Like yourself, I have a full plate.
I manage a growing business, promote my company, serve as a director on several organizations, write a life blog, give back to my community, and research new business opportunities.
Yet I still have time to play golf twice a week and spend most of the weekend with my wife, kids, family and friends.
So I want to share how I manage my time and workflow to get the most of every day.
These are a few things I employ that’s becoming habitual for me:
Develop a Schedule
I develop a realistic schedule that includes plenty of family time. Then, I execute my schedule.
I like to plan my family events first, then my fun events, then my business meetings and focus times around that.
If something’s not scheduled, I don’t do it. I don’t compromise, either — unless it’s some sort of a family emergency.
But it’s hard to not procrastinate sometimes thought. What has helped me is taking mini-breaks (5-7 mins) between each 30-45 mins stretch… and make my meetings old times like 1:02pm to 1:42pm type so that it gives that extra time to re-energize.
Also, I Learned to say No to ensure other things get done on time — which wasn’t and still not easy for me.
Leverage an Assistant
I use an executive assistant. My assistant helps me get things done that I don’t need to do myself. In other words, I delegate.
It takes time to find, hire, train and manage an assistant. But once you do, it’s quite productive. To date, my executive assistant has free up at least 15% of my time (that’s ~1-3 hours a day).
If you are interested in hiring an executive assistant, go create a spreadsheet of everything you do daily. I mean everything. Assign a value to each item.
Next, isolate the activities you have to do yourself. Then farm out the rest to your assistant. It’s that simple. And it works.
Use Productivity Hacks
I use some awesome productivity/time management tools. A few of them are described below, and examples of how I’m using them.
E-mail, Calendars, Contacts, Tasks, Notes, Conferencing, Hangout, Drive in all one platform, anywhere in the world. Everything can be shared, collaborated in real time, and managed delegation.
- My executive assistant helps me schedule calendar (from business to personal life).
- I take photos of business cards of people I meet, and my executive assistant puts it into my contacts along with additional social media research on the contact.
- All my documents can be shared and collaborated in real time – even when writing this article, my editors, assistant can see me writing this in real-time and they can make changes too.
- My calendar is shared with my team, so they know where I am, and how they can reach me.
- All brands assets (logo, templates, graphics) are stored in our drive that my whole team has access to, so they never need to ask anyone for most assets.
- Make FREE Canada and US phone calls with Google Hangout/Voice to any Canadian or US number.
Ever played phone tag trying to set up a meeting? Say good-bye to email and phone tag forever. You need to dedicate at least an hour to set this up so that it fits within your allocated slots in your calendar.
- If I know I need a 15 or 30 min call with someone, I send them the link and have them book it straight in my calendar that is best for them. It will automatically add it to my calendar, and it will send them a calendar invite as well.
- Let’s people book Golf days with me.
ActiveCampaign is a very slick web-based contact management tool. It keeps me connected. It tracks my phone calls, texts, and emails, but more importantly it can help me build automations.
- I assign people based on tags, and I set reminders to follow up with certain people.
- I can mass send (it sends as individual) to people who I’ve tagged. Say I found an article that relates a lot with investment and the market, I can e-mail everyone that I have tagged: investors and they will get a fully personalized e-mail from me, that is also tracked.
Tired of getting 1000 emails from team members? Slack is like Lync, Skype, Whatsapp on steroids. One communication platform that will help you eliminate all internal emails so you can focus more on your day.
- Everybody on our team is connected on Slack from their desktop, to tablet to mobile phones. We use specific channels so that the topic at hand never gets side tracked.
- Slack also has tons of integrations that allow you to manage and get notifications from different applications such as Trello, Intercom, Google Drive, Hangout, etc. This way, you’ll never have to open up another application.
So maybe you have a smaller list and want to send out e-mails that don’t have these silly “Unsubscribe” at the bottom of it. Well, this tool is a godsend and it allows you to send emails out as if they are personally drafted emails.
- I have a group of golfers that I email, when I have cool things I find, I use this to send it to my contacts in Gmail labeled: golf.
- I use this to also send emails to our shareholders, so that each is very personalized.
- Sometimes I just want to send an email to someone but I want to know if they opened the email, or not, this allows you to track that.
- Emails coming from your domain, without the unsubscribe at the bottom has a much higher open and response rates.
These tools not only save time, they also keep me organized. And when you lead a busy life like I do, that’s key.
If work keeps you from enjoying life, try my three-step approach to managing your workload. It boosts productivity, organizes you, and helps you stay connected.
More important, it frees up time to spend with your family and friends enjoying life.