Time management is really about priority management. Using the Clustering and Clumping Time technique will allow you to get more done in less time AND with grace and ease.
Find a calendaring system that works for you. The Google calendar is popular because you can share it with your team and it can be synchronized to your phone, desktop calendar or other electronic device. A paper calendar can work as well if that is your preference. A paper calendar will require you to spend extra time manually filling in the block time slots. You decide what works for you to apply the block scheduling strategies.
Fill your calendar with all required and desired personal and family time.
- What time do you wake up every day?
- How much time is required for your morning routine?
- Does that include mental focus time to set your daily intention?
- Do you exercise at regular intervals?
- What about shopping, meal preparation, etc.
- Do you like to take off on certain days of the week?
Do your best to complete as many of the details of your daily routines as possible so that your schedule accurately reflects your life. This will allow you to have a better handle on the reality of the time available to devote to your goals and business activities.
Fill in your calendar with any planned vacations, workshops and/or seminars and networking events that you regularly attend. Be sure to include the following:
- Regular networking events you attend on a weekly or monthly basis
- Conference calls or online training that you are registered for
Make a list of all of the activities involved in reaching your goal and in the day-to-day operation of your business. When creating the list of specific activities, do your best to include them in categories so that you will be able to easily block out time for the same types of activities at the same time. Much like an assembly line for an automotive company, it is easier and more time efficient to perform a series of similar tasks at the same time. For example, the telephone calls category would include: follow up calls to prospective clients, calls to potential strategic alliances, making appointment with people, etc.
Category Examples: Telephone Calls, Administrative, Email, Social Media, Copywriting, etc.
Sample activities you may want to apply to the clustering and clumping time technique to include:
- Making follow-up telephone calls to prospects
- Making calls to strategic partners and/or alliances
- Emails to send after networking events
- Checking email
- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media activities
- Making payments
- Filing, organizing, etc.
- Writing and/or copywriting (blogging, article writing, sales campaigns)
- Servicing clients (fulfillment)
- Creating marketing materials
- Continuous learning and building of expertise (tele-classes, reading, studying, etc.)
Once you have created this activities list, create blocks on your calendar so that you have structure for your business and your life. Following is a base sample for your reference to get you started clustering and clumping time (of course, your blocks may have different items):
I hope that you already noticed that this clustering and clumping technique allows you to be more present with clients and help more people consistently. Keeping it clear and consistent helps to keep you more productive in marketing and with your clients, rather than running around like a chicken with your head cut off. We always know what is coming next when we are clustering and clumping time.