Most diaries are not properly utilised for effective business interests.
--BY DR JAN L BEADERSTADT
Every year most business people across Nepal get a gift of a diary. A nice thick book, it has plenty of nice pages inside as it proclaims all of the dates for the upcoming year. And for the vast majority of Nepali businesspeople, the book is a waste of money. Why? It is because most diaries are not properly utilised for effective business interests.
Diaries are utilised for everything except for what they were meant for: organisation. Some people use the pages as a notebook while others find they work well to hold up the corner of a rickety table. But these pages can be a key to greater efficiency.
Here are some things you can do to make better use of your new diary:
1. Keep track of future prospect calls – Someone tells you to call back on a certain date? Open your diary and write that note down for that date. It’s a good idea to include their mobile number (hint- attach their visiting card to that date so you have all of their contact information.)
2. Divide each daily entry into two parts – Draw a vertical line down the middle of the page. Use the right hand side for notes about the day’s activity. On the left hand side, keep track of what you did that day, including times you saw various clients. This will help you keep track of what you do, so if the boss asks, you can easily show your daily activities.
3. Keep commonly used information handy – Use the memo sections for keeping important information handy so you don’t have to research it often. That will save you time.
4. Write in appointments well in advance – Write those appointments on the appropriate dates so you won’t forget them. It’s easier to take a second to write it down rather than having to come up with excuses as to why you forgot them later.
5. Planning 30 days ahead – Organised people take control of time and events. Use your Diary to plan your schedule 30 to 40 days in advance. This way, you take charge rather than your schedule taking charge of you.
6. Write in important family events – Don’t miss another family event. Get in the habit of writing it into your diary. That way, when people want to know if you are available on a certain date, you can already tell them you’re booked (they don’t need to know doing what. It’s none of their business!)
7. Don’t write in information like credit card numbers or passwords – Never a good idea to put that kind of information in your diary. It can be accessed too easily by others or lost. Diary publishers seem to delight in putting such information in the front of the journey. I never write in more than my name and contact information if lost.
8. Keep track of all your daily activity – If you write down what you do every 15 minutes of each day, you can quickly discover who the time-wasters are in your life. Everyone has them. We can become more productive when we take charge of those people in our lives rather than letting them take charge of us.
Diaries are often free of charge (given as gifts) or at the very least, a small investment. Use a good one to keep yourself organised. It will be one of the best gifts you receive every year!
Dr. Jan L. Beaderstadt is an American living in Kathmandu and a specialist in time management. He is the managing director of Be-Kul Language Training Center, KusleChaur, Kathmandu.