You have the same number of hours in a day as Beyonce, Hillary, and Oprah.
It’s that time of year again. “New Year, New Me!” is stated everywhere your eyes land–Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, the list goes on. Everyone has suggestions on how to make your goals better, your body, your spirit, your cash flow–the list can go on forever. But with all those new goals in place, the most important part is making sure you manage all of your time properly to actually check all of those amazing goals off your vision board. Scheduling time is not enough. You have to truly manage your time. Understand that it is relative and the amount that you have is dependent on your activity and the value you place on accomplishing the activity. Schedules are based on clock time. Real-time is based on what you feel you can create and/or accomplish during the clock time. Real time is measured by the time of thoughts, conversations, and actions.
Every day your scheduled time is constantly interrupted. But you have to manage those interruptions and decide how much time you will spend on them versus the time spent on thoughts, conversations, and actions that lead you to success. The following are skills that you need to master to make sure your “New Year, New Me” goals become a reality:
Actively carry a schedule and notebook to record all of your thoughts, conversations, and activities. Whether it’s in a physical planner/moleskin or your phone, make sure you actively update every action you take during the day. This will help you realize how much time you have wasted and evaluate during the course of the day where your precious time is going.
Take 30 minutes and plan your day. Schedule time to schedule your day; you can either do this the night before or during your morning coffee. Plan it or it will slip away from you throughout the day.
Take 3 minutes and decide what result you want to attain from the next meeting or task. This will help you determine what success looks like once that time is over. It will slow the time down to complete the task before you start. Then, make sure once that activity is over, you have achieved success. If you didn’t, add an item to your to-do list that will complete it as soon as possible.
Tasks and conversations that are important to your daily or monthly goals should have an assigned time in your schedule. Schedule appointments with yourself to make sure you block off time to complete your to-do list throughout the day. The longer the list gets, the harder it becomes to check things off. Discipline yourself to keep these appointments.
Spend 50% of your time engaged in thoughts, activities, and conversations that produce results for your to-do list.
Interruptions take up time, so schedule a time for them. Add an extra 5-10 minutes to some activities when you are at your desk and available. People always see that as “available time” to ask you a quick question. I’m guilty of the “Don’t ask me anything right now, I’m busy” face. It’s not very friendly and makes you look stressed. So, be truly present and a lot of time for the interruptions.
Use a “Do Not Disturb” sign, when absolutely necessary. Don’t use it is not need or it will lose its respect in your schedule.
Practice not answering the phone just because it’s ringing. It will help you understand priorities over convenience. Don’t always give instant attention unless it’s crucial to the business. However, make sure you schedule a reasonable time to respond to emails and voicemails.
Block out social media, especially if it’s not a tool used to generate business goals.
Remember 20% of thoughts, conversations, and activities produce 80% of your results.