If the reason you’re not networking to the extent you’d like is because you’ve reasoned you just don’t have the time, it’s time to figure out how to make that time.
Check out these tips and get connecting into your schedule!
Meal Prep. If you’re a busy mom and have a family to care for after business hours, you might feel like evening events – be it in person or virtual – are off the table. They don’t have to be. Consider doing advance meal prep on the weekends and saving some cooking time. You just might find time to hop on that Zoom chat.
Keep a Written Schedule. Smartphones rule, right? Not always. Double up on keeping track of your schedule with a datebook or planner. It’s a simple way to access what you have planned at a glance, making it easier to shift tasks or see exactly when you have free time.
Morning Must-Dos. Aside from after-work functions, another common networking time comes during early morning hours when you might be saddled with getting the kids ready for school and other household or parenting responsibilities. Consider enlisting the help of a spouse or nearby family member or friend if there’s a get-together or event you’d like to attend. Just be sure to give the person you’d like to ask enough advance notice so he or she can say, “yes.”
Adjust Work Hours. If some of the networking functions you’d like to attend come during your workday hours and you’re not in charge of your schedule, consider talking to your boss to see if there’s any way to make an occasional adjustment. Perhaps you can work through your normal lunch break, or come in an hour earlier or stay an hour later.
Cut out distractions. Feel like your endlessly busy but not sure where the time goes? Consider how you use your time. Keep a journal and log when you start and end a task. You might discover that the five minutes you pop onto social media here and there really adds up. Constantly checking your email throughout the day instead of in the morning, after lunch, and before you leave for the day? Once you know where you’re spending your time, you can adjust accordingly.
Keep a To-Do List. Start your day by jotting down a list of what you’d like to accomplish. Be realistic and cross items off as you go. You may find it keeps you motivated and, in turn, frees up time.
Nikki Murry is editor of Berks County Living magazine and a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and blogger. In her free time she is an active dog rescue volunteer and enjoys spending time with her 16-year-old son, Riley, and her three dogs: Buddha and Shelly, French Bulldogs, and Bruno, a Boston Terrier.