Being an account manager at LMC means that most days, I have a lot on my plate.
From social media skeletons to drafting video shoot schedules and planning content visits to staying atop marketing trends – you can probably conclude that time is a valuable resource for me as an account manager. Mornings quickly turn into the afternoon, days into weeks, and weeks into months.
But, juggling clients and project timelines are all in a day’s work for me.
Staff at LMC wake up in Spring, leaves just budding on the trees, and before we know it, the Mountain State Forest Festival is kicking off in Elkins. For these reasons, I doubt it’s a secret to anyone that time management is critical to any LMC team member’s success.
That’s why when it came to creating my personal training plan, I made sure to include honing my time management practices to become more efficient and productive while stressing less!
In March (which seems like a lifetime ago), I embarked on a time management journey with Alexis Haselberger’s “Time Management Mastery: Do More, Stress Less”.
From this course, I’ve streamlined my time management practices, found strategies that work for me, and came away with some amazing takeaways that I could immediately implement.
Interested in my top takeaways? Keep reading to learn more:
Creating a system will change your life
Creating a system for me meant bringing structure and finding a balance right for me. Creating a sound system can look different from one person to the next, but should use strategies and tools to help you accomplish more with less stress.
Here’s what that looks like for me:
- Taking notes throughout the day
- Utilizing the brain dump method – This is a good long-term strategy for task management, and it’s great for in-the-moment stress. A brain dump involves taking 5 minutes or less to empty your mind and get all your mental to-dos down on paper. Your brain dump can include personal and professional tasks. Just create a list for each.
- Next, I’ll turn my brain dump into actionable tasks and add them to my Airtable task sheet, ensuring everything makes it to my list throughout the day.
Prioritization is essential for daily work
Prioritization allows me to allocate my time and focus where it’s most needed and best spent.
Here are some tags I put on my tasks at hand:
- Must-dos – Anything I tag as a must-do is just that.
- Quick hits – I can get this done quickly without much forethought.
- Nice-to-haves – These tasks are great to get done but can be pushed if needed.
- Mid-day prioritization – Around midday, I’ll take 10 minutes to see what has come in for the day and filter into the previous list.
- Emergencies – When emails come through my inbox that are vague it’s important I always ask for a timeline, so everyone’s on the same page and prioritization is accurate and meets expectations!
Planning ahead will make tomorrow easier
While this is a no-brainer, it’s also extremely important not to skip. At the end of the workday, I may be mentally exhausted or looking forward to evening plans, however, I never skip planning for the next day.
Check out these planning hacks I never skip:
- End-of-the-day planning – I schedule 15 minutes for planning at the end of each workday. This includes the following tasks:
- Review notes from my day
- Brain dump
- Reprioritize unfinished tasks
- Check my calendar for tomorrow
- Leave work with a clear head
- End of the week planning – I schedule 30 min for planning at the end of the week:
- Review notes from the week
- Brain dump
- Reprioritize unfinished task
- Check my calendar for next week
- Leave work with a clear head for the weekend
- Review system for the following week – meaning move things around so my priorities are realistic and your workload makes sense
Time management is personal
A simple “time management hacks” Google search, will offer page after page of advice. Many of these tips are useful, but the right methods depend on your personality and personal preferences.
Frankly – learning how to manage time can be a complicated process that is different for everyone, so embrace what works best for you and use your natural tendencies and traits to your advantage to optimize your time and productivity
Focusing is easier said than done
One of this course’s biggest takeaways was strategies for reducing distractions. Sometimes I get in my own way and find myself flipping back from my email to a project and jumping back into something else. At other times, its other people or technology that can knock me out of a flow.
Check out some of these tips for focus that I find useful:
- Limit distractions
- I turn off my phone and computer notifications
- Move phone folders
- Close my office door
- Carefully selecting the right music or playlist to get me into a good workflow
- For larger tasks, I always use the Time Blocking method
- I schedule time in the day to work on large task
- I will schedule 30 mins for emails several times a day
- Ensure I’m taking breaks and rewarding myself
- Throughout the day I’ll make sure to take 5-10 minute breaks
- I’ve created a rewards menu for myself which includes: a quick social media scroll, a quick stretch or downward dog pose, or a piece of chocolate
- Two-minute rule – If the task takes less than two min, just do it
- One touch rule – Only touch it once! Whether it’s an email or a piece of paper. If you know you don’t have time to start the project because are in the middle of another task or whatever it may be, don’t distract yourself. It will be there when you’ve finished what you’re working on.
As I grow as an account manager, taking on more challenging projects and clients, I’m glad I have a system that works for me to manage my time better. Just remember, what works for me won’t necessarily work for you.
I look forward to continuing to put these skills to work while continuing to produce top-notch results for my clients, just with less stress on my end!