I am often faced with a repeating thought: ’I just can’t get it all done… I need more time!’ My clients tell me the same thing when we talk about their marketing and business development efforts. They have good intentions, but somehow the days slip by when the ‘to do’ lists and multiple interruptions get in their way.
This summer I was given a copy of the book “More Time for You” by Rosemary Tator and Alesia Latson. Funny, I had great intentions to read it right away, but somehow I never found the time. Well, enough is enough! I finally made the time to read it and I am glad I did. The authors base much of their system on applying ‘triage’ to gain control of your life. It is a great concept that lends itself to marketing and business development. Here is a very streamlined version to consider:
- Capture your thoughts. The authors advise capturing your thoughts in a ‘capture tool’, which they describe as notepad, legal pad, blackberry, etc… Write down everything that clutters your mind in this tool– carry it with you everywhere you go and write anything that pops into your head that you need to remember. This act frees your mind from trying to remember all of the things you feel you must do and opens you up to becoming more effective and productive.
- Create three folders. Delete it. Do it. File it. (or my version for business development: Schedule it).
- Delete it. Get rid of anything that you have already done or that you really don’t need to commit yourself to doing.
- Do it. Anything that takes less than two minutes to complete, just do it now. For example: send a follow-up email, ask someone to go to lunch or reply to a request from a colleague. Now cross it off the list and purge it from your mind!
- File it. This is where I am going to take a little liberty… instead of filing it, schedule it. If there is a task on your list that will take you more than 2 minutes to complete, schedule it in your outlook calendar. I have written about this in the past and was thrilled to see the author’s parallel to my own practice. I can’t urge you enough to schedule appointments with yourself for marketing and business development-focused time.
Of course, there are many more recommendations in the book than I am covering today, but by using this simple triage method to help you manage your marketing process, you will find the mental freedom you need to reach your goals. Try it for a few weeks and keep track of the progress you make. It is a tough habit to start, but with enough repetition, it will become part of your fabric and will serve you well.