Proper time management is crucial to your agency. It plays a key role in boosting your operations and profits. Discover how you can practice it.
Time allocation is of the utmost importance in all spheres of life, including your agency. However, many agency owners fail to manage this resource correctly.
As Parkinson’s Law says, you’ll fill the available time with the work you have. This means the more time you dedicate to a task, the longer it’ll take you to complete it.
But what can you learn from this if you want to grow your agency?
Essentially, you need to understand how much time you’re dedicating to each segment of your company.
Your priorities shift over time, and the boundaries you set early on will help you lead your business more efficiently. Otherwise, you’ll become overwhelmed as you expand your to-do list and can’t figure out how to meet your obligations.
Prudent time management in your agency can help you solve the issue, and this article will share four tips on how to do it.
The 4 Tips
Tip #1 - Establish Your Boundaries
Prioritization is the most significant part of time management. So, you need to adjust your schedule to ensure you’re leading your agency appropriately.
To do that, start by asking yourself the three key questions:
How much time am I willing to work?
What exactly should I do?
How much time will I spend on each activity?
Answering all these questions is imperative. Failure to understand what you’re willing to do and how much time you invest can interfere with your leadership abilities. On top of that, it can blur the lines between your personal and business life, compromising the balance between the two.
To avoid this scenario, introduce and understand your boundaries. It’ll help ensure you’re managing your agency correctly and you’re spending enough time in the critical areas of the business. The result will be more opportunities for improvement and growth without a significant decrease in your personal time.
A simple yet highly effective time management tactic is to write down your priorities on a piece of paper. Specify the time you want to allocate to all important areas of life. This list includes business, administrative agency work, your family, self-care, and weekend work.
Tip #2 - Practice Time-Blocking
Once you've established your priorities and boundaries, you need to determine how to manage them. This is where time-blocking comes into play.
Let’s look at my routine as an example. How I created it comes down to recognizing when my mental capacity is at its highest and performing critical tasks in this window.
For instance, I know that my peak performance usually takes place in the morning. So, that’s when I spend most of my time creating and thinking deeply.
My creativity and alertness lessens as my day progresses. And as a result, my afternoon hours usually consist of administrative work that doesn’t require as much thinking as other activities. It’s become a habit and doesn’t warrant a lot of effort.
You can take the same approach to your schedule.
Take a look at your calendar and develop a chart that lists your tasks from Monday to Friday. Divide each day into eight categories: early morning, morning, late morning, after lunchtime, early afternoon, mid-afternoon, late afternoon, and evening. Then, list the activities you’ll do in each period, depending on the apex of your mental capacity.
Some of the things you can do before or after work include eating, reading, working out, spending time with your family, or being idle.
When it comes to marketing work, determine which operations require the most of your attention and amend your schedule accordingly. This part varies per agency owner, depending on whether they have a marketing and sales team or run the entire company by themselves.
Also, make sure your priorities don’t move as you apply your time blocking.
For example, if you’ve already scheduled a meeting with a client, don’t cancel it to free up time for another customer. This move can make you lose clients and disturb your routine.
Instead, leave the meeting time with the original client as-is and allocate a different slot for the other customer. Your schedule and priorities will remain intact by doing so.
Tip #3 - Set up the Ability to Remove Administrative Time
One of the biggest mistakes agency owners make when their company grows is that they rapidly replace themselves. When their responsibilities increase, they immediately hire someone else to do the work. They may do some of the jobs, but they still share their duties with another team member.
While hiring someone else in such a situation is tempting, it’s not the best way to handle the challenges of a scaling agency. Not to mention finding a person who can perform the work the same way you do it is extremely hard, if not impossible.
That should not be your first approach.
The good news is that it’s possible for you to work less without losing control over the critical operations in your business. Ang the trick is to cut down the time spent on administration.
There’s no need for you to spend your time setting meetings, agendas, posting notes, folders, IT activities, and showing the ropes to new members. Lower-level project management employees can take care of such tasks for you. They can easily carry out these repetitive duties with minimal training and robust administration tools.
As a result, you’ll have more time to do high-level, impactful things for your business.
Tip #4 - Value Everyone’s Time
The final thing you need to remember is to value everyone’s time. Your team members’ and clients’ time is just as important as yours.
Whenever you’re holding meetings, make sure to start them on time. If a participant is more than a few minutes late, move the meeting to another time. You'll be able to turn your attention to the remaining daily duties.
Once you start being more punctual and considerate of other people’s time, they’ll return the favor. And your meetings will likely start on schedule.
Another helpful strategy is to remind the participants that your meeting or conversation will end in a couple of minutes. Then, ask them if they want to discuss any serious matters. You can do it immediately or leave it for another occasion if there’s not enough time.
Tweak Your Time Management Strategies for Impressive Results
Your agency requires an efficient leader. But you can’t become one if you lack appropriate time management skills. Addressing this issue is a must. Otherwise, staying on top of your obligations and retaining clients will be much harder.
Luckily, you can neutralize this risk by adopting the aforementioned tactics.
After setting your priorities, establish how much time you’ll dedicate to work and personal life. Always have the period when you’re at your best in mind and assign administrative duties to other team members.
Finally, don’t forget to lead by example. Demonstrate to your employees and customers you appreciate their time, and they’ll follow suit.
If you wish to build on your time management skills, contact Creative Agency Success. We offer expert advice on streamlining your agency to achieve fantastic results. To get your journey underway,Apply to our Agency Accelerator Program today.