Week #2 and even though I am thoroughly organized (see my tip below), unforeseen circumstances messed up my schedule completely.
All my Monday’s appointments were delayed by the people I had made appointments with. Among the many ethics of business I adhere to is respecting time (both mine and my client’s) and making it a point to be on time. If unforeseen delays occur, I always contact the person/business I am meeting with and advise of a delay, giving them notice in case it interferes with their schedule and offering them the opportunity to reschedule if necessary.
On Tuesday, I drove into a client’s driveway with a flat tire. Two hours passed until the CAA arrived to help and then another two hours to take the car to a garage to have it replaced. Needless to say, I arrived back at my office and started shuffling my priorities to meet my clients needs for the rest of the week.
I believe the key to managing workload and avoiding procrastination is as easy as using the Outlook programme which so many individuals already have in the Microsoft Office package.
There is nothing more motivational than visually having a list in front of you and indicators of the level of importance assigned in colour to highlight the “must do’s” for the day and the next most important and so on.
- Start with the “Note” feature. Title it with the week coming up, e.g. September 21 and start listing all the To Do’s for the week. Beside each entry I tab over and put the day I have scheduled it in for, e.g. Monday.
- When I have completed the Note of the Week, I then start scheduling in all the events/projects/tasks/meetings, etc. in the appropriate day and color code the urgent items.
- Every evening I update my Calendar with what is “DONE”. As often happens, if priorities have changed I reschedule whatever tasks have not been completed to another day.
- Revisit your Note for the Week and edit/update it as well. Indicate all items which are DONE and update the entries that still have to be completed to the days they have been rescheduled for.
- If, or more likely when you have additional tasks to be done for the week, add them in your Calendar AND on the Note for the Week. In this way, no item is overlooked or forgotten.
There is nothing less professional than “dropping the ball” when dealing with clients and addressing their needs. Therefore, my prime motivator is Organization AND avoiding Procrastination! Satisfied clients means more business and referrals.