As a Virtual Assistant company, we think of ourselves as having this whole time-management concept nailed down. A client of ours encouraged us to share some of the advice we've given him to make sure he's productive, efficient and results-driven in his day. With his permission, we thought you could use a few tips, as well.
1) Figure out - and delegate - your tasks right away: Many entrepreneurs are pressured to dive right into their e-mail inbox.... and they don't emerge from the hole until hours later. If you must, priority-scan your inbox before reviewing your to-do list and delegating out what you can. Then, go back to reviewing your task list and doing a "brain dump." Once you have this list, delegate what you can to your Virtual Assistant or other team members.
2) Huddle with your team: This is a quick 5-10 minute huddle that is an efficient way to take the time to connect with your team at the start of the day. To ensure it's brevity, we recommend standing through the entire meeting - whether it's in the board room or on the phone. Share critical information and review your main goal(s) for the day. That's all it takes to build team rapport, avoid confusion, get on the same page and increase your chances of achieving your goals.
3) Place the most important calls: If you put off making calls until the afternoon, the chances that you'll get a timely answer decrease significantly. Get your questions ready and fired off during the early morning hours and you'll be more productive at the end of the day - armed with the answers and approvals you need.
4) Plan a break: Schedule a 2 times throughout the day where you can take a 10 minute break. Block this off in your calendar and commit to the appointment as you would one with a client. When you know that you have a break ahead of you, you can laser-focus on the tasks you have at hand.
We encourage you to test this out one morning this week. Notice at the end of the day if you're still feeling stressed and overwhelmed - or - if you feel rejuvenated and accomplished.... just as it should be.