Blocking out time to actually get the work done

timchurchman

Registered
Hi, I'm new here, loving the book and gaining immeasurable tips and knowledge..

I am a Freelance designer and often get interruptions which leads to many distractions and ..... NEVER Getting Things Done.
I receive constant phone calls and clients get irritated when i don't answer my phone.

Does anyone have any tips for this and do you block book time in your day with no distractions to get work done....?

Help please
 

mcogilvie

Registered
Hi, I'm new here, loving the book and gaining immeasurable tips and knowledge..

I am a Freelance designer and often get interruptions which leads to many distractions and ..... NEVER Getting Things Done.
I receive constant phone calls and clients get irritated when i don't answer my phone.

Does anyone have any tips for this and do you block book time in your day with no distractions to get work done....?

Help please
My daughter owns a hair salon, and one of the things she said about it really stuck with me: “you have to train your clients to the behavior you want.” For her, it is things like missing appointments altogether, last-minute rescheduling, et cetera. You need to decide what you want and need, and make that happen as policy. Maybe this is something like returning phone calls between 11-12 and 3-4, or responding to email more quickly than calls. There are resources which can help you with messaging so that your clients understand you are trying to provide your best work for them, and for all your clients.
 

TesTeq

Registered
I receive constant phone calls and clients get irritated when i don't answer my phone.
Are they really irritated that you don't answer your phone? Do they have a fire in the bedroom or a heart attack? I don't think so. I think there's some communication or planning problem in these projects.
 

Longstreet

Registered
Hi, I'm new here, loving the book and gaining immeasurable tips and knowledge..

I am a Freelance designer and often get interruptions which leads to many distractions and ..... NEVER Getting Things Done.
I receive constant phone calls and clients get irritated when i don't answer my phone.

Does anyone have any tips for this and do you block book time in your day with no distractions to get work done....?

Help please
Private message me.
 

John Forrister

GTD Connect
Staff member
Hi, I'm new here, loving the book and gaining immeasurable tips and knowledge..
Welcome! It's great to hear that you're reading the book and getting value from this forum.

As you might have guessed from Cpu_Modern's reply, our friend Longstreet is a particular fan of time blocking.

Regarding the interruptions, maybe a change of perspective will help. David Allen has said, "There are no interruptions, only mismanaged inputs." As a designer, you probably need focused time for your creative work. To get that, you'll probably need to set some time boundaries to manage the inputs from clients. Good luck -- you can do it.
 

John Ismyname

Registered
Hello Tim; Welcome aboard! Like you, I am self-employed and get paid by the hour (so it's my clients' time)). For my hourly billing, it would be unethical for me to take a call whilst billing someone else for the time. Even if I deduct the time, an interruption reduces my concentration.

There is no shame in limiting your availability as to when you are able to take communications.

My advice is to time block the first half of your work day. For me, this is 8am to noon. I turn my phone off at this time. I do this before I go to sleep as well. I make it known that I am available to take calls from 1pm - 5pm. This is my time to do lower value work, email, voicemail, run errnands, get low value personal stuff done.

Finally, turn your phone off at 5pm. That's the end of my work day and I am with my wife. My high value personal stuff, I get done in the evenings.
 

Deirdre

Registered
Hi Tim!

I too am a fan of time blocking. With my consulting business, I block time on my calendar for certain projects with certain clients. (I like what @John Ismyname said about being ethical in billing). I have a smaller portfolio of clients so what I typically do is send my clients a personal note at the beginning of the week with my schedule. Something like - I am available to connect Monday pm, Tuesday AM but will be unavailable XX days if I am onsite with a client or away from my office (i.e., head's down work). If they need something urgently, they can text me and I will respond when I am able.

This has really helped me with boundaries and realistic expectations of availability.
 
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