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    Consulting: Time Management
    James Nagy
    / Categories: 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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    James Nagy

    James NagyJames Nagy

    Looking for a business consultant, how can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs, I have three decades of experience and expertise to share with you and help your business, product, or idea thrive.

    Other posts by James Nagy
    Contact author Full biography

    Full biography

    As a strategic leader and entrepreneur, James Nagy has a record of generating growth by leveraging the latest technologies to drive sales, marketing, product development, and profitability. He is known for identifying and capitalizing on market trends, developing effective tactics for implementation, enhancing operating performance, and serving as a trusted advisor and business partner. Skilled at working across operations, James builds strong, cross-functional relationships and communicates complex technical information to diverse internal and external stakeholders.

    A big picture visionary, James identifies and reacts to market trends, providing disruptive strategies that go beyond IT to include sales, marketing, and product portfolio management. Building on his experience as Director of Software Development with premier companies Midas International Corporation and SXC Health Solutions, Inc., James launched two successful consulting companies, Sprocket Websites Inc. and J&S Tech Designs. As the Managing Director, he provides innovative solutions to clients in small- and mid-cap companies.

    When he is not advising other business leaders, James lends his expertise to a variety of organizations. He is a Founding Member & Committee Member of the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce; he serves on multiple teams and committees for the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce; he is a Founding Member of the Chicago Area DNN User Group, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the New West Symphony. In his free time, James enjoys Sci-Fi, coin collecting, traveling and wine tasting.

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