I have been working in and around large and small businesses for over 30 years. Some things never change. One of the things I hear most from business people is about Time: “just don’t know where the time went”; “trying to balance my time between work and family and play”; “not enough time in the day to get everything done”; “too many interruptions”; people coming to me with “got a minute?” Sound familiar - of course they do.
We all are the same in that we only have 168 hours per week. It is up to us to figure out where and how we want to spend this limited resource. Others do not make that choice for us unless we grant it to them.
Operating mostly in reactive mode is not good. You need a simple process to guide you when you are making your choices. I try to talk with smart people about what works for them. I have found that the answer is usually a compilation of the best parts of several methods. These are then tailored to fit the individual’s situation.
I cannot possibly summarize all the various versions I have been exposed to. I can give a summary of a method I use to not waste one of my most important assets - my time. I plan my week on Sunday afternoon. I list all the things I want and need to get done or started on this coming week. I prioritize them and place them on the “Covey” grid. The 2x2 grid with Not Urgent and Urgent up the X-axis and Important and Not Important across the Y-axis. I look at what I can eliminate or delegate. I then look at the results and place them specifically on my calendar around my fixed appointments. I never pack my day back to back. I leave room for the “stuff” that happens that only I can take care of. I heard somewhere that “Plans are worthless. Planning is everything”. You want to focus on the vision of your future and how these activities are going to get you closer to that vision – both personally and professionally. Try to focus on what only you can do. Off load the rest. Learn to say “no”. “Don’t waste time, for time is what life is made of” Bruce Lee. If you want to get really good at managing your time talk to someone who has learned what it looks like to have truly productive days.
Author: Sam Adkins