Success Tools Friday-12 Ways to Master Your Calendar and Manage Your Time for Maximum Results Podcast _064
You know, I just returned from the NDASA National conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Man, what an awesome conference it was!
We had a lot of good communication, a lot of good lessons that were taught. And you know what the best part of it was? Being able to meet with all of you all over again, to be able to catch up with people to be able to visit with people, it was just great to be able to interact with people again. And the best part two, there was no mask-wearing, man, that alone was worth it’s worth his weight in gold, let me tell you, but it was great to be able to see everybody to get caught up.
I’m going to be sharing an article with you on some of the topics that I heard repeatedly from people that I talked to and that was, mastering your time, your calendar, maximizing those results, those were all things that people were talking about, and trying to figure out what would be the best way to tackle these things, especially with us just getting back to work with our employers and their having employees come back to work.
Trying to master time management is a tool all of us seem to need a little bit of a boost a little bit of encouragement and some ideas on how to go about mastering that time and taking it back.
So what I wanted to do today is share an article with you that was written in March of 2018. by John Rampton for Entrepreneur Magazine. The name of the article was “12 ways to master your calendar and manage your time for maximum results”. I had read this article quite a while ago, well, back in 2018. I had a subscription to this magazine. But I was reminded of this after reading Ed Mylett’s “ letters blog” where he mentioned it and he covered one through six of the topics that were in this article.
After reading it, I was encouraged to go and find the article and bring it out. None of these ideas that I am sharing with you today are originally mine. I’m not taking credit for it. I’m giving all the credit to John Rampton from Entrepreneur Magazine at that time, I don’t know if he still works for them. But this was an article that he wrote on March 20 of 2018. I will have the link to this specific article so that you also can copy it and put it into a file or have it available to share with your team.
The first thing that is talked about in this article by John Rampton is, first you need to know your goals. Only engage in activities that support both your short-term and your long-term goals. You need to guard your time like a hawk and stop giving it away to things that don’t matter. You should only include activities or tasks that will either generate income or grow your business. An example of attending a networking event can be beneficial.
Just returning from the NDASA conference, we are able to have that engagement, where we’re able to talk to each other to be able to visit with each other to talk to the vendors that are there that offer various services that benefit our business. As an example, I was able to talk to a lot of the vendors, and a lot of them I asked to be interviewed on Clearing the Haze Podcast to share with each of us their services, and how it would benefit each of us in our businesses to try and give us a better perspective so we could see how these services can be integrated into our business services.
Step two, make a use list. John says to become a master of time management, start making and using lists to avoid making your life any more complicated than it is only this time you’ll be able to focus on doing so by creating these four types of lists.
The first is your daily schedule create a calendar for your entire year, so you have a daily routine list.
Second, to-do lists. This doesn’t have to be overly complicated or complex. This is your basic things-to-do list. It should revolve around your three or four most important urgent tasks.
Number three, people to contact lists. These are people who have to be emailed or called to make this list efficient you need to prioritize this list. John suggests alphabetically or you can do it any way that you need to, but you need to have a priority on this list.
Number four conference planner. This list contains notes reminders on what you need to discuss or with prospects, leads or other teams during meetings or conversations. These lists work for him. You may choose to add or subtract to this list depending on your specific needs. The idea is that you have a regiment that is regular and it’s a used list-making this system so that you’re making the most out of your time.
Step three, follow the 80/20 rule. The idea here is related to Time management is that 80% of your results come from only 20% of your actions. So, for example, you review your to-do list, it has 10 items on it that need to be crossed off. If you’re using the 80/20 rule, you would tackle your first two items because these activities are giving you the most bang for your buck. You need to identify and focus on the few goals or activities that are most critical to your development or your success. And then you’ll notice over time that you’ll eliminate most of the items on your list while increasing your productivity.
Step four, Eat That Frog! John shares a story from Brian Tracy regarding Mark Twain, he says that Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day!
So what exactly is your frog? It’s your biggest most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on, if you don’t do something about it. Brian Tracy suggests that this is the best way to Eat That Frog. One. If you have two important tasks to tackle, start with the biggest and the hardest, and the most important one first. Number two, get into the habit of completing your major task in the morning, while you have the most energy and focus. Number three, take action immediately and discipline yourself to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are completed. Number four, start and complete even more important tasks. By doing so releases endorphin which will help you form a positive addiction. And number five, keep practicing this technique until you have perfected it.
