Consulting: Time Management

Consulting: Time Management

As a consultant, you are constantly being pulled in different directions. Often, you have multiple projects, and people, who need your attention at once. It can be overwhelming and some consultants can drown in it.  The key to managing your workload, and your sanity, is effective time management.  For consultants, time management looks a little bit different than for those with one job.  You wear multiple hats, you juggle multiple roles, and you need to think outside the box a little to effectively manage your time.

Like anyone, consultants have the potential to waste time.  The key is to stop yourself before you get headed down that road. This is especially true if you are working from home. Keeping yourself accountable for your time and the way you spend it should be one of your top priorities.

Consider grouping your clients and projects into sections throughout the day. Set aside a lump of time for each client and each project.  Obviously the time spent on each will differ according to the amount of time you need to spend on said client, but you get the point. Allow a sizeable chunk for each client. This stops you from jumping back and forth from project to project throughout the day.

The same can be said for the tasks that you need to do within your day like checking your email, sending out invoices, etc. The best thing you can do is block out specific times in your schedule for these tasks. Set up ten minutes first thing in the morning to check and answer emails. Schedule two hours for working on project number one, schedule thirty minutes for your conference call, set aside an hour and a half for working on project number two, etc. The point is that you are laying out all of your tasks and allotting time to devote solely to each one. Give the specific project or client your undivided attention during that block of time.

For tasks like emailing, invoicing, and bill paying –remember to not let yourself get lost in them. If you schedule two or three times a day to check your email, stick to that.  Otherwise you’re going to get lost down a rabbit hole. What you don’t want is to fall into distraction by starting to work on tasks that weren’t a priority on your list in the first place.

Another good thing to remember for effective time management is to set yourself up for success. There’s a lot to be said about creating your schedule for the next day before the end of the current one. This way you’re not going into the morning blind and scrambling for what should take priority that day.  If it’s more convenient, create a weekly schedule and then just set aside ten minutes at the end of every day to go in and adjust the rest of the week’s schedule as necessary.

The thing about managing your time as a consultant is that you are often working on very different projects for very different clients. They don’t need the same things from you. Setting aside undivided attention to each is a great way to really dive in instead of working on one thing with your mind on another.

What are some effective time management strategies you’ve used? How does time management differ for a consultant? What are your thoughts? Comment below! 

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  • 29 November 2016
  • Author: James Nagy
  • Number of views: 823
James Nagy

James NagyJames Nagy

Need a consultant today? How can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs I have nearly three decades of experience and expertise to share with you to help your business, product, or idea thrive. If you like this article, please sign up in the “stay informed” section!

Other posts by James Nagy

Full biography

Full biography

James Nagy is managing partner and co-founder of J&S Tech Designs - a business consulting organization that specializes in providing software and website design, development, and management expertise to organizations. He is also Managing Director and one of four co-founders of Sprocket Websites, Inc. and Chief Executive Office and one of four co-founding members of Clinical Collaboration Software, LLC.

James has over twenty-five years of experience in the information technology field, spending twenty years in software development, sixteen years in executive management and the last six years as a serial entrepreneur launching and running several successful technology organizations.

Throughout his career he has led companies, divisions, departments and teams to successful outcomes. He has executed process reengineering within organizations that were struggling to produce. He has provided strategic vision and organization planning in situations that needed direction. He has built complex systems in several unique marketplaces that required thorough knowledge and expertise to be successful. It is his passion for excellence and desire for success that has enabled him to meet the challenges presented and continue to exceed expectations.

James’ passion for delivering innovative solutions and creative strategies enabled him to develop strong business foundations for long-term success. He is an active member of the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, the North of the River Chamber of Commerce and the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce where he served on several teams, advisory committees, and legislative groups. He is a founding member of the Chicago Area DotNetNuke Users Group that has held several large, successful Website design and development events. James has donated time, money and expertise to many volunteer, fundraising and charitable organizations like KidsMatter of Naperville, The Naperville Film Festival, Summer Place Theatre, TEDxNaperville, Neuqua Valley High School Senior Spectacular and many others.

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