Peace & quiet rule the day, especially if you're making a business call. If the kids or your husband are home, close the door to your office. If there's a large amount of street traffic, go to an inner room in your home, as far away from the noise as possible. You don't want to shout over the din; instead, make the din disappear.
2. Know what you're going to say! I've advised numerous clients to have either an index card or a sheet of paper with the bullet points of what they want to say. I do something similar - in the Calendar appointment for the telephone call, I include bullet points in the memo field and make notes during the course of the conversation.
3. Keep it brief. Make your point, get down to business and let's rock and roll.
4. Be on time. Have respect for the person you're about to call. They've set aside valuable time to talk to you.
You've Made Your List, Now Check It the 2nd Time
Spend a few minutes at the end of your day to review tomorrow's calendar. Doing so will get you prepared for tomorrow and will jump start your memory if you forgot to do something. Do you have any faxes still waiting to go out? Did you remember to call the printer and OK the proof? Any prep work you need to do for tomorrow? Take five minutes, review your calendar and to do list and then complete any last minute work.
It's All Relative - Well, Your Relatives Think So
I know many people who have home-based businesses and at least 75% of them do not have a "family policy" in place. How can you work effectively from home if your girlfriends are calling you all the time, and if Uncle Joe stops by several times a day? Answer: You can't. What to do? Inform your family and close friends that unless it's a dire emergency, the family chit-chat and visits need to be kept to a minimum. For your part, you must ensure you call your dad at the end of the day to check in, and tell your girlfriend Lisa that yes, you can have lunch with her on Thursday. It's all about balance: part work, part play. Too much of the former will make you crazy!
"No" is Not a Four Letter Word (Subtitle: Even if it were, you should still utter it now and then)
Say this out loud, "It's okay for me to say no." Doesn't that feel better? More important, do you believe it?
Do not allow the procrastination or the good intentions of others to encroach upon your time. If you do not have the time today to handle a task, be honest and say so. Offer alternative dates and times when you are available, ensuring you mark these times as "unavailable" on your calendar so you don't book other appointments during this time.
Remember, time is money. Learn how to organize and manage your time--you'll be glad you did!
Copyright 2005 Lori Davis. All rights reserved.
Lori Davis is Director of the Future at Davis Virtual Assistants, a New York-based VA firm. To learn more about Lori and DavisVA, please visit http://www.davisva.com and http://loridavis.typepad.com/davisva/. You may contact Lori at 917.319.8224 and via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time Management - Google News
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Peace Of Mind At The Workplace
Work brings together people of different characters and behavior, and this often causes friction, resentment and stress. Sometimes the boss is too demanding, colleagues may be unpleasant, there might be too much work or the working conditions may not be comfortable.
Will Your Epilogue Be - I Got All My Emails Done?
Work life balance is the new Holy Grail; that search for nirvana; the need to find peace and contentment, the desire to achieve that fine sense of equilibrium that we can be happy with.For some people that means not working at all but, for many it means being happy with the amount of hours they spend at and think about work and are equally happy about their none working hours; whether that be time spent with family and friends or time spent participating in sports, music or other hobbies or indeed just relaxing doing nothing in particular except just being!However, the achievement of this perfect balance seems to escape so many people and I believe that's because the important things and I mean the truly important things, get overtaken by the urgent stuff! Of course important to you may be different than important to me, but I bet neither of us would wish the sum total of our lives to be an accumulation of the achievement of stuff, trivia and emails!So many people say that vacation time is important yet they rarely take a vacation; so many people say their health and "keeping fit" is really important to them yet they rarely do any exercise and eat on the run most of the time; so many people say its really important to plan their time effectively yet they fire fight from day to day.
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A Fatal Mistake that Can Cost You Your Business ? And More
Whether you're a new business owner or if you have been running your business for several years, one of the biggest challenges you face at one point in time or another is overwhelm and imbalance.How many nights have you dragged your weary body to bed only to lie awake for hours with nagging thoughts of what you haven't done or don't have answers to?How many of your children's' ball games and school functions were missed because you had business commitments?How many evenings did your partner spend alone because you were burning the midnight oil by speaking on the telephone or hovering over your keyboard, workbench or reference materials?Was this because you loved what you were doing so much that nothing else mattered, or was it because you felt you had to do everything alone?One of the biggest mistakes small and home-based business owners make is assuming they have to become the chief, cook and bottle washer and perform all of their related tasks flawlessly and concurrently.
Time Management: How to Stay Motivated and Get More Done
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How Would You Like to Capture Some Time?
Women's health issues often are focused on goals to reach: getting thin, moving up in the corporate world, having a child, taking a vacation, meeting Mr. Right, fitting in exercise or making sure you are eating your vegetables!Well, I hope to help you start at the beginning to capture moments of time that will help you build a foundation to support that very busy, goal directed life.
How To Better Handle Your Mail
Letters, magazines, bills, flyers, what to do with them all. There should be only two responses to every piece of mail or e-mail, do something with it, or toss it! The best way, as always, to deal with it all is in an organized fashion.
Vilfredo Paretos Principle: The 80-20 Rule: 80% of Results are Produced from 20% of Efforts
Vilfredo Pareto's Principle, or The "Pareto Principle," is more commonly known as the 80-20 rule. It suggests that a ratio of approximately 20% to 80% can be found as an effective measure for most things in life.
Work Smarter Not Harder
To work smarter all you need is the consciousness of the present. This is possible only when you cast off your emotional bindings, this helps you relieve your prejudice.
Focus on One Thing at a Time to Get the Job Done
All too often we can feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that we have to do and it is easy to get caught in the trap of trying to accomplish too many things at once and never completing any to your own satisfaction. Often there is a push to accomplish more and more, especially if you are focussed on your career and want to impress.
Hows YOUR Productivity?
Microsoft wanted to know how individuals around the world were faring with their productivity. Microsoft seems the logical group to be asking this question since productivity generally follows technology.
Increasing Your ROI
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Winning The Fight Between You And The Clock
"Slaves to the clock" was the cover story in the March issue of CEO magazine."You can never out work a problem, you have to out think it.
Where Do Your Priorities Fit?
An expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students when he decided to do an experiment. He pulled out a large mason jar, a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one by one, into the jar.
Effective Time Management Techniques
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Todays Overload: Tommorrow
Whatever providence has in store for us tomorrow is not meant for us until tomorrow. It is foolish to burden ourselves today with cares and concerns that belong to another day.
The Ultimate Virtual Reality
I used to think video game addictions were a joke and I'd laugh anytime anyone compared it to crack but is it really that funny? Let's make some comparisons.? Crack consumes time that could have been invested more wisely - video games consume time that could have been invested more wisely.
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