Check out my previous post on time management for the start of this conversation.
I’m writing this in mid-December, and that timing is pretty fortuitous. Starting off the new year is a GREAT time to get organized. Make a change that is going to help your business thrive this next year!
You’ll find a TON of resources on “Time Management” on the internet, in books, and other locations. I highly recommend starting with GTD (Getting Things Done) as it is both a great starting point and explains most of the concepts involved with making the most effective and efficient use of your time. It also points out common pitfalls that prevent us from being efficient and why they exist.
How you go about the process of collecting your thoughts, to-do’s, and projects, deciding on your next action step, and maintaining a goal-oriented focus is going to be as different as the number of people out there.
To Do Lists & Day Planners
One of the best places to start is to get a daily planner. If you’re tech-averse then this may be all you end up with. Honestly, it should work just fine. The key thing is to keep it with you so when a moment of inspiration hits, you can capture it in writing. If you keep to a single planner, you can take it to your events and do all your bookings on it, which is super-convenient.
Holley loves the daily planners she gets from www.erincondren.com. She gets them for herself and her personal assistant, Kathy. They are personalizable to a pretty high degree. Something like this may work for you too, but you’ll probably want to work out your “system” with something you can lay your hands on from Office Max or Staples.
If you want to do it on the cheap, consider simply getting a cheap spiral-bound notebook, or maybe a Moleskine notebook. Just make it your go-to item and keep it handy.
There are dozens of apps out there for this. If you’re on a PC, then you can set up & use Outlook to manage your Projects and To-Do Lists. There are also many web-based options that you can access from desktop or portable device. The guys at The David Allen Company have several set-up guides for different applications available. You can create your workflow yourself, but it’s nice to know there are options out there to help if you need it.
On the Mac, I love OmniFocus. I’ve been using it for several years and find it to work great. There is an app for the Mac, one for iPhone, and one for iPad as well. They should offer a bundle for people who use the system, come to think of it. You can drop all of your to-do items and projects in OmniFocus and it syncs to all of your devices with the app. There are other apps out there. Many have come and gone, but OmniFocus just keeps getting better. The big negative for OF is that it’s relatively expensive ($80 for the Mac App, plus paid versions for iPhone AND iPad).
Honestly, if I weren’t using OF already, I would consider trying to set something up in EverNote to manage projects and To-Do lists. Its system should work pretty effectively for it.
Direct-Sales Specific Resources
Belinda Ellsworth – The Power Hour
Through her company, Step Into Success, Belinda Ellsworth markets coaching and instructional products including The Power Hour and The Power Hour for Leaders. Holley has both of these and recommends them to her leaders. I’ve listened through the CDs myself and think it’s great stuff. It has very specific plans on how to work your direct sales business one hour at a time. Some people may be able to work it in one hour a week (excluding the time actually spent in parties). The Leaders is tailored towards using the same principles for leading a team in direct sales. Also recommended.
Calendar Girls by Gale Bates
This looks pretty interesting and is something Holley is checking out on a free call December 18 (which means it’s TONIGHT!). It looks as though they offer free calls monthly or close to it, though, so if you miss this one, catch the next one. Check out the Calendar Girls Website and Facebook page.
What Time Management resources & tips do you have? I’d love to hear from you all as this is one area I’ve always found particularly interesting.
Technorati Tags: Business, Direct Sales, Direct Sales Husband’s Handbook, Evernote, Going Paperless, GTD, Home Business, Paperless Office, Party Plan, Personal Development, Small Business, Time Management