After doing some travel for business over the last several weeks, I have pending projects crying out for my time, as well as clients and prospects who want to see me. It's been tough to juggle it all, but I've found some ways to manage my time that are helping me to meet everybody's needs, including my own:
1) I schedule my appointments in blocks. For example, on Monday, I had an appointment in Tacoma and a business-related errand to run in Renton. I went to Tacoma and, on my way home, I went to Renton. That not only saved gas, but it also saved time if I'd made separate trips from home.
2) I've had some serious, deadline-based writing to do. To ensure that I can sit down and write uninterrupted, I close my e-mail inbox, shut off my cell phone and wait until my family leaves the house for the day. Then I sit down and get to work, finishing the assignments off one after the other. Knowing that I've tackled these big tasks, I can enjoy a leisurely lunch outside before I start my next project.
3) In conjunction with item #1, I leave at least 2 days during the week appointment-free. This allows me to have some committed, noninterrupted time in my office to get work done, as well as catch up on my bookkeeping work and organizing my office. I look forward to these days, where I can dress casually, work at my own pace and check things off of my "to do" list.
4) I also make time for exercise in the mornings when possible. This helps me to make time for myself, but it also energizes me. The natural high I get from working out keeps me going for hours afterward. It's a great way to fuel my productivity!
How do you manage your time? If you have tips to share with my readers, I'd love to hear them!