This Blog Post is Part 3 of my 3 Part Series on Time Management for Recruiters.
So what is the 48 hour rule? Is it the same as the Three Date Rule? Well yes and no. It is a way to show your self worth, so they have that in common. But the 48 hour rule is a much more useful tool.
I created the 48 hour rule when I first went into business for myself. I was trying to build a pipeline of new clients, and I felt that I always had to make myself available on their schedule. The result was that I would get thrown into a tailspin with last minute meetings, be under prepared, over worked and disorganized. Also, I felt like I was my clients' personal assistant rather than a trusted business partner.
Then I decided. No matter how lucrative the opportunity seems, I only schedule meetings with 48 hours of advanced notice. If you want me to show up somewhere, then you need to tell me two days ahead of time. Here are a list of results from that one simple rule.
1.) I knew what my day was going to look like the night before. I went to bed knowing exactly where I needed to be the next day, which outfit was appropriate, and what time I needed to leave the house to get there. No Surprises.
2.) People started respecting my time. After a few weeks of rigid enforcement- even in social situations- clients, friends, and my husband started asking me for time in advance. They would say things like, "I know you are busy," or "I know you like to plan ahead."
3.) Clients started respecting my time more when they got it. Clients recognized that I was a busy business owner. They began to make reasonable requests on my time and didn't act like my "only client."
4.) Clients were more interested in working with me. The realized that I was busy and that meant I was working other roles which ultimately meant I would have more candidate for Them! It's a win-win.
5.) I started taking public transportation when possible. Because I had a better handle on my time, I was able to make the green choice and use the public transportation in my home town. Knowing that nothing would come up and surprise me, I could map out an economical and earth friendly route for myself during the day.
6.) I could break it on my terms. Because I had created a value around my time, when I changed plans for someone, they appreciated it. The times I did make time for a client meet-up on short notice, they felt special. The days I was able to flex my schedule for my husband, he felt loved.
So, I urge you, to implement the 48 hour rule. You will be glad you did!