Archive for the 'Time Management' Category

Are you ready for PRIME TIME?

One of the key concepts of Personal Productivity Principles is the concept of PRIME TIME.

Every time you have a task to do, you have to weigh the time/cost – value equation against your own “productivity expectation” and determine WHEN to do it.

PRIME TIME is best explained with a telemarketing/sales example:

  • PRIME TIME = whenever contact (calls) can be made.
  • NON- PRIME TIME = the rest of the time.

A top gun salesperson (or highly effective business person) only does PRIME TIME TASKS IN PRIME TIME and vice versa.

For example:

  • Reports, time management, scheduling is done early in the morning (NON-PRIME TIME)
  • Calls are made during the day  – maybe even during LUNCH TIME when people have time to talk (PRIME TIME)
  • Paperwork, planning, educational and development tasks are done in the evenings and/or weekends (NON-PRIME TIME)

It’s all pretty SIMPLE to understand – harder to actually do – because most people don’t know what their PRIME TIME tasks/outcomes are.

Once you know your PURPOSE / OUTCOME, everything should fall into place…

But it’s all easier said than done – unless you have a SYSTEMISED approach to time/life management.

Of course, when time permits, NON-PRIME TIME tasks CAN be done in PRIME TIME as long as they don’t interfere with PRIME TIME TASKS.

If you want to learn more about these principles, contact us. These are skills we teach within our Platinum Program.

Procrastination

Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
Worry And Procrastination

Whenever I see or read quotes (or jokes) like this, they make me laugh while at the same time wonder if people get the REAL MESSAGE. I know too many people who procrastinate and self-sabotage their career and success. They are their biggest obstacles to just about anything they want, if only… they got out of their own way!

Productivity Tip

Get what you want accomplished before you’re too busy to remember what you wanted to do.
Get What You Want Accomplished

 

The power of why

Today’s blog post is priceless and timeless. Priceless because it can be life-changing and timeless because it dates back several hundred ago and it remains timely and relevant to this day… This was submitted to me by Mark Mackenzie of The Graffiti Eaters.

When Beethoven was 26, he started to lose his hearing.  It began as a ringing in his ears that got worse and worse until he was almost completely deaf.  It became so bad that the only way he could communicate with his friends was by getting them to write down what they were saying in a book, into which he would write his reply.

Beethoven’s devastation over what was happening led him to live alone in an Austrian town where he spent time contemplating suicide.  And yet he persevered.  In letters penned to his brothers, he wrote that he remained committed to his work because he saw his art as something that had to survive even if it meant enduring the heartache of not hearing his audiences applaud.  “It seemed unthinkable for me to leave the world forever before I had produced all that I felt called upon to produce,” he wrote.

And so, in the face of pain and struggle, he miraculously continued to compose music.  In fact, some of his most brilliant and famous work emerged during the period that his deafness was at its most severe – truly magnificent pieces like his Symphony No. 9.

The reason Beethoven was able to continue so resolutely in the application of his craft can be attributed to the word why.  As is often said, when the why is big enough, the ‘how’ takes care of itself.  In Beethoven’s case, the why was the influence his music had on the world.

The power of why has been proven empirically by psychologists at Ohio State University.  In a number of experiments, researchers discovered that people who considered ‘why’ they performed a challenging task were more likely to persevere with it.  In comparison, those who focused only on ‘how’ to do it were more likely to give up.

So, if you’re trying to get your employees to be committed to a project or to an activity that’s difficult or unenjoyable, or if you’re eager to get their buy-in for an idea or a change that you know they’ll resist, there is rarely anything more urgent than to articulate why.  In particular

  • Why this?
  • Why now?
  • Why them?
  • Why from you?
  • Why in this way?

The why gives people the purpose to follow your vision and it adds meaning to a job that may otherwise be uninteresting. It may be invisible, but the why is what generates the visible.  To those who are feeling uninspired, it is music to their ears.

Time Versus Life Management

In my line of work, I come across two types of people.

  • Type 1 wants to make money, achieve something, do whatever it takes.
  • Type 2 wants what everyone calls work-life balance because they have achieved ‘enough’ and realise without balance, there is imbalance and that’s not good.

The quote below is a foundational, guiding principle that I refer to over and over again in my programs. It’s not just applicable to those who want to create their best year ever, it’s equally (more) important for business people who want to grow their business.

