Those in the consulting industry know that time is money. Making the best use of your available time and maximizing your productivity can be difficult, but it is absolutely essential. Knowing where to start when it comes to improving your workflow may not come naturally, but there are plenty of tips available to help you get on the right track.
Set Inbox Times
Checking your email may feel productive, but the truth is, doing so frequently can actually hinder your productivity. In order to combat this wasted time, you should set specific times of the day for you to check your email. Rarely is the content of an email considered an emergency; the sender should be able to wait a few hours for a response. Limiting yourself to set hours can keep your mind focused on other important tasks and help you better organize your time.
Don’t Answer the Phone
Consultants spend much of their time on the phone connecting with clients, partners, and other professionals. However, the key aspect of these conversations should be that you, the consultant, schedules them. You may receive calls from other clients throughout the week, but you should prevent yourself from answering every call that comes your way. If their reason for calling is urgent, they will leave a voicemail or call back when you don’t answer. Taking control of your availability will help you stay on track.
Tackle Your Top Priority
If you have a big project that needs to be done, you may not want to work on such a daunting task first thing in the morning. However, doing so actually helps improve your productivity. Tackling the most important thing on your agenda right away will ensure that you don’t feel stressed later in the day and will also help keep your mind sharp. Even if you can’t complete the task right away, getting started on your top priority will ensure you are making the most of your time.
Optimize Your To-Do List
In addition to tackling your top priority, another helpful (albeit a bit controversial) productivity hack is simply editing your agenda to be more manageable and simple. The best way to do this? Delete a majority of the items on your daily agenda; or rather, push them back to another day. If they don’t need to be finished by the end of your current day, you can stand to delay them. Optimize your to-do list by prioritizing the tasks that are most deserving of your attention. Doing so will keep your mind clear and focused as you work to improve your day-to-day productivity.