The rules of time are steady and stubborn… They bend for NO man or woman, which is why time management has become a multi- million dollar industry, selling books, planners, programs and training to business owners and corporate execs. Despite all of this, “effective time management” continues to allude the vast majority of us. At last look, the results of the 1-question survey I asked you to take earlier this week showed that a full 24% of you think that TIME MANAGEMENT is the #1 problem currently facing your business.
If you missed the article I recently had published in BizWomen, it covers 4 things you can do to get INFINITELY MORE PRODUCTIVE. But, don’t go there just yet. Let’s take a deeper dive into why getting the most out of our time is still an issue for so many of us… a PRIMARY challenge for a quarter of us.
The obvious truth is that most of what’s taught about time management is wrong… or at least incomplete.
Time management is ineffective because time can not be managed. The good news is… it can be HACKED, for optimal productivity. To begin our deep dive into becoming proud #timehackers, I’ve listed 5 basic rules of time hacking below, and will expound on each of them as the month goes on. I dare you to try these 5 rules without seeing your productivity soar.
- Clarity & Boldness are at the core of true time hacking. Be sure you can list your core priorities, in order, so you can always measure your actions against your goals.
- Schedule your days, all of them. Rope off time for what matters. Don’t JUST schedule your appointments with other people. Honor time with yourself as well. Make a to do list, sure… but place your to do items in your schedule. Scheduling can best be viewed as “scripting” your day, and we’ll get into that later in the month.
- Never, ever say yes. ALWAYS build in time to “check your schedule.” Each of those small favors, those small 5-minute interruptions add up, robbing you of focus and productivity. So, stop saying yes. More on that concept here.
- Protect your time. Scheduling your days is one thing. But ruthlessly protecting the time you’ve scheduled takes an audacious approach to your workday, and it is CRITICAL. So, eliminate distractions. Say no. Stop being immediately reachable.
- Measure. Always measure. Make a note of how much time you roped off for something, and how long it actually took. Take note of what actions are producing the greatest returns… and honestly assess those not producing. Because time hacking isn’t just about getting MORE done… it’s all about getting more of the BEST stuff done.
More later in the month…. but if you have any time management questions for me, post them in the comments below.