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"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous

Tea Time with Liv

Time Management

Time management and business go hand in hand. You need both to be successful.

Problem is most don't quite understand what this means. For some its doing tasks in a timely manner. For others it means watching their time. And for a few it just means sticking to a schedule. Now these are all valid. While they look the same, they are different.

Before you can effectively manage your time correctly you need to be aware of time. For this here is a simple exercise.

For 1 week keep track of individual tasks. Notate the start time and end time. When you change tasks end the time. Notate everything. No cheating now. Note everything from email writing sessions, phone calls, lunch break, even bathroom breaks. It can be a laborious task but you will find this extremely helpful. At the end of the week add together all your business time. Once this is done break it down to the individual tasks such as emails, phone calls, party time, prep time, etc. This will give you a sense of how much you not only spend your day but how long you spend on tasks and business as a whole.

The reason for the task is because often people see themselves as working all day when in reality they only worked a full 2 hours on business. Once you have a sense of how your day is spent, lump all the individual tasks into one. Now you can create a schedule of daily tasks in blocks of time. At first this can be difficult but you will soon find it can be easily accomplished. Use an egg timer to keep you on track. When time is up, time is up. Move on to the next task.

When creating your schedule you need to create breaks, lunch. Turn off the tv, This can be more distracting than anything else. Even more than children if that seems possible. If you are working with children at home, schedule around eating, naps, playtime.

If you conduct parties or workshops, set up and take down your display several times and time it. Get an idea of how long it takes. The bonus to this is you do get faster. Knowing this will help managing your time before, during, and after parties. Do this each time your display changes too. Rehearse your presentation. Knowing how long your presentation will help manage your party time. Even video taping yourself and seeing how you look and sound can be helpful. You may find you are repeating yourself unnecessarily or leaving out important information.

Keep notes around in regards to your product. Not only is this very helpful during parties but also on phone calls. Keeping frequently used information at your fingertips can be a big time saver. This prevents you from wasting time looking up frequently asked information.

Know your products and how to explain them. When first starting out you always have that learning curve but learn quickly the features and benefits of a product. You don't have to explain it in its entirety. An example is if you are selling moisturizing lipstick. A feature is the moisturizing and the benefit is the prevention of cracked lips. You don't need to go over how it moisturizes, every color it comes in, or why it is better. Find up to 3 features and matching benefits and keep a list. If you get stuck refer to the list.

Do not always try and demonstrate every piece of your display unless it is absolutely necessary. Pick out the favorites, play games in the middle, then invite guests to view and try the products on your display.

Use tools such as mapquest for mileage and time estimates for getting to a location. You will need the mileage for your taxes but the time estimate is extremely helpful. I personal use mapquest and a GPS application on my phone. This helps keep me on track and less likely to get lost.

Use a day planner of some sort. Keep contact info and a calendar handy at all times. Update this regularly. These can be digital or paper. Use the method that works for you but use it. I personally use 3. Yes I know its overkill to some but this ensures I always have an updated version at all times. I use outlook on my computer, my blackberry, and a day planner. I print out my outlook calendar and take to parties or meetings.

Do not overbook yourself in your schedule. This can and is a deal breaker in time management. Have specific slots open for meetings, deliveries, parties, and travel time. Giving yourself a set calendar will keep you from overextending yourself and keep your business on track.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009-2010


R.S Tee said...

Great insight Olivia, I also believe that time management and business are needed to be successful. There are lots of different ways in order to manage time. Like what you have said to others it means watching on their time and others means sticking to their schedule. However, in my opinion it is not important how people manage their time. The most important is it helps people to stay productive. The key to manage time effectively is discipline. With self discipline your time management will work perfectly. It can also help you ignore work distractions and stay focus on tasks. At work I also manage time in order to be productive. One thing that helps me manage time is to overcome procrastination. This way I can get more things done. I also create a to-do list and set an estimated amount of time when working on each task. I even set regular breaks every two hours of work. This way I can limit wasted time and meet time frame. This is how I manage time at work that keeps me productive.

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