BOOM! Like a starting pistol, the “Back To School” season arrives, and the most anticipated string of months for the club business begins. Suddenly, you are staring at the holidays. First, Halloween. Next, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then, preparation for the New Year. For most, maximizing each opportunity while balancing the regular workload requires acute time management.
According to a recent study by FastCompany.com, “…53 percent [of workers] waste at least one hour a day due to distractions.”
As a business operator or manager, it’s likely you utilize the best time management practices. But consider this — that hour per day translates into $10,375 of wasted productivity per person per year, assuming an average salary of $30/hour. So, whether you want to brush up on your skills or share this with your team, use the tips below to laser-focus this fall.
1. Schedule specific time for answering e-mail.
Practice not answering e-mails the second they show up. Sometimes this demands more discipline than I have, and I need to actually close Outlook in between pre-scheduled e-mail sessions. Don’t instantly give people your attention unless it’s absolutely crucial in your business to offer an immediate human response.
2. Create and implement a sustainable filing system for new tasks.
There are literally thousands of opinions on the most effective way to create, implement and complete tasks. One thing all of the experts agree on is you need to create a streamlined workflow system for capturing and prioritizing all your responsibilities. What do you do when you are presented with new information (note, objective, priority, etc.)? Typically, to be successful this requires the use of multiple tools. This is not a one-shoe-fits-all model, but after using trial and error over the last several years, this is the system that has worked for me:
Step 1 – Recording New Tasks, On The Fly > Tool: Siri, iPhone
• Hold Home button.
• “Remind me to…”
• “Remember to…” (use this command to create a task without a date/time)
• Both functions add the task to your “Reminders List,” which can integrate with other third-party productivity tools
Step 2 – Daily Prioritization of Tasks > Tool: Toodledo.com and Toodledo iPhone App
Free and paid versions of Toodledo allow you to prioritize, tag, sort, filter, set reminders and organize tasks (actually this just scratches the surface of what you can do). I have the Toodledo app on my iPhone so anytime I create a task on the fly using the method described above, the task is automatically captured in a catch-all folder in Toodledo, which I prioritize each morning.
Step 3 – Quick Notes, Accessible Anywhere > Tool: OneNote and OneNote App
For other projects that require on-going notes (lists, templates, etc.) that need to be accessed on multiple devices, check out Microsoft OneNote. OneNote has a resourceful filing architecture that is comprehensive. Plus, OneNote comes equipped with all of the conventional Office-style formatting tools. I use this as my digital “yellow pad” to record short-term notes like details from a voicemail.
Garrett Marshall is the Business Development Director for Fitness On Demand. He can be contacted at 952-567-2710 or at email@example.com.