When it comes to your time in the office, efficiency is key. This can be hard for a lot of people, especially because we all think that we can multitask, which we really can’t. Instead, what we need to do is manage our time better and give all of our focus to each task one at a time. I think one of the hardest things for most people is knowing that they have so much to do, but they don’t know where to start. Especially in the office, where sometimes our tasks are interrupted or dictated by other people. The most important thing is to make a plan. Set the schedule. Create the to do list. That way, even if things hit the fan and you end up only making it to task one, you know exactly what to work on when you get the chance. So much time is lost while trying to make the decision from task to task on what is next.
Why blocking your time is important
I mentioned this in one of my previous blogs- how time blocking saves me from my inbox running my day. THIS IS KEY. Scheduling out my day makes it easier for things to not fall to the way side and become forgotten. I suggest starting with any reoccurring tasks that you have on a weekly basis and schedule out when it’s the best time to accomplish each of those tasks.
Schedule yourself time for uninterrupted or closed door work, the things that require the most focus and put it on the calendar so that your coworkers know that you cannot be reached at that time as well. Turn the phone to voicemail only, close your email browser, and silence team chats.
Schedule out time to work on group projects or tasks. Since we are all working on multiple venues and clients at different times throughout the day it’s important to block your time and schedule your time with each other so that everyone can stay focused and on task.
After that, you can fill your days in with the tasks that come up and make a plan based on priority.
Taking out the distractions.
Interruptions are your worst enemy. Put a pin in things. We can’t avoid phone calls, but we can do our best to plan our days so that we can be efficient. I find that one of the most helpful ways to keep track of the little things that come up throughout the day is to use the Post It app to quickly jot down the small things as they come up, and then once I finish my tasks for the day I can look through and either clear those out or put them on my calendar to work on in the coming days.
How to get through all of the emails in all of the inboxes
Keeping them separate- this way you focus on one client at a time
I like to keep all of my inboxes separate instead of forwarding into one, so that I can focus on one client, or venues work at a time and not be overwhelmed by what might be happening in the others.
Blocking time throughout the day to check
Checking emails at certain intervals throughout the day, and not looking otherwise, is key for me. If it’s an emergency they will call, so the emails can sit for a few hours while you focus on another task
Especially if you’re going to be out of the office for any extended period of time, but even sometimes it helps to toss on an automatic reply if you know that you will be in meetings all day, or offsite working an event. Letting people know right away that response time will be slow will make them feel better, and you feel better because everyone is on the same page.
Saved Messages to make routine emails faster
Email templates are your best friend. Take the time during a slow period to come up with a template and then you can copy, past, and fill in the necessary information when you are sending reoccurring emails on a regular basis to clients or coworkers. Sometimes you can even schedule these out so that they will send out atomically for you and skip a step altogether.
Folders to save your emails- get that inbox empty
I don’t feel accomplished if my inbox isn’t emptied out, especially at the end of the week. That’s why I think it’s so important to archive our emails into the proper folders so that you can easily go back to find something, but you know that once you have accomplished the task or responded appropriately you can file that email away. If it’s still sitting in my inbox- it’s because there is a problem that needs to be dealt with.
Apps to use to help
Time Tracking- T sheets, Bamboo HR, Time Doctor
Time tracking can help in 2 ways, it can obviously be used for billing and payroll, but it can also be used to see where time is being wasted, or where you are spending most of your time so that you can schedule out your week accordingly. Using our time tracking app helps me a lot because I can see how long it usually takes me to carry out something so I can better block out my days.
Esignature– Docusign, Zoho Sign, Hello Sign
Faster is better. Clients want contracts instantly, and we want them back and on file. Waiting for things to get mailed and having paper copies around that have to be scanned and filed away are wasting precious time.
Online Client Folders- Google Drive, SharePoint,
This way you can search for a document and save time when you are looking for information. It can be accessed anywhere.
Online Forms – Google Forms, Microsoft Forms, Jot Forms, Cognito Forms
Nothing gets lost. It’s easy for them to do from anywhere. It is easy for us to pull up the information anytime someone needs.