Time management, and moreso project/time organization, is always a challenge for me. I want to make sure I get “everything” done and don’t let anything slip through the cracks.
As far as I see, there are two ways to approach the scheduling of my time as related to “client work”. For my purpose, “client work” is around 30 hours per week that is dedicated to handling work specifically for my clients under this new system. In addition that that, I’ve got about 10 hours per week in handling and responding to email, and a few additional hours for some miscellaneous things, administrative work, etc.
About six or seven months ago – right after I moved into my new office location – I created a schedule on a piece of poster board. It lists from 8am to 5pm, M-F. Its divided into 1-hour blocks, and each block has an item or two in it. For the most part, this plan was based on function or activity. That is, it looks at the types of things I do and organizes that way. For instance, I spend some time managing pay-per-click campaigns. As such, there are a few blocks of time dedicated to pay-per-click management.
I think I kept to that schedule for 2-3 days, tops. Since then it just sits about my desk, taunting me. When anyone comes in the office they remark at how organized I must be – citing the clearly posted schedule. But alas, its a fraud.
I’ve decided to now try and organize my time around my clients. I’d say this is more customer-focused than internally-focused. I’m sure there are alot of great marketing and management academic lessons that would support this, but my motivation is much more selfish. I clearly wasn’t adopting the old plan.
So now I’ve got about 45 hour blocks outlined each week. I’ve got my time for email and communications, which I will fight to limit to 2 hours each day. If you are reading this and are planning to send me an email, its my goal to only be checking and responding one hour in the morning and one right when I return to the office from lunch. Otherwise email is an all-day thing and nothing else gets done.
Anyhow… each client has one or more hour blocks per week, depending on my commitments to them. I will then take the 2 hours for Client A, and do whatever is needed to maximize my time spent on their behalf. If that is PPC management, than that’s what it is. If its adding new content to their site or helping to revise a press release, than that’s how the time is spent. The scheme to organize by client rather than activity.