As a business professional, I sometimes go out on appointments and meetings everyday for weeks on end. I gain visibility and I also gain the next appointment. Eventually it much of it turns to business. Activity with follow-up is certainly a way to get business. The biggest problem associated with daily meetings and appointments is the ability to complete the work and action items that are a result of all the activity.
Carving up your week into manageable chunks that also allow you to complete the action items is very crucial. The week should not only entail appointments and meetings, it needs to contain time for the action items and time for you personally. This means eat properly and get exercise as well as spending time with the family.
It is true that you must spend the time to build business and it is also true that the hours necessary often cut into some of the things we want in life. However, if you manage your activities and organize your office properly, you can get a lot more done in a shorter period of time.
Eve Abbott, the author of “A Brain New Way to Work" has broken tasks down so that processing all the information needed is easier to handle. She suggests organizing the office into “departments" is a good way to start. Also, having items at your fingertips without having to leave your chair speeds up the process. There are many more tips but these two are the basics that need to be implemented.
As far as dividing up the week, plan a circuit for your appointments, and keep your appointments to one or two days a week and put as many as possible into those days. If you use the circuit approach your driving from one place to another is kept to a minimum and you have very little wasted time. Just make sure you leave enough time between appointments to get there on time.
Meetings can also be a cause of lost time. If possible you can arrange to meet potential clients at the meeting (either before or after). Put meetings into your schedule ahead of time, especially if they are on a regular basis. Then you can arrange appointments around that schedule.
Now for the action items. Save two days a week to stay in the office and complete your action items. If one of your items is making phone calls and dealing with email, then schedule in one hour at a time to do this. Phone calls and email can get in the way for anyone. Resisting answering the phone or working on emails outside your scheduled phone time is extremely difficult and unless it is imperative for a project, keep your calls scheduled in.
Schedule in your exercise, your family activities, and other things you enjoy doing. You will be surprised at how easy it is to do everything as long as you are organized and scheduled. You will find that you have extra time on your hands - do not waste it - enjoy it.
Bette Daoust, Ph. D. is a speaker, author (over 170 books, articles, and publications), and consultant. She has provided marketing, sales, business development and training expertise for companies such as Peet's Coffee & Tea, Varian Medical Systems, Accenture, Avaya, Cisco Systems to name a few. Dr. Daoust has also done extensive work with small businesses in developing their marketing, training, and operational plans. You may contact Dr. Daoust at http://BizMechanix.com You may also view her latest publications at http://BlueprintBooks.com Dr. Daoust also writes for the National Networker http://theNationalNetworker.com