Now telling you to slow down seems counterproductive to efficiency. Well, I am not talking about moving slowly, I am referring to your response times. A good time manager actually responds to some things more slowly then a bad time manager. For example, when completing a high priority task an efficient time manager is not answering emails or allowing calls to go to voice mail. It is obvious to all of us when we sit back and think about it – there are more important tasks than processing email. The problem is that once we are deep into our work day we allow distractions to pull us from our priorities. Be aware that it is okay to not respond immediately to every inquiry, pick the priorities effectively. Remember what we need to do is recognize that processing and planning our work is mission-critical tasks.
Archive for January, 2011
Looking at how to manage your time is a discipline and it must be followed daily. Many people take the time on Friday afternoon to review the following week, review key tasks, then plan accordingly. While that is a key first step, the challenge is that you cannot control the outside environment including internal customers, external customers, employees, peers, the boss, and your personal life. With all these changes occurring daily, if not hourly, how can you manage your time if you are not reviewing it? The key for success is to manage your time effectively by reviewing it daily. Build time in your schedule, whether at the end of the day or at the beginning of the following day to review your schedule and key tasks to be completed. First step is to take the time to review your accomplishments from that day. Determine what went well, what interference occurred, and what could you do better to make sure you accomplish all your tasks. Next review the major tasks that must be accomplished for the week. Are they still on track? Do you need to re-prioritize? What has changed in your schedule? Now you can review the rest of your week and plan the following day accordingly. That is the key – be flexible and make the necessary changes. Sometimes your priorities will change, so being flexible and reviewing daily will allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment, maintain a feeling of control, and ensure success on getting the key priorities completed.
Today’s topic will focus on the time we spend on our computer every day. Email, websites, files, and keystrokes are all drains on your time. The first step is to manage your email on a schedule. Do not have the email notification on or your email open so you can instanteously respond to every email that comes in. As long as people know how long to expect an answer to take and they can reach you in an emergency, then you can answer most emails a few times at scheduled intervals throughout the day. Do not let email distraction pull you away from your primary focus.
Another key challenge is keeping website addresses organized. Key book marking services to keep track of your frequently used web sites help manage your time. Instead of having random notes, save them all in one place. It will save you significant time to complete research.
File management on your computer is another challenge for most people. You will need to organize your files into subject matters. The categories are dependant on your role or the functions you are accountable for, but keeping them by common themes allows you to organize your desktop. Use layers of files, for example having a file titled “Sales” may have sub-folders titled Email Marketing, cold calls, sales tracking, presentations, etc. Another level of folders under these could be more accurate or direct to a customer, region,etc. The idea is that as you drill down it is easy to find the file you are searching for, rather then opening the desktop to see 100 files and have to spend significant time looking through it. Lastly, if you have a file or files that you use frequently it would be more efficient to have a shortcut put on your desktop. Quick access to the file will save you a significant amount of time after you add it up over a full year.
Tomorrow, I will focus on setting your day for success.
Multitasking will decrease everyone’s productivity, no matter who they are. Focusing on various task will pull your focus in too many directions, not allowing you to be efficient or effective. Checking emails, typing messages, reviewing projects, and dealing with other minor distractions will reduce your ability to be efficient. It is important to focus on the most important things first, ensuring you accomplish the “must do’s” early in the day. Focus on these as soon as you start your day, it will ensure that you at least get a good start on them. If you cannot get it completed in the first hour, you are very likely to come back and complete it later in the day. Also, if you can get it done earlier you will also have a great sense of accomplishment and a very confident feeling for the balance of the day. Stayed tuned for another tip tomorrow.
While my passion is helping companies grow through online media, I am also hoping to help people manage effectively. This week I will be providing tips on how to manage your time, a key component to help you succeed. The first tip is using your calendar effectively. Managing your time effectively starts with the proper planning. Using your online calendar correctly will help you save time, manage effectively, and understand if you are balancing and prioritizing to maximize results. First you must put all of your tasks in your calendar and allot them with the appropriate amount of time. This will allow you to see all the areas of focus you have to cover this week. Secondly, colour code them to help them differentiate optically when looking at the calendar. Assign different colours for client meetings, administration, cold calling, training, exercise, personal events, and any other category you might require. There can be numerous categories or a few, but it is recommended that you at least have your revenue generators differentiated from non-revenue generating activities. You should also ensure your personal activities are differentiated as well, the balance being work and life is key to your mental and emotional success.