Time Value, Time Management, Life Management, Goal Setting

The thing is WHAT VALUE do you place on WHAT?

With 4 dimensions of mastery (business, internet, professional and personal), how can you reconcile all these values?

Simple.

You need to establish ONE hourly value that is representative of who you are, what you do 24/7.

Easier said than done, I know, but it’s that simple.

If you value yourself and your time at $10/hour versus $100/hour versus $250/hour, your life will be completely different.

Take a minute to read the metaphoric parable of The Mayonnaise Jar and Two Beers.

What are the golf balls in your life worth to you?

Have a think about it… It can be a priceless revelation to realise you’re sweating the small stuff and missing out on the important things.

In you career it means:

  • You’re being tactical instead of strategic. Doing what your boss wants you to do instead of what’s in your best interest.
  • You’re thinking more about your company’s bottom line (when you are not the owner) than your career development.
  • You’re sacrificing you’re sacrificing your work-life balance for very little net gain.

Explore this further by journaling. Take a blank sheet and make a list of your Top 10 most important things in life – how often do you enjoy/experience them?

Hmmm…. Something to think about.

Ignore this to do list!

Two Lists You Should Look at Every Morning

List 1: Your Focus List (the road ahead)What are you trying to achieve? What makes you happy? What’s important to you? Design your time around those things. Because time is your one limited resource and no matter how hard you try you can’t work 25/8.

List 2: Your Ignore List (the distractions)

To succeed in using your time wisely, you have to ask the equally important but often avoided complementary questions: what are you willing not to achieve? What doesn’t make you happy? What’s not important to you? What gets in the way?

Want to read more, click on the hyperlinked header for the full length article sent to me courtesy of Andrew Powell of Montreal, Canada.



Get More Done By Working Less

This is a concept we covered in detail at our latest Exponential Extravaganza. Easier said than done, you have to have a time/life management system to make the concept a reality.

A recent article in Inc Magazine demanded you stop working more than 40 hours a week.

The article revealed that you may think you’re getting more accomplished by working longer hours. But the research shows you’re probably wrong.

There’s been a flurry of recent coverage praising Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, for leaving the office every day at 5:30 p.m. to be with her kids.  Apparently she’s been doing this for years, but only recently “came out of the closet,” as it were.

What’s insane is that Sandberg felt the need to hide the fact, since there’s a century of research establishing the undeniable fact that working more than 40 hours per week actually decreases productivity.

In the early 1900s, Ford Motor ran dozens of tests to discover the optimum work hours for worker productivity.  They discovered that the “sweet spot” is 40 hours a week–and that, while adding another 20 hours provides a minor increase in productivity, that increase only lasts for three to four weeks, and then turns negative.

Anyone who’s spent time in a corporate environment knows that what was true of factory workers a hundred years ago is true of office workers today.  People who put in a solid 40 hours a week get more done than those who regularly work 60 or more hours.

The key is to realise that unless your an hourly wage worker – you need to realise that you get paid according to PERFORMANCE – NOT EFFORT.

Europe’s Ban on 50-Hour Weeks

However, the facts don’t bear this out.  In six of the top 10 most competitive countries in the world (Sweden, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, and the United Kingdom), it’s illegal to demand more than a 48-hour work week.  You simply don’t see the 50-, 60-, and 70-hour work weeks that have become de rigeur in some parts of the U.S. business world.

If U.S. managers were smart, they’d end this “if you don’t come in on Saturday, don’t bother coming to work on Sunday” idiocy.  If you want employees (salaried or hourly) to get the most done–in the shortest amount of time and on a consistent basis–40 hours a week is just about right.

In other words, nobody should be apologizing for leaving at work at a reasonable hour like 5:30 p.m.  In fact, people should be apologizing if they’re working too long each week–because it’s probably making the team less effective overall.

EXPONENTIAL MINDSET THINKING TIP:

All of this is really “cute”, but if you don’t know HOW to make the most of your 40 hours, you’re scr_____.

You’ll stop working longer hours (to compensate for your inefficiency) and you’ll soon be shown the door.

So where does that leave you?

Stuck – until you learn the strategies of highly effective people who KNOW what to do with their time.

Contact us and we’ll help you transform your business or career by doing what works and stop you from wasting valuable time and effort on things that don’t matter.

