I always sit down on Sunday evenings and open Google calendar to look at how I spent my time last week and my schedule for the coming week. It gives me a good overview of how I can better improve my time management and also what to expect in terms of meetings for the week and clarity on the items on my todo list.
Why is this so important to me?
Because time is a resource that we can never gain back. I know this is a rather simplistic way to view it, but the fact is, all the money in the world cannot buy you time that has passed. This is why it is important to make sure you are in control of how you spend your time.
I believe the only way to do this is to be aware of what you are spending your time on and reviewing this on a weekly basis allows you to adjust time allocation accordingly.
For example, last week I spent a lot of time on LinkedIn, learning how to make use of the Sales Navigator tool. Part of the process was connecting with new people to schedule meetings and phone calls. While meeting and speaking to new people was a high value activity, the scheduling portion of it was not an efficient use of my time. This is why starting from this week, my assistant will be taking over the scheduling portion of this process.
Another thing I noticed that was taking up a lot of my time was follow ups after attending an event. It is very common for me to go to an event and come back with 15 to 20 name cards. Most of these cards get put into a box until I have time to input the details of these new people I have met into our CRM. Given how packed my schedule is, sometimes this can take a week or two to happen.
I now take a picture of the cards and send them to my assistant who will create a spreadsheet of all the details. This spreadsheet is then be imported into our CRM and my address book. At the same time, she drafts emails to all the people I have met which I can then vet and send out after editing to include some personal touches. It cuts down my follow up time from 3 hours to 30 minutes. It also ensures that follow ups go out within 48 hours instead of 2 weeks later.
The key to time management is to constantly review how to improve. This may seem difficult at first, but doing a weekly review will help to highlight the time that is wasted and which low value activities need to be outsourced so that you can make space for high value activities. This in turn helps to streamline processes and save time in the long run.
Are there any tasks that you find yourself doing weekly that could be removed? Do share them below.