February’s “Tips & Tricks of Time Management” Event Provided Valuable Advice for Small Business Owners

Rena Ferguson, Vest Pocket Education Chair

On February 22, Vest Pocket members and guests participated in the “Time Management, Tips and Tricks” workshop presented by Human Resources Consultant Rena Ferguson, SPHR, MBA, from BBSI. Ferguson also serves as Vest Pocket’s Education Chair.

During this workshop Rena walked attendees through the process of managing time more efficiently.

“You can’t make more time,” Rena stated. “Everything we do costs us time, and that is not something that we add into our budgets.”

Rena recommends making a plan to start with ONE thing. Streamlining processes actually decrease our cost of time and money by increasing our efficiency. According to Rena, ORGANIZATION is the key.

Tip #1

Organization keeps teams in ‘FLOW’ and eliminates the ‘hunt’ and ‘distractions’.

  • Organize your data and files for quick access.
  • Create an intuitive filing system and enter data into systems daily or on a regular basis
  • Consider mandating that emails be answered same day and organize emails by using Outlook’s “Rules” feature
  • Keep a running list of projects and frequently update progress
  • Create “Team Habit”
  • Create policies to support habits

Tip #2

Using Databases

  • Create searchable content using databases that are available. Searching online is much faster
  • Your team should be involved in this process so they can use it easily

Tip #3

Schedule (FOCUS)

  • Schedule the important:
    •  Must Do’s (deadlines)
    • Need To’s (planning and to do items)
  • Set up for the next week’s tasks
  • Exercise (invigorate you)
  • Breaks and Rests (rejuvenate)
  • Date Nights (connect)

Tip #4


  • Only check emails at a certain time during the day
  • Schedule time to FOCUS on certain projects or tasks through completion
  • Say NO to distractions
  • Create routines that ensure certain tasks will be done at certain times.
  • Schedule time for the inevitable daily fires that need to be put out
  • Put notes in meetings and attachments

Tip #5


When we schedule priorities, we are saying NO to something else. Discipline yourself to stand firm to your schedule.

  • Admit what you do not do well or don’t want to do. Outsource or hand off to employees
  • Do what you do best and DELEGATE the REST!

Recommended Resources:

The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity by Kory Kogon, Adam Merrill, Leena Rinne

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business by By Charles Duhigg

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