6 Effective Ways to Protect Your Time
This is the #1 thing I help clients do - master their time. These simple strategies will help you protect your time (AKA do these 6 things and add time back into your week!) - I got you. In fact, do ONE of these six things intentionally every day for a week and see what happens - write it down. Don't go all turbo-mode and try to do all of them at once . . . . start simple + enjoy the process. Recovering your time and mastering your schedule won't happen overnight. These work super well in addition to time blocking, but they can 100% stand alone to give you powerful results. If you've considered time blocking, check this out and see if you're the right person for time blocking.
These seems simple and that's because it is! Did you know you lose tons of time each day jumping from task to task without any thought towards what makes most sense? Clear example: when you're cleaning your house...do all the floors at once, do all the surfaces at once and all the tidying at once. Most people take out and put away cleaning supplies each time they enter a new room - so disjointed. Think about your work schedule, don't jump from sending an email to writing a blog. Conserve your energy and brainpower - keep things condensed.
Keep where you want to go front and center. Keep what you value front and center. Reminders about where we are headed and our why's help us stay focused. They help us see things more clearly and determine how to spend our time wisely. When we see what we love and value most, we know exactly what fits within that scope and what does not. It makes it easier to say no to the wrong things for us. You can experience sharing a 'guilt free' no to certain activities because you're protecting your time for the things that matter the most to you. Here's some client results from working on staying focused.
Out of all the tips, this one is my favorite, for sure. Being on call all the time is wrecking your calendar and I'm sure stealing your peace and calm. When the phone buzzes, don't look at it. In fact, when you're focusing on something - put your phone away. DO NOT DISTURB mode can be your new bestie. This won't come natural to any of us, hello 2020. That's why we must practice it. When you're on call all the time, people start to expect you're on call all the time. This sets up habits in others that I know you don't want to indulge.
Don't be known for always giving a 'quick yes'. Take your time to think about decisions that will affect your time. Your time is valuable, precious and honestly when it's gone - it's gone. I know that's morbid, but the truth is there. It's one of your most valuable resources. Think of spending your time like you spend your money. It matters. Take 24 hours before giving an answer - make sure this new commitment lines up with your values and where you want to go. Protect your time.
If you're anything like me, you like to impress people with your speed and efficiency in getting work done. I love that so muchhhhhhh. HOWEVER - that eagerness and verbal commitment has had me backed into a corner far too many times. Give yourself a buffer. When you do this a few things happen - 1) you have space in case you're running behind, have a sick kid or just get a little lazy and 2) if you deliver before you said you would, it's now a WOW moment for you and your business. How stinking cool. Build a buffer - thank me later ;) .
Do what you want with your time with friends and family, but with side meetings and prospects shorten your meeting times. Some of us allot far too many minutes towards prospect calls when we have no idea if it's a good fit or an ideal client. Keep the meeting slots short when you're vetting someone. Give yourself a 30 minute meeting block, with an aim to come in under that time knowing if it's a great fit to proceed. The cool part is, you can end on a high note and build momentum towards the next call (if it's a good fit). If it's not a good fit, you just saved a ton of time and not get tripped up trying to wrap up a 60 minute call with someone who isn't the best fit for you having known that for the last 45 minutes. Yikes.
There you have it - easy peasy. Pick one tip and start there. Taking it one step further, score yourself 1-10 (1 being yikes and 10 being rocking it) on each tip. How might your time be affected if you implemented just one of the strategies above?
Commit to taking one action today to recovering your time.
Cheering for you!