Okay, so now you have all these colours in your calendar. Take the time to sit back and look at it. Is the administration and other non-generating activities more than the revenue generating activities. If yes, then you might want to re-balance them accordingly. By having the colours it is easy for you to identify if there is a significant balance issue and thus allowing you to re-prioritize your focus. By ensuring the proper focus, it will allow you a greater opportunity for success.
Read my blog tomorrow for another tip on effective time management.
The term “social media” is most commonly used to describe web- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information; communal activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social integration. The key rule to understand is that the consumer rules. It is the user that will determine what content is worth sharing, discussing, rating, downloading, or reading. In contrast to traditional media, social media the consumer is telling us what to consume, purchase, or who to get it from. The traditional media tells you the information, convincing you to consume. Social Media is affecting fundamental changes in consumer behaviour and is becoming an increasingly powerful marketing strategy for successful businesses.
Based on a survey of CMO’s ran by the eMarketer Magazine it showed that two out of five companies are managing a blog as part of their online strategy. While they recognize Facebook and Twitter are rising in importance, they felt that blogging was still the most effective way to communicate with the online market. This usage will continue to climb as companies see the benefits gained by competitors, such as communications, lead generation, customer service and brand marketing.
Another question that was asked related to what they believed made a blog effective. Respondents answered that engaging the community and receiving a response was the most effective part of blogging. As a matter of fact, they sited that twice as much as the next response which was ensuring posts were up-to-date. The respondents felt that engaging in a conversation was far more important than just pushing information out to the online reader.
Blog2Print completed a survey of 1000 Fortune companies to determine why they launched a blog for their business. 50% of CMO’s polled felt it was a cost of doing business, while 20% felt it was a great lead generation tool, 18% felt it was a tool to be viewed as an expert in the industry, 10% felt it was a way to keep customers and employees updated on the company, while the remainder felt it was good exposure for the company.
Read the entire article at – http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008158
Whether it be a new strategy, business venture, or personal aspiration it is imperative that the ultimate goal be established. You would not leave to head out on a trip without knowing where you are going, how would you know how to map out the route? The same can be said when you are determining your social media portals for your company. The first place that you must start is determining what are the goals you would like to accomplish. This will help outline your social media roadmap.
If you are looking to establish a connection with customers online and send them quick information about your company, then Twitter and Facebook would be ideal options as they provide the tools to share information instantaneously with your followers. If you are looking to provide more information – educate prospects, provide articles, or engage in larger information sharing then creating a company blog should be your first priority. Lastly, if your business requires a more visual medium then YouTube would be the more effective portal for you to prioritize.
Lastly, you need to know what audience you are targeting. By understanding the demographics of your potential or current customers, you will be able to better target the more effective medium. If you are targeting the younger generation, then Facebook will be more effective as the median age is 26 for their target audience. If you are looking to reach a more mature, professional group then LinkedIn is a more effective medium with a median age of 40.
By understanding your goals for how you want to use social media, you can then pick the most effective roadmap to get there. This will ultimately allow your strategy to be much more effective and rewarding for you and your business.
While Social Media continues to climb in importance as a marketing strategy, Twitter is seeing a rise in its popularity as well. Twitter has seen significant growth from 18 million users in 2008 to 100 million users in 2010. As a means of communicating, Twitter has started to mature within the community as users are sharing more information – both personal and professional. The majority of tweets are still coming from a minority of the users, but Twitter has seen a growth in number of followers each account is using. It is showing that Twitter is becoming a more participatory means of communication, causing further growth in conversation levels. Based on a survey from Pew Internet & American Life Project, 8% of web users participate in the service, showing even further growth potential. However, relationships were much deeper that makes it a vibrant community for marketers. Twitter is definitely a way to manage your communication with prospective and current customers.
Perseverance has always been a word cast upon those that have had success. In many venues the effort that someone puts out tends to outweigh the talent or natural ability of the competition. In business, those who work harder and are willing to face adversity succeed. Those who rely on purely their natural skill and lack drive tend to fail more often. The same parallel is reflected in sports. Take Team Canada at this year’s World Juniors. Far less talented than teams in recent years, deemed to be unable to win by the experts, but those young men believed they could. Today they face the final step towards achieving their goal, but reality is they have shown perseverance and been able to succeed. Those young 17-19 year old men showed us all that perseverance will bring you success, don’t accept what people say you cannot do, show everyone what you can do……Good luck gentlemen.