» Time Management Tips that Work!

Do you ever feel like there “just aren’t enough hours in the day?” Time management can be a struggle for us all, especially in the busy wedding and events industry!

From running a successful small business, to making all of your events perfect and personalized, to dealing with co-workers, and family commitments each day — it is easy to sometimes feel overwhelmed and over-worked.

We compiled five proven time management tips to help you get more done and stay relaxed and on track:

Create two ‘to do’ lists each day: Start your day off right by reviewing your tasks of the day, and setting expectations for what you will be able to accomplish given your priorities. Create a ‘must do’ list that includes only the tasks and items you need to do that day, and another list that focuses on work to be done, but that is not super immediate. This will help you focus in on timely items, and not be distracted by items that can be done tomorrow. Be sure to be reasonable with your expectations for yourself and the amount of time each task will take, so you will end the day accomplished and at a decent hour!

Plan your day: As you get started with your ‘must do’ list, challenge yourself to plan your full day out on a calendar. Do this by reviewing your ‘must do’ list, and syncing it with your other commitments. Have a client meeting, emails to catch up on, and a personal lunch? Plan those on your calendar, and give yourself set time periods for your other big tasks. This will help you to focus in on those tasks at the time you set, and not be distracted by other projects or daily distractions. Consider dedicating a set amount of time to answering emails and returning phone calls each day – such as first thing in the morning and at the end of your day so you don’t get behind – so you know they will be addressed daily, but will not interrupt your other tasks and workload.

Take a short break: Short breaks have been scientifically proven to increase motivation and productivity. Schedule 15 minutes for an afternoon walk, or mid-morning blog browse or enjoy a quiet coffee. Giving yourself a quick break will help you relax and refocus!

Delegate when you can or just say no: In a small business environment or as an entrepreneur, it can be easy to take on a very ambitious workload. While it is important to work hard and be scrappy, it is also important to set limits. If you simply do not have enough resources to take on each new job (or the ROI is not worth your time), it is okay to politely decline so you can do the rest of your work to your best capability. Additionally, if you have other team members, share the workload fairly. Consider challenging them with new responsibilities and take the time to train them well. This will show them you are committed to their growth at your company, and relieve you of an added obligation.

Reduce distractions: Consider your daily routine. When you are particularly busy, be sure to cut down on distractions so you can focus and get things done as efficiently as possible. Do you listen to music? Have family or co-workers chatting around you? Attempt to multi-task as you work from home? Even if you are used to them, these typical occurrences are distracting. Consider giving yourself an hour of ‘quiet time’ by unplugging or shutting your office door and you may surprise yourself with all you accomplish!

These five tips will help you stay focused, and keep you feeling on track instead of overwhelmed! Try them out and comment to let us know what you think – and of course, if you have any other suggestions that work for you, comment and share with other Pros!