Brian, that is a great question. What you’re asking is how can you become more “time efficient,” correct?
I’m not a time management expert for sure, but I do co-coaching calls with one. And, I address this is the Zero Effort Performance program.
First, let me share my perspective on time management with you. Most time management experts will say, in effect, “Here is a time management plan, stick to it and you’ll make a million dollars.” (You know what I mean!)
What I’ve noticed, and what I’ve never seen (though one may be out) is a time management program that takes into account your own personal neurology.
For example, a very sequential, process and task oriented person can easily follow a daily time management regiment. But, a general thinking, random and social person would have a harder time because it’s a simple matter of their brain just not working that way.
(You cannot force the brain to work in a way that it does not. We all process differently, and that means we will respond differently to time management processes.)
So, if I gave a regimented time management program to let’s say an engineer who loved to stay focused and was not all that social, they could follow it to a T.
But, if I gave that very same program to an extroverted, general thinking, hand pressing selling professional – they’d fall off track Day 1.
So, what the solution. First, and this I think is where most miss the boat. What is your own personal neurology? Looking at your Facebook page, you LOVE to network, so it looks like you’re out and about social guy – you like interaction. Looking at your comment that you’re a “random” thinker means you can and like to hop around (not conducive to great time management). So, if I gave you a regimented plan with no flexibility, you’d probably fall off track quickly. You’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, let’s get it done kinda guy. You skip steps here and there. You get distracted. So, you need a plan that fits YOUR neurology above.
No worries, the best selling professionals are many times “scatter brained.” They can sell a billion dollars of product but they can never find the paperwork.
So, my suggestions for you are this (and this will work for most people).
1) Daily, determine what is essential. What has to be done that day? What will generate income for you?
2) Determine what your income generating activities are and then spend 80% of your work day on those activities. (The 80/20 Parado Principle).
3) Time block your day with your activities above. This is vital. if you don’t time block your day with the 80% of vital activities you’ll find that you’re not getting them done. A caveat, working out might be part of your productive behavior – block that into your daily time. Beware, a cardinal mistake that I see the masses make is that they give their time away to “time consumers.” Block your daily time and then stick to your time blocks. Almost as if those time blocks are sacred.
3) Attention span. Block your time blocks in comfortable time spans for YOU. I’m the go-go-go kinda person. I can’t sit still for an hour. I’m a random thinker and hop around a lot. I’m creative so my brain is on one idea and then off to another. So, if I had to block out 90 min time spans I’d go crazy. I block my time into 30 minute increments. I put my head down for 25 mins and work, and then I take 5 mins to read emails, call people, surf the web etc.
You have to block your time in time frames that work for YOU. If you can stay focused for 90 mins then block in 90 minute intervals, 45 mins, 30 mins, etc. They key is to give yourself a break and (a reward
One of the reasons most people have a problem with time management is because they cannot co-manage their internal Jeckyll and Hyde. Jeckyll wants to work and Hyde wants to play…if they are not reconciled, it’s an internal struggle.
Synopsis: Finish your day on paper before you start your day (Thank you Jim Rohn). Key: Block your time in a way that works for your attention span (Jeckyll). Work your blocks and then reward (Hyde) yourself.
After week one, monitor your activity. If you’re on track, there you have it. If you’re off the board ask yourself, “Where am I sabotaging myself?” Look at what triggers cause you to fall off track. These triggers are what send us into less than productive behavior…or on the flip side, the triggers can drive our behaviors. Look for your negative triggers!
Give it a whirl and report back here.
I have your email. I will send you the time blocking sheet I created for myself.