Time is our greatest asset – once you’ve spent your time it’s gone forever! It’s important that you use it wisely, especially in business. Successful business people such as Richard Branson have the same amount of time available to them as you do; they just use it more effectively.
One of the most effective ways to improve your time management is by using a default diary.
What is a default diary?
A default diary is a plan of your time through a week or month of what you would ideally do when your week goes to plan. It enables you to get those little things done that you always defer because they’re not urgent, yet still important to your business – such as updating your website or having regular meetings with staff.
Having your default diary up on your wall by your workspace enables you to learn it and always have an idea of how your week or month is going to go.
What should I put in my default diary?
You can create it how it works best for you. Default diaries are usually used so that business owners get tasks done that aren’t always urgent, but make a difference in the long run. Think about the things that you could spend time on in the business that would make it progress. Here are some examples:
- Create or update your business plan
- Create or update your marketing plan
- Write a staff newsletter email
- Update your website
- Have lunch or a meeting with an employee, supplier or customer
- Ring up a previous customer to check how they are
- Learn a new skill
- Review competitors
You may also want to include more broad activities or activities that you do every day – the default diary isn’t meant to just be filled with new things, but it should include things that you wouldn’t usually make a priority.
Creating a default diary
Start by listing all the regular tasks you do and block out time for each task. Remember to leave time between some tasks for interruptions such as emails or phone calls. Or, setting an allocated time just a few times a day for answering emails and making phone calls might be more effective for you.
Once you’ve put in the regular tasks, you can see how much time you have leftover and think about other tasks that are important in your business such as the ones previously listed.
It’s not always possible to completely stick to your default diary but if you aim for 70%-80% of the time then you’ll be doing well.