The reading level for this article is All Levels
Several times in the past few months, private clients have asked me "How the heck do you get it ALL done?"
"Fabienne, how do you do it? You have a full schedule of clients back-to-back each day, two energetic little children. In addition, you write a weekly newsletter and articles, conduct tele-seminars several times per month, run Boot Camps on a regular basis, on top of the new products you’re creating. You travel around the country to speak to associations and organizations, have a great relationship with your husband, and are still able to close your office at 5:15pm (just about) everyday to play with the kids. What gives?!"
No wonder they’re curious. Now that I see it all down on paper, it does seem like a lot. But, before you think I’ve got it all figured out, let me be very truthful with you. I have a crazy number of emails in my inbox, many of which need answering. And every so often, a few things fall through the cracks. Hey, I’m human after all, but I’m better off than I’ve ever been before.
What I realize from coaching people over the years is that I have indeed figured out a few things about getting it all done, or at least, a lot of it done, while still having sanity and a lot of fun in my life. It’s all about BOUNDARIES around time, with others, but mostly with me.
I’m realizing you have to be RUTHLESS with your boundaries around time management, because no one else will.
One of my favorite books on this subject is Dan Kennedy’s "No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs." I can’t tell you how amazing this book is. It’s actually become required reading for all my private clients looking to get more clients and make more money than they are making now.
Although I’m pretty good at getting things done, the "Time Management Techniques Really Worth Using" has changed everything for me. What Dan came up with should be universal materials for every one of us entrepreneurs and sole practitioners who wonder how to get it all done. I’m certainly even more RUTHLESS with my time than before using the following, direct from Dan’s book:
(A caveat: you may not agree with some of these, and that’s OK. Some of them are a little harsh. But just think about what your time would look like if you applied even 2 or 3 of these&ldots;)
- Tame the phone: You don’t need to literally jump every time the phone rings. Take few, if any, incoming calls; return calls at your convenience, instead of on-the-spot. (Most every call, even from a prospective client, can wait a half a day to be answered.)
- Minimize meetings: I implemented this technique several years ago and it’s worked wonders on my schedule. People (especially prospective clients) often want to meet me in person to talk about something. Problem is, it takes 15 minutes for me to get somewhere (minimum), an hour to "meet" and then 15 minutes to get back from the meeting. That’s an hour and a half! Instead, I now speak to people on the phone for 15 minutes and get just as much done. Amazing, you should try it.
- Practice Absolute Punctuality: The bottom line about this is, when you are absolutely punctual, it shows the other person you expect and demand they respect your time with the utmost respect. You can’t expect that others will treat your time with respect when you don’t show respect for theirs. (Most of us can afford to get better at this.) And beware of prospective clients who are late to initial consultations with you. It may be that they’re not trustworthy about other stuff.
- Make and Use Lists: You can’t get anything done when it’s all swimming around in your head, like a jumbled mess. Write it down and find systems to help you prioritize and get things done. There’s a lot out there on making and using lists effectively; find the way that will work best for you.
- Fight to Link Everything to Your Goals: Ask yourself "Is what I am doing, this minute, moving me measurably closer to my goal?" (I have this on an index card next to my computer, to remind me often.) Just the simple act of asking yourself this question several times a day will dramatically increase your productivity. You have no business doing stuff that’s not directly related to your goals. If it’s not moving you forward toward your goal, making you money or attracting clients, drop it or delegate it now.
- Block Your Time: It’s been said that one of the hidden secrets of people who consistently achieve peak productivity is that they make sacred appointments with themselves, appointments they aren’t allowed to cancel. You’ve heard me say this before, especially if you’re a private client of mine. In nearly every coaching call I have with someone, we create BLOCKS of uninterrupted time to get things done.
We’re talking blocks of time each day and each week for Client Attraction work, but also for certain projects that need to get done. If there’s a major task on my plate to get done, I’ll actually estimate how long it will take, and then put it in my calendar as I would a client appointment. I don’t allow myself to break this commitment. Try it. It works like magic and allows you to get so much more done than if you tried to squeeze it in somewhere between clients.
Go to Amazon.com and get yourself a copy of Dan Kennedy’s book "No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs", today. It’s that good. (He’s a little abrasive, but it’s all well worth it.) For $9.95, you can’t beat it.
Start applying some of the steps listed above. I guarantee that the number of PRODUCTIVE hours you spend making money and attracting clients will increase dramatically. It did for me, BIG TIME. Ca-ching!
Want to know the ins-and-outs of how I actually manage my time to continue to be a Client Attraction Machine? It’s all in the Client Attraction Home Study System™, along with hundreds of other valuable How-To’s to help you get more clients. Here’s where you get yours: www.TheClientAttractionSystem.com.
2006 Client Attraction LLC. All Rights Reserved.