weekly-plannerTypically as a Personal Shopper / Image Consultant no day is ever the same, so time management might seem like an impossible dream. You may manage to attend a networking meeting at the same time each month, but because we often need to work around clients, our work flow can get interrupted!

Time management when you are working ON your business can be much harder to control and whole days can disappear with no obvious changes!

If you are someone who works within a routine I salute you – but what happens if you replace the time that you should have worked on your business to meet up with a client?  Of course you are working in your business and that’s great, but what happens to the paperwork and the rest of the week’s commitments? It’s not difficult to allow things to drift.

There are various time management gurus out there giving advice but if you want to ensure that 5 minutes on Facebook doesn’t turn into a lost two hours….

Here are some Time Management Tips that have worked for me:

  • Schedule time in your diary for different tasks.
  • Put a re-occurring appointment in your diary each week to work through your paperwork.
  • Put an appointment in your diary to prepare for clients ahead of your meeting and any follow-ups afterwards.
  • Perhaps you are on a distance learning course so you can study at your own pace – don’t let time drift.  You WANT to get qualified, you WANT to add this skill to your CV, make sure that you are blocking out time in your diary – ask your family and friends to support you and encourage you.
  • clockWorking in chunks of time – say 60 or 90 minutes are good (and put a timer on!)  You can really focus on a project during this time but you must have no distractions.  So if possible go and sit in a different room, switch off your phone &/or email – it’s amazing how much you can achieve when you do this.
  • Social Media and looking at the competition is a huge time drain and can often shift how you feel about your business and your achievements, so limit your time – no more than 15 minutes a day OK!
  • Resist looking at emails throughout the day (the hardest one for me!) Have set times to read and deal with emails – preferably just 3 times a day!
  • Plan tomorrow at the end of today – that way you can hit the ground running when you get to your desk in the morning.
  • Have a realistic “to do” list and work your way through it.  If there’s one job you keep avoiding maybe its too big and needs breaking down further or maybe it’s something that doesn’t inspire you or something that someone else could do better.
  • Touch a piece of paper just once: so pick it up, action it, file it (or bin it!) Don’t pick it up and put it in a pile of “to do later” – you just wasted time!

PS If bookkeeping really isn’t your thing it may be cheaper in the long run to employ someone to help you out!!

PPS For more great strategies check out this fab little book by Grace Marshall 21 Ways to Manage the Stuff That Sucks Up Your Time 

Time Management