Most struggle with managing time, myself included, however during a recent discussion with my mentor, Dr. Alan Weiss, he helped me recognize that managing time is simply a matter of priority and efficiency. Sound simple? It is.
1. Identify your top 3 or 4 priorities for each day in writing, somewhere visible such as a planner or calendar.
2. Work on your priorities first in the morning when you are fresh. Once they are accomplished do what you like (i.e. for list makers you can tackle the remaining, lesser priority 304 things that you would like to accomplish!)
3. Turn off email and forward your phone. That’s right, email and any hand held devices should be turned off or forwarded. Give yourself a break ever 60 to 90 minutes to check messages and respond to emails.
4. Prioritize those items that get hurtled at you during the day. Remember that you already identified your priorities for the day, so for anything new, unless it is life threatening, should be put to the side until you have accomplished your daily priorities. Obviously there are exceptions, but they should be rare!
5. Reward yourself for a job well done. After working on a project, writing an article for a publication or following an intensive coaching call I spend a few minutes checking out some of my favorite websites; listen a my favorite song; grab a soy latte; call a friend. There are ton’s of ways to reward yourself and by using them as a motivation tool your productivity will dramatically increase.
I want to end with a challenge for you.
If you use your smartphone, I challenge you to put it in a drawer and turn if off for an entire day. That’s right 1 day. In lieu, check your email (on your desktop) every 90 minutes, and check your voice mails every 90 minutes, respond only as required.
I think you will find two things:
1. The only reason you think you need a smartphone at your finger tips is because you like playing with it.
2. No one will notice the difference, other than you will likely have a hard time finding something to do with your hands.
Don’t believe me? Try it.
© Shawn Casemore 2012. All rights reserved.