Time management is essential for any business and individual. It helps in understanding how and where you need to invest time for what results.
When you are a senior as a consultant and have to meet the clients all the time. There are a lot of things you need to understand and manage in order to be successful, but also make sure you have peace of mind while you work.
And to make it efficient for you, here is how you can start.
How To Start Structuring Your Day As Consultant?
Consultants are also human, so you need to start by listening to your body when you are structuring the day.
When you are structuring your day, you aim to know where you are investing the time and see what is not working for you.
For example :
- You are much more focused when you wake up in the morning, this can be used for writing, detailing what you have in mind, or doing single tasks without distractions.
- Checking email, social media, and news can ruin your productivity.
- Eating some greasy food can slow down your speed for the rest of the day.
- Maybe you find it difficult to stay focused and do the single tasks in the afternoon.
- Talking with people effectively shuts down your ability in doing deep work for some hours.
- Planning the next day helps you in an easy workflow and helps in improving the productivity of the day.
When you have the general observation depending on the mind and body, you can set the guidelines of how your day is going to be.
- You can keep your morning hours for deep thinking and focus.
- The afternoon can be reserved for administrative tasks, meetings, and mindless activities.
- The evening can be used for brainstorming and planning.
Depending on that, you can start scheduling your day, it can start with :
If you are a morning person, you can use this for getting most of your work done. The creative juice flows more than the whole day. You can use this for thinking clearly, building mental models, and deeply on one task.
Considering how your work is divided, you can schedule the meetings and handle your consulting career.
Most people tend to experience an energy dip, this commonly happens after lunch.
Fundamentally, you might find a few things that are difficult to do in the afternoon.
So make sure you avoid doing that, this can be writing, specification work, and programming. You need to schedule the mindless activities so you can get your work done and use the unproductive hours in your favor.
If your energy starts to boost, and creative juice starts to flow, however, your productive muscle is not as strong as it was in the morning.
So you can use this for focusing on how your next day will go. and plan out everything. Also, you can use this for reflecting on the day and how it went.
Tips For Consultants To Do Better In Time Management
Learning how to track the consulting hours is an efficient key, also apart from this, you need to understand how to manage overall time when you are in the consultant industry.
Whether you are in a paid project or maybe it’s for an hour if you are not tracking it, not just you might end up losing money but also its effect on the rest of the day.
There Are different ways that can help you in improving time management especially when you are a consultant, so you know where your hours are going.
Find A Tool For Your Time Tracking
The key to finding the right tool for time tracking is to look out for visibility.
There are different software you can get for consultancy as it can help in simplifying the logging and checking the client projects and team members.
One of the platforms that you can start with is Toggl, but if you want more then look for a robust project management solution that comes with built-in time tracking.
This includes easy automation and integration with other parts of the business.
Create Your Pre Work Rituals
The work of a consultant is not easy, it’s demanding and you need constant energy to talk with people, deal with problems, and find solutions.
Morning rituals are the key to success, not just their importance but also help in understanding how your day will go.
Allow yourself to have a calm and quiet morning that can be creative before you start the day.
Add activities that can make you refresh, for example, going for a walk and running, this can help in blood flow. With that, you can add the breath exercise, writing journals, and reading.
Use The Calendars
Whether you are using Calendar system, or famous ones like Google and Outlook, you can use this for time tracking
With calendars, it can be helpful to know about future consultancy sessions, client meetings, and other important things you need to do.
This gives you a much more clear idea of how your week is going to be. Between your projects and meetings, make sure that you are adding the buffer time to relax.
Set Your Boundaries Very Clear
When you are working as a consultant, you need to be aware of your boundaries and make them very clear to others. With this, you can effectively prioritize and stay on your task along with developing routines.
So set the boundaries and block off the chunks of hours on your calendar, time blocking can be helpful for tasks such as email response. So you don’t have to check the email eerily when you hear the notification.
Analyze The Time You Have
Understanding where you are using your time is important especially when you are in a consultancy job.
Tracking the time is essential, you should explore how you are utilizing time so you know where you need to improve.
With efficient time management, you can do the analyzing and refining practices for time tracking.
So observe the habits of your throughout the day, see when you are productive, when you do procrastination most or how you prioritize the tasks, etc.
