Have you ever looked back at the end of the day and said to yourself… “What did I get done today?”

Were you sitting around eating bon-bons, watching Oprah? Of course not! You were at your desk working… the entire day in your interior design business.

I was lamenting to one of my coaches (yes I have 2) who gave me an assignment. She said “I want you to track your time. Document everything you do throughout your day.” Well… didn’t she know what she was asking me to do?! Didn’t she have any idea what a monumental task that would be?! How do I document my time when I…

  • Spend 2 minutes reviewing and responding to an email?
  • And what about the 5 minutes checking my Facebook messages?
  • And then the phone rings so I have to answer it (after all it could be a client)
  • And then there’s the package that came in the mail just sitting there waiting for me to open it (calling out to me)
  • And a client’s memo samples arrived
  • And then there’s a lot more email to get through
  • And on and on and ON!!!

Do you see where I’m going? What an eye opener that was! My coach really made her point. I realized my days consisted of email, putting out fires and flittering to whatever presented itself to me in the moment. Ugh! I allowed ‘multi-tasking’ and email to dictate my day.

After completing the assignment and seeing how much time I spent on admin and non-money generating activity (MGA)… things changed around here. Below are a few things I’ve put into place to break my addiction to email –

  1. I no longer check email throughout the day. It gets checked only 2 – 3 times per day. I know I know. I won’t tell you it’s easy to do that one… but I notice I sure am FAR more productive when I am on top of this one.
  1. I ‘batch’ my tasks. I set aside a block of time (1 hour, 2 hours, etc) where I work on only 1 thing at a time. NO multitasking allowed! I might –
    1. Write
    2. Work on a client project
    3. Return phone calls
    4. Manage email
    5. Connect with prospects on Facebook
    6. Pin, connect and market on Pinterest
  1. I use my online calendar more and rely on it diligently. When I batch my tasks (see #2 above), I make sure to put in shopping time, drive time, client work, time for pulling product, email management, online research, education time when I’m learning a new marketing strategy, even exercise and down time.
  1. Finally… I use a timer. It’s a little green apple that sits on my desk. When I allot myself 2 hours to work on a project… I set the timer. I don’t know about you but utilizing that ‘strange phenomenon’ called a deadline has been VERY effective. Somehow I just get more done in the last 30 minutes before I have to leave, or move on to another project. I’m ‘tricking’ myself to stay on top of things in this age of high ‘distraction’ and low productivity. And… it works!

These may all sound super simple, but you know the ‘easy’ ones work the best right? Now I’ve got systems and tools in place that keep me focused and on track. How are you staying on task? Are you addicted to email? Are you an email-a-holic?

If you’re struggling to find more time in your day for ‘effective’ marketing, or you need help generating more client appointments… send me an email at Barbara@HighDollarDesigner.com and we’ll set up a time to chat to see if I can help.

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