Top 5 Tips of Effective Time Management

What if I told you that how you use your time dramatically affects your income and the level of success you achieve in your career?

Well, that’s the truth! You must take control of your time to take control of your income and career. Only then will you have the focus and energy you need for success. Here’s how you get started.

To-Do Lists

End each day with the five action items you must accomplish the following day. Four out of five of these actions must be revenue-generating.  If they are not revenue-generating, rewrite your list.

Controlling In-Bound Communication

Idle conversations with co-workers, suppliers, and customers are bound to happen. But are they revenue-generating? Are they on your daily to-do list? Probably not. Time management is about taking back control of your daily schedule and using that time to build your business. It’s not about chit-chat and instantly responding to every interruption.

  • Forward your office phone to voicemail.  Check it 3 times each day and respond only if urgent.
  • Silence your cell phone ringer and text notification. Check it 3 times each day and respond only if urgent.
  • Disable email notifications. Check it 3 times each day and respond only if urgent.
  • Review incoming mail over a trash can, pitch what is irrelevant, and save what you need to review for Friday afternoon when the pace is slower.

Allocate time for the following activities each week

  • Client research and prospecting
  • Order follow-up and “thank you’s”
  • Product research/quotes
  • Social media interaction
  • Brief check-ins with your team—CSRs, graphics, AR, referral sources
  • Face-to-face with 1-2 clients

Managing your time involves changing your clients’ expectations.  You can do this easily with a holiday “thank you” note.

“Hi Jane, Thank you so much for your business and friendship this year!  You are the reason I love my job so much.  This year, I have set aside Thursday afternoons to focus exclusively on helping you with your promotional calendar. I really look forward to kicking this off on the first of the year, and know it will make your life easier….”

Fire time-wasting clients.  You know who they are and it’s time you set them free to get better service elsewhere.

“Hi Steve, Starting this year, I have changed the focus of my business and no longer embroider the 6 fishing team shirts you buy at Costco once a year.  ABC Embroidery would be happy to help with that—here is their number.”

Most promotional products sales reps will tell you that time management is a major challenge for them. Most will tell you that it’s an area that they want to improve in. They will listen to a talk on the subject and read the handout material. However, it’s rare for a sales rep to actually improve their time management skills. Why?  They can’t keep up, they don’t have the time, they can’t get organized, not enough hours in the day, they’re working on it.

You can be the one who improves their time management skills, increases their income, and achieves greater career success. Just get started now and stick with it!


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