Consider Different Techniques For Time Management
Everyone is unique, so there are chances that what worked for others, won’t work for you. So you can consider different techniques which are used for time management, don’t get stuck with one if it’s not working.
There is no right or wrong, so use what works for you and help in getting work done with much efficiency.
Create Your Post Work Ritual
In today’s world, you need to have a ritual for post-work so you know when your work is done.
In today’s world, you are working all the time, it can be challenging for consultants who are working from home, three is no separation when to stop from working, it is tempting to get more hours on work.
So having a post-work ritual can signal to the body that the workday is done. It can help you be energetic and motivated for the next day.
Take Frequent Breaks
The breaks are crucial regardless of what work you do, this can help you in wrapping up the frustrating task, and is inevitable for wasting time on activities.
If you are facing frustration, stuck on a problem, or running through a circle, it’s time to take a break. Taking a five to fifteen-minute walk can help you in re-energizing as well as resetting your physical state.
When you are in counseling, you consciously deal with people, and it can be tiring for the mind and emotions. So you can go for a walk and take some time off.
Eliminate The Distractions Around You
Knowing that productivity and energy rhythms are half the battle, so if you know when you are highest productive, make sure you are not surrounded by what distracts you.
When you are dealing with distraction, here are some of the ideas of temptation and destruction.
- Quite the email program
- Log out to the sites which are distracting to you.
- Use an app for blocking the sites temporarily.
- Put the phone on airplane mode so you don’t have a disturbance.
Eat Well And Take Care Of Your Body
Before you do a good job, you need to focus on keeping your body healthy and for that, you need to eat well and do exercise.
You must carve out time for taking care of the body, be selfish, sacrifice money, decline your meetings, do whatever can help you in prioritizing health.
A good function can help you in being more energetic, reducing stress, clearer thoughts, and boosting your immunity.
So don’t neglect the body as it will increase the chances of groggy thinking, lowering energy, increasing sickness, etc.
Have A Plan
To give yourself a relaxed mind, make sure you are having the plan reading. It can be changed as you like, but having some kind of plan might help you in knowing what to do.
Don’t let your day open to change, so choose a day and create a plan for the following week including
- Plan your primary task, it includes tasks w=that must be accomplished, if they get down, it will be a good productive day.
- Plan your five secondary tasks, these need to be accomplished but it’s not as expensive as primary tasks.
- Bonus tasks that need to get done in small chunks and adjust to the time that you have. They might not be that urgent, so it doesn’t overtake your primary and secondary tasks.
- Known meetings, expectational notes, and due meetings.
Rely On The Team
Depending on how you work, you might have a team or support, it’s important to trust them. And let them handle the things and don’t get into everything if it doesn’t need your interruption.
Set a decorum that you need when you are handling the problems and how to handle them.
Make Time For Doing Face To Face Meeting
Whenever you get free time, make a schedule back to back and face to face meetings with the clients. Not only will it help you in saving time and you don’t have to attend to the email and phone tags.
This also helps in building the sense of truth but also helps you in showing that they are important.
Filter The Inbox
There might be a lot of emails you are receiving every day, and everyone wants to get a response from you.
Every morning it can be a huge task to find which one is important and which one is not.
So you need to filter out what email you need to reply to fast and which can wait.
Allot Time As IT Needs
Allot your time on things that you need to do so you don’t waste time on things that you don’t need to focus on.
Allotting time can help you in ensuring that you are having productive work and what can wait.
Use Tools For Help
There are fantastic tools that can help you, also a lot of them are free to use and they can help you in managing the time for you or help you in getting things done.
These tools can help in connecting with clients much more efficiently and help in getting more things done.
Do Time Audit
Make time for doing the audits to see how and where your time is going. Also, see if you are using tools and state them in the right way or not.
Time audit helps in understanding what is working and what to eliminate. When you are a consultant, you need to be more aware of where you are spending time.
Auditing can help, and also you can make your time productive, including doing things that help you in knowing how to arrange things that work much better for you.
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Carol T. Mahaffey is a certified American Author And a creator of Theleaderboy. Carol is a Self-Taught Marketer with 10+ Years of Experience. She brings her decade of experience to her current role, where she is dedicated to writing books, blogs, and articles, inspiring the world on how to become a better Leader.