Time. It’s the one commodity that once spent you can never get back. You can’t just go to the store and “buy more time”. You can’t “make more time”, “find more time” or “save more time.” You have no idea how much time you have. Yet it is said that we all have the exact same amount of it.
I saw my son the other day sitting in the lay-z-boy, with a long face and staring at the wall. And I said, “What cha doin?”
He looked at me and said, “Oh! I’m bored, so I’m just killing some time.”
Killing time? Are you kidding me? Sure, I look back and I think, man, I killed an awful lot of time when I was young. I’d give anything to resurrect that time and have it back. But I can’t. It’s gone.
So what’s the best thing we can hope for with time? Anxiously stare at the clock waiting for time to run out? NO! We need to learn how to manage it. Leverage it, invest it.YOU are CEO of your life. YOU are 100% responsible for your choices and your actions.Click To Tweet
Phyllis Khare speaks, teaches, and writes about social media and time managment with an authority few can claim. It was pure pleasure to interview the incomparable Ms. Khare in an On Track Tips Google Hangout on Air.
In this power-packed 30 minutes, you will get the rudiments of a graduate course in time management.
Time management the easy way …
The first hurdle to getting your life back is realizing who is in control. It may not feel like it, and it may not look like it … but the reality is YOU are CEO of your life. YOU are 100% responsible for your choices and your actions. That’s right: YOU.You have no idea how much time you have. Yet it is said that we all have the exact same amount of it.Click To Tweet
With that sometimes scary, but beautifully freeing, point in mind – here are seven strategies that can turn your life around:
- Relationship management: CRM = Crazy Relationship Management! (If you don’t get organized, you’ll be crazy.) Get a tool that works for you. Phyllis likes the Rapportive browser extension and the Contact Management capability native to LinkedIn. Many CRM (customer relationship management) tools are available; you should use the one that works best for YOU. Begin your thinking by determining how in-depth you need to get. Some need only maintain a list of names and emails. Others shoot to capture as much info as possible. From date of birth to number and ages of children to favorite vacation spot – the more know about your people, the better you can serve them. Moreover, unless you have CRM organized, you are going to miss opportunities you could have accepted.
- Outsourcing and Scaling: When you find yourself overloaded and behind in projects, look at your work to see which tasks you can let go of. Normally, there are numerous little jobs a VA (virtual assistant) could handle. It can be tough to let go, but it frees you up. The point is to get your life back. You really only need about nine tools to operate your business – calendar, social dashboard, online meeting, file management, CRM database, scheduling system, invoicing system, image creation system, and a social reporting tool. Again, find tools that work for you and stick with them.
- Multitasking: Don’t do it. If you use your calendar system appropriately, you don’t have to multitask. Some can handle it, but in general you need to focus on a task and complete it. At the end of the day you want to have something finished … not 10 projects uncompleted. If you look at your browser and there are more than 4 or 5 tabs live, you are multitasking. That can make you go into overwhelm. Complete. Close the tab. Move on.
- Scheduling your content: Scheduling is perfect for about 80% of what you do online, but there are times when you have to show up live. Tools of value include Hootsuite, Facebook scheduled posts, and Buffer. Generally, you should be creating your own content, not republishing from someone else. For Facebook, you will get the best result by using Facebook scheduled posts.
- Automation: Some things can be set up and automated – sending out scheduled blog posts from Hootsuite, for example. You must understand what is appropriate when you use auto-posts. Much of that depends on the client. Think about your business, where your clients are, and be careful with cross-posting. Always mix it up with live posting. Twitter has two functions. The fire hose of marketing and personal conversations/chats. Both are necessary.
- Planning your day: Google calendar is my second brain. I place tasks in time slots like I would an appointment. I don’t use a list. My calendar schedules me, and I can tell whether there is really time to do all I want to do. Things that constantly get bumped should be earmarked as tasks that need to be outsourced. Measure your time out. Put nothing in the all-day section. Block out personal time.
- Time tracking: It’s not only important to track hours worked on a project, but it’s important to know WHAT you DID during the hours charged. Tools like Toggl can keep track of all that for you. The one drawback is you need to turn time on and off for each project. It’s a really good feeling to be able to show clients exactly what you did and when you did it.
Remember: You’re the CEO of your life. You call the shots. You get to organize and take control of your schedule … so DO IT!
Tip for job-seekers: Jason says multitasking is a liability not an asset. Don’t brag about it on your resume.
Phyllis Khare is the author of two comprehensive books on social media marketing:
⇒ Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies (co-author)
Also, along with Andrea Vahl, Phyllis has created Social Media Manager School
The above links are all affiliate links, just so you know. And thanks in advance for using them to support On Track Tips weekly program