Get A Grip On Time
Ever feel like you're losing grip on your time? I do. Every now and then I stop, take a moment, then recalibrate my life so I get back in control of my schedule and get the very best from every minute of every day.
Here are 15 things I do to help get a grip on my time:
Schedule 45 minute appointments
If you give someone an hour they will talk for an hour. Most of us can get done in 45 minutes what we usually take an hour to do. Across a whole day, those 15 minutes add up and save lots of valuable time.
Schedule back to back appointments
Having your next appointment act as your alarm for the end of your current appointment is very effective and prevents over-running.
Build in a rhythm to your typical week. Theme each day so you know what your focus is and what you should leave alone. E.G, Monday making calls, Tuesday in the office, Wednesday visiting people....etc etc.
As well as a weekly rhythm, be intentional about your annual rhythm. When are your deadlines, holidays, training opportunities? Work intentionally towards them.
Question the necessity of every meeting
Every so often take a brave look at every meeting in your diary especially those weekly staff meetings and ask; what is this achieving? Ask yourself, "Is this meeting or commitment going to help me achieve my most important and immediate goals?" By periodically evaluating the value of your regular meetings you will ensure the most effective use of your time.
Set a specific time in the week to make all your calls and make them back-to-back.
Schedule thinking time
It may seem counter productive but giving even 30 minutes a day to thinking about your day can save you time and cause you to add value where it is most needed.
Get on top of your email
There are two popular thoughts on email. The first is to set aside a particular time in the day to look at your emails so they don't interrupt your work flow. I prefer the other one that is more about dealing with things immediately. Simply the thought of having to wade through a pile of messages at the end of the day sucks the life out of me. Choose which works for you and make it work.
Touch it once
When it comes to email, apply the 'touch it once' principle. When you open an email do one of three things. Respond to it, add it as a future calendar event/task or delete it. We can spend way too much time in our inbox's trying to find stray messages and working through what it was we forgot to do.
Get people to come to you
When meeting people, cut down travel time and ask people to come to you.
Walk and talk
Meet on the street. Instead of sitting in an office or coffee shop try walking and talking especially if you're on your way somewhere. You'll get your meeting in whist grabbing some exercise and fresh air all at the same time.
Start with non-negotiables
When setting up your week or day begin by doing what is essential. Resist the temptation to do what feels good or looks interesting. Get the nonnegotiable things in first.
Learn to speed read
Speed reading is a skill anyone can learn. Choose really good book summaries. Cut out the irrelevant fat in the books on your reading list.
Set artificial deadlines
If the deadline is Friday then set an artificial deadline of Thursday.
Find your sweet spot
Everyone has a time of day that they get the best out of themselves, when they are most productive. If it is mornings, get up early. If it's evenings, stay in bed a few more hours and work late. Find your sweet spot and get the results you know you're capable of.
Get a grip on your time today and I guarantee you'll be more effective, productive and energised.
Any more thoughts on how to get a grip on time? Share them below....