Is your schedule getting out of control?
A common theme I am hearing lately is that people’s schedules are out of control. Phone calls are not returned. Email piles up. The most important things don’t get done. New business appointments are delayed and/or appointments are missed. Here are a few quick pointers.
Use a free scheduler like www.tungle.me.com (thanks for this tip from @TheresaScholes from ClickVA.com) that way you can easily share your availability with prospective clients, friends, current clients, and others. It has made my scheduling of my free 20 minute strategy sessions super smooth and has saved tons of time. And surprisingly- even my current clients love being able to book their time quickly and easily.
Schedule some open office time for taking spontaneous calls…Maybe you set aside an hour or two on a certain day of the week- where people know you will be standing by to take live calls.
Let people know when they can expect a return call or email from you (you could post this on your website. and/or have it in autoresponders..etc)
Set a schedule for yourself that you return phone calls every day between 2pm and 3 pm (e.g).
When you return calls…be clear about how much time you have and have a call agenda. Start ending the call a couple of minutes before by proposing an action, summarizing the call, and/or setting a follow up appointment.
Have an assistant return some phone calls (maybe joint venture calls…etc)
Schedule times that you check your email- don’t be constantly checking email all day long…(morning, late morning, after lunch, and late afternoon works for me- and yes…I do have some days where I check once in the evenings). Use a system for processing your email- Check out author of Master Your Workday Now Mike Linenberger at http://www.michaellinenberger.com/index.html
Let your clients text you…some questions can be answered with just a few words.
When scheduling appointments- avoid having them too close together.
The night before or as you end your work day…look at your schedule for the next day. Have a hard copy of your schedule for the day in case your internet goes down- you will still be able to call people and have their phone numbers. Have all of the resources you need at your fingertips for each call or face to face appointment.
No matter what you do in life (work at home, stay at home mom, work in the corporate world, etc) act like you have a hotshot job. That means get up, get dressed, get ready for the day, be ready to face the world with your best game…before you sit at the computer, leave for work, or whatever you do.
Sheri Kaye Hoff. MA, CGCL, Life Coach and Author