Step five, just say no. John shares that early in his career, he took every project from his clients than he could handle. Eventually, he says my workload suffered and I got burned out, I just didn’t have enough time to properly manage all these projects. The reason he took on such a workload was that he didn’t want to say no to his clients, he believed that they would get ticked off and hire someone else. But over time, he says that he realized that sometimes you just have to say no. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, you should only take on commitments that you know you have time for and that you truly care about. If you’re honest and upfront about this, your clients and colleagues, friends and family should understand and should be willing to work with you.
Step six, avoid distraction. Here’s an experiment; track the number of interruptions you must overcome throughout the day. How many times does a colleague or family member burst into your office? How often do you have to stop working and check your phone or your computer whenever you get an email or even a social media notification?
Researchers have found that work interruptions cost the average person six hours a day. On top of that, it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back where you left off. This will take some discipline but it’s imperative that you eliminate these types of distractions. John suggests that start by closing your door while you’re eating your frog. Turn off pesky notifications on your phone and set aside specific times during the day to respond to emails and phone calls.
Step seven, take fewer meetings. We average 31 hours a month on unproductive meetings. You would even venture to say that meetings are the biggest time management culprit and additionally, most people dread attending meetings. I’m one of those. Well, there are times when you’ll need to host a meeting you want to keep them to a minimum and make them count. Instead, rely on email and instant messaging. This way you can spend more time working on more important work.
Number eight, make use of time while you’re waiting. If you were to track how you spend your time for a week, you would see that there’s a lot of wasted time, your daily commute on the subway standing in line at the store sitting in a waiting room, or on an elliptical. if you used this time by thinking, reading, or listening to a podcast, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day that’s 10 minutes a day that you rescued from being wasted every single day.
Step nine, the four DS filtering all requests using the four D approach is one of the most effective ways to manage your time by limiting distractions interruptions, and time-wasters.
First, delete or drop. John shares scan through your inbox looking for unwanted emails, you can probably delete many without ever even opening. Simply put the email doesn’t provide you with any value. delete it. This is particularly useful when returning from vacation or business trips.
Delegate. If there’s a task that can be handled by someone else than delegated, most administrative tasks can be outsourced. A virtual assistant can respond to emails and make travel arrangements, while a bookkeeper can keep your books organized. You could also ask an employee to schedule meetings and copy agendas. The point is that reducing the time spent on less important things can be used for something more important some tasks can be performed later. For example, if you get an invitation to a wedding, you don’t have to book a hotel when you receive that invitation. It can wait until you have free time this weekend, do it. Sometimes you just need to buckle down and get it done. Going back to your emails if there’s an urgent and important message from a client read and respond to the message, instead of deferring it until later. Again, this goes back to knowing your priorities.
Step 10. block your time. Take a minute and review your calendar for the upcoming week. Besides important appointments or meetings, it’s our sit-downs or how much time is left or unassigned. This is where the time blocking comes in handy ensures that there is only a little loose and unassigned time in your calendar. Blocking also prevents you from taking on too many demands from others. John shares that he uses time blocking to create his daily routine.
Every morning I carve out specific times for exercise, getting ready for writing, and responding to emails like then block out between 8 am to noon for undistracted work.
Step 11. batch-related tasks. In the simplest terms, batching is merely working on a group of similar activities. At the same time, for example, instead of responding to emails throughout the day you read and respond to them at specific times. This way, you’re not interrupted in your workflow. The reason batching is such a powerful time management technique is that different tasks demand different types of thinking. When you’re not switching back and forth, you’re reducing startup and slow downtime, reducing daily clutter, and improving your focus.
Step 12. Take care of yourself. Finally, it’s been found that getting a good night’s sleep, exercising, and eating healthy, will give you the energy, focus, and stamina to make the most out of your day. Remember these tasks should be scheduled in a daily routine just as the ones above should. There are many different programs available for taking care of yourself, from subliminal sleep programs to diet and fitness routines. Find one that works best for you and stick with it!
By implementing all or some of these suggested steps into your daily routine you will find the burden of time management will become more bearable and even free you up for other priority aspects of your life. Remember life is short, manage it well so it can be enjoyed and cherished!