Do you ever feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get things done?
Whether you are juggling your wedding business with a full-time job or a family, staying on top of everything can be a challenge.
There are several things that may be costing you precious time. I stumbled upon this article from Entrepreneur “7 Ways You’re Wasting Time and Don’t Even Know It” and was surprised to find that some of the habits I thought were productive are actually time-wasters.
If you’re overwhelmed with a long to-do list and not enough time, it’s worth re-evaluating your daily routine. So, where do you start?
Here are my favorite 5 strategies and how you can use them:
1: Don’t Put Off Small Tasks
If it will take you two minutes or less to complete the task, such as setting an appointment with a prospective client or sending a quick email, go ahead and get it done now instead of adding it to your to-do list.
With small tasks like these, putting them off to tackle later will actually take more time and energy.
2: Stop Being Reactive
Do you start the day with a list of tasks to get done but find yourself getting interrupted by other things as they come up? Being in that constant state of reaction can cost you both time and sanity.
Schedule a specific time during the day to check your email and phone messages, then turn off email notifications (including your mobile phone notifications if you have them enabled for email) and let your calls go to voicemail. I found just that one simple change helped me focus on the items on my to-do list instead of reacting to a new email or call.
Worried that this will cost you clients? Update your voicemail to let callers know that you check your phone messages once a day and you’ll return their call at that time. Make sure you have an auto-responder set up on your email to let them know you’ve received the message and will get back to them within 24-48 hours.
3: Focus on the Right Things
You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule that says 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers. This applies to other things in your life as well. Are you focusing on the right tasks?
Prioritize your to-do list: which of the items is going to either 1) bring in the most money for your wedding business or 2) give you the biggest sense of relief when it is complete. Then focus on finishing those tasks first.
4: Implement a Social Media Plan
Are you spending a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest under the guise of “social media marketing” for your business? It’s tempting to check in multiple times a day, especially if you are using them to connect with family and friends or keep up with things going on in the wedding industry or your local area. But how much is this habit costing you?
Use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to keep your time spent on social media marketing to a minimum. With these tools you can spend 30-60 minutes per week pre-writing some of your tweets or Facebook posts or gathering articles to share and be set for the upcoming week.
Try limiting your personal time on social media to 20 minutes a day for the next week and see how much more productive you are in your wedding business.
5: Create Templates and Systems
One of the most useful things I’ve implemented is creating templates and systems to help me with repetitive tasks.
If you spend a lot of time answering client emails, create a template of frequently used messages that you can cut, paste and then personalize to make responding take less time.
If you don’t already have a step-by-step system for tracking the progress of your client work, it’s time to create one! Make a checklist of each item that needs to be done from the time a client first contacts you until their project is complete. Use it for each new wedding client to keep you on track and organized.
Do you want to stop wasting time in your wedding business? For even more productivity tips, check out these articles:
How do you stay productive in your wedding business?