Willpower

I have mixed feelings about willpower and it’s importance in goal setting and achievement. The main reason is that if you have a clearly articulated goal, outcome or dream you want to achieve that really excites you, you don’t need any willpower to get it done.

Willpower to me is an excuse for impotent goal setters.

Without exciting goals you would need willpower to get motivated.

Willpower, Discipline, Concentration Of Focus

For example, I don’t smoke. It takes no willpower for me to avoid picking up a cigarette, cigar or pipe. The same is true for overeating. I value my vitality, health and wellbeing so much that I don’t overeat or abuse alcohol or other ‘substances’.

If you’re struggling with willpower and are trying to harness more of it – you’re probably heading in the wrong direction.

Focus on your goals, dreams and aspirations instead.

When you do, you’ll find an unquenchable thirst for achievement that will create relentless enthusiasm within you and you’ll be of the same point of view that willpower has no place in genuine and authentic achievement that is congruent with your life’s purpose.

Give it some serious thought the next time you think you’re lacking in willpower – or when you see someone with very little of it.

Share these thoughts with them because that’s what someone did with me when I was a teenager and it changed my life and perspective forever.

Time Management Tip: The 1 Touch Rule

Time Management Tip, Productivity TipBack in the days before the Internet, there was a time management concept I heard about called the “1 Touch Rule”. Simply stated, it meant that when a paper came into your IN Tray (or on your desk), you were supposed to deal with it the FIRST time you touched it, hence the name – 1 Touch Rule.

I totally understand that at first, it’s much easier said than done, but with practice it gets easier. In fact, you’ll quickly reach a point where you simply won’t touch anything UNLESS you can deal with it in 1 TOUCH.

One of my pet peeves is people not managing their emails. They open them, skim and close them WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING other than wasting time. The next time they go to that email is the SECOND TIME = another waste of time.

The 1 Touch Rule led me to create a concept I call Gap Management. In simple terms, it means using the gaps that occur in all our lives. For example, if I got a message to call a client, I would do it when I knew I would get his/her voicemail. I would leave a FULL message so he/she could deal with the issue BEFORE they called me back – avoiding telephone tag and another multi-touch scenario.

I teach these strategies in my Platinum Program. All I can really do in a blog is introduce the concept and let you know there is a better way to get more more things done in less time. At my workshops, over several hours, I can explain and show you how it’s done with real case studies and examples as well as answer your specific questions. Contact us if you’re keen to learn how to get a lot more done in less time.

Get More Done By Doing Less

I know what you’re thinking… This is just another motivational play on words. It’s not. I mean it, I’m dead serious.

This is one of the most important time management lessons I learned early on in my career. When I got out of university and the whole world lay in front of me and my career was just starting, I wanted to ‘do it all’…

The problem is – there are only 168 hours in a week.

So what’s a driven, ambitious go-getter to do?

Simple: Apply the concept of Concentration Of Focus. Do one thing and only that one thing until you master it and can do it exceptionally well BEFORE you start something else.

Easier said than done when you have multiple interests and a lot of enthusiasm!

One of the strategies I use to ‘park ideas and concepts’ is to write them down and explore them in my journals. By writing them down and adding to them whenever I get a flash of inspiration helps me remain on focus with my current, primary goal or outcome.

I’ve achieved a lot by anyone’s standards and yes, I have achieved multiple goals simultaneously, but each one was accomplished with laser-focused discipline within the context of this philosophy.

I see it all too often, people flip flopping all over the place, trying to run a business, make money online, trading stocks, buying real estate with NO FOCUS OR DISCIPLINE.

They attend all the free weekend events and seminars hoping for the next big thing and off they go in 1, 2 or 3 different directions.

They are called DABBLERS.

I could go on and on about this, but I’ll save you the rant.

All I want to say is what’s in this blog post title – to get more done, you have to do less.

That means you need to cherry pick what you’re going to put your time and effort behind UNTIL you succeed at it.

What you’ll realise is that you might not be willing to do what it takes and you’ll need to switch to something else.

That will help you to better select your outcomes and goals.

One thing is for sure, if you don’t have Concentration Of Focus, you’re sub-optimising your results.

If you want more guidance on subjects like this, I offer a wide range of Business Coaching and Mentoring Services.