Part of running a business is knowing how to organize your time. This includes moments when you are extremely busy and also moments when you’re not so busy.
One of the things that throw people off is when meetings get canceled. Suddenly they find themselves with an extra hour or two and don’t know what to do. While you have several options, here are just a few things you can do to organize your time after someone cancels on you.
Focus on income-generating activities.
You can never go wrong by focusing on activities that will lead to more money. If you only have an hour because of a canceled meeting, that may look like making a follow-up phone call or writing marketing emails.
The best way to know is to spend some weeks tracking what it is you do with your time. Calendar systems can help you gather data to see what activities are actually priorities. That way, if something changes in your schedule you already know what to replace it with.
Work on an important task you haven’t had time for.
Another way to organize your time when your schedule shifts is to focus on important tasks you maybe haven’t had time for in recent weeks. For example, I had a client cancel a meeting so I used that newfound time to send media pitches. This is an important task that needs to get done, but because my schedule has been so packed it kept getting put on the backburner.
Move on to the next thing on your schedule for the day.
Sometimes the easiest way to organize your time after a canceled meeting is to just move on to the next project for the day. Rather than having to think about all the different things you could do, just focus on the next task at hand.
For instance, I had a meeting canceled so I simply decided to move on to client work because it was the next item on my to-do list. Sometimes taking the guesswork out of it is the most efficient thing to do.
Use software to figure it out for you.
Along the same lines of keeping it simple, there is calendar software out there that uses real-time data to shift your schedule for you when things change. They can also determine which activities are most important based on history. This can come really in handy when you are juggling multiple projects and aren’t sure what the best use of your time is.
Take a break.
If you have experienced a few weeks of non-stop activity, you may want to use your newfound time to take a break. This, of course, depends on how you are feeling. If you feel the burnout coming on, then your best bet may just be to use your time to recuperate – even if it’s only for a couple of hours.
The ability to organize your time amid shifting priorities will help you with managing your time in your business. The skill takes practice, but with time, data and the right tools you can make sure you’re using your time efficiently.