This is a guest post by Adam Fitzgerald – CEO of Perth-based The Frontier Group, an Agile web development company. He is also committee member of the Australian Web Industry Association (AWIA) and was listed in Anthill’s Top 10 Emerging Digital Doyens.

As a web designer or developer, managing your time can be one of the hardest and most frustrating tasks to stay on top of. Dealing with client demands and also the constant struggle for a work/life balance is so prevalent, you will find books and articles on the subject everywhere you look.

As the CEO of a mid-size Ruby on Rails development company, here’s some insights into how I manage to stay on top of my responsibilities.

Saying no

Sometimes the hardest thing to do in business is say no, whether it’s simply not taking on that extra client right now, or pushing back against yet another pre-launch change. Saying no is one of the first steps to managing your time well.

Planning your day

It’s best not to structure your entire day before you get to it. I like to plan half a day’s worth of tasks in the knowledge that emails, phone calls, and other unforeseen events will surely occur. Having a full day planned will only end in feeling like you haven’t accomplished what you set out to achieve. This problem will also be compounded through the week, leaving you to work nights and weekends to feel accomplished.

Inbox Zero

Your inbox is one of the hardest things to manage well. I’m a big fan of the Inbox Zero principle. For the uninitiated, this is a set of guidelines to maintain an empty and actionable inbox at all times. You can find out more at the 43 Folders Series.

Management tools

Three management tools we use at The Frontier Group are Teuxdeux, Flow and Basecamp. Teuxdeux is a great way to manage day to day tasks. Flow and Basecamp are great collaboration tools to keep your projects on track and your clients notified.

Start applying one or more of these areas to your workflow today and you’ll immediately see a difference in your week!

header picture by CubaGallery