Ok, first off, if you think you have a time management issue, start by reading this past post. Cause, you don’t….
The weighty feeling you get when you think there isn’t enough time in the day doesn’t go away over night, but you can make it go away. There is light at the end of the tunnel, I promise.
If you take all the stuff you’re supposed to do and try to add it to an Outlook calendar in 15 or 30 min blocks, it simply won’t fit. There’s just too much. Worse yet, it you just add things to a never ending physical or mental ‘to-do’ list you’re going to drive yourself crazy trying to get caught up. And here’s the thing….inevitably, even if you get it all done, you’re going to have stakeholders that are not impressed with time it took or the quality of the output.
As we discussed in a previous post, it all starts with priorities. If you are unclear on what your priorities are then you will never fix the issue of not having enough time.
So, step one- Get your priorities clear.
Next, you have turn those priorities into actions.
For this, I use a system of Big Rocks and Little Rocks to manage my tasks, projects and time.
I usually have 2-3 Big Rock Objectives that I am working on at any given time. These are things that are going to really move the needle on our business. They are things I have to set time aside for first, my priorities. These items are a written part of my plan that I talk to my team about regularly. We also do regular check in’s for accountability.
Little rocks are the other measurable things I am tasked with like projects, business building ideas, and partnership meetings. These are things I schedule around my big rocks. Sometimes I have to get creative by scheduling lunch meetings, early morning calls, and make the most of windshield time.
Then there is everything else. With this long list of tasks I have to decide if it’s stuff I can get done around my priorities, or delegate to others, or, get this…..say ‘no’ to. Yeah, that’s right… part of keeping your head above water is knowing what to ‘yes’ to and what to say ‘no’ to. However, that is a whole other article.
Here’s the thing…these rocks are part of my plan, my written plan.
It makes sense doesn’t it? I mean, if you want to manage your money, you write a budget. If you want to manage you caloric intake, you write a meal plan. If you want to tone up or lose weight, you come up with an exercise regimen. If you want to plan for retirement, you go see a financial planner. In every aspect of our lives, when the stakes are high or the gains could be huge we turn to a plan. Why? Because what gets planned, what gets written, gets done.
So, thats it….you getting your arms around how you spend your time starts with you getting clear on priorities, organizing those priorities into big rocks, little rocks, and tasks and organizing it all on a clear plan.
If you’d like to hear more about how I organize this work, reach out, I’m glad to help. I’m also happy to share the process and system I use to keep it all organized.
I’d be happy to walk you through our entire process or offer the next couple steps if you think that would be helpful.
Feel free to reach out. Oh, and by the way- if you know someone that could use this advice, feel free to invite them to sign up for the blog.