By Megan Miranda
As a busy wedding professional, you need to keep on top of your clients and events. You may be dedicated to a pen and datebook, or you may keep all your plans in your iPhone.
Whether you are ready to try an awesome digital task management system, or intend to keep using your paper calendar, follow these tips to re-organize your agenda.
1. Identify Obligated Time
Take out your calendar and fill in the hours you work, hold meetings, or take classes. Next, fill in the time it takes you to get ready and travel between home, work, meetings and classes. Fill in any other regular appointments for yourself or your kids, such as practices or driving to school.
Give yourself a lunch break, and a dinner break if you tend to work late. These breaks do not have to be long, but remember to include time for food preparation or travel to a restaurant.
Lastly, establish a set time to go to sleep and get up in the morning. Try to stick to these times, even if they are changes — you will get used to it!
2. Determine Free Time
Assign time to do each type of work. Maybe on Mondays you do social media marketing, on Tuesdays you contact potential clients and on Wednesdays you write your blog.
Verify that you have chosen the right time of day for your online marketing. There’s no sense spending valuable time tweeting if your followers are not online!
However you choose to schedule your work, categorize it. Block out large amounts of time for major tasks, such as writing your blog. Make smaller blocks of time for individual tasks, like writing a thank you email to your mentor.
Schedule regular breaks and rewards for completing a task — don’t work marathon-style! Remember to allow time for fun events, such as recreation, going out with friends and reading books.
3. Analyze Your Situation
Have you found hidden time you didn’t know you had? Do you have enough time available to complete all your required tasks?
If your schedule cannot accommodate all the demands on your time, you have too much going on. If something is important, you will be able to fit it into your schedule.
If you find that you don’t have time for everything, remove the non-essential tasks and events. But don’t remove only recreation and socialization activities, leaving all the work. If your schedule looks reasonable, stick to it!
10 Life Saving Time Management Tips
1. All your time as time to be used; make every attempt to get satisfaction out of each moment.
2. There is always enough time for the important things — if it is important, make time for it.
3. Put up reminders about your goals in your home or office.
4. Plan your day the night before and set priorities for yourself.
5. Develop a list of specific things to be done each day, set your priorities and the get the most important things done as early in the day as possible.
6. Look ahead in the month and anticipate what is going to happen so you can better schedule your time.
7. Have confidence in yourself and in your judgement of your priorities—don’t waste time after the fact worrying about whether you should or shouldn’t have done something.
8. When you catch yourself procrastinating, ask yourself, “What am I avoiding?”
9. Put your efforts in areas that will provide long term benefits for your wedding business.
10. Think on paper when possible—it will be easier to review and revise your thoughts.
Adapted from A. Lakein’s “How to Get Control of Your Time And Your Life.”
Whenever possible, set deadlines for yourself and then hold yourself accountable.
If you can’t handle all your work by yourself, it’s okay! Delegate responsibilities whenever possible and ask for advice when you need it.
Stop regretting your failures and start learning from your mistakes. This will save you time in the long run.
How do you stay organized?
Megan Miranda is a Portland, Oregon-based blogger, writer and business owner. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her baking bread and planning her own wedding.