I’ve come to the conclusion that the traditional Time Management training day doesn’t work.
Your typical time management Guru crams in a boat-load of advice, strategies and tips, yet most leave and rarely apply what they’re told. Madness when you think that this abundance of choice is supposed to free up our time, not make life busier!
And right there lies the problem…
There’s loads of old-school Time Management advice out there like The Eisenhower Matrix, switching off email and taking regular breaks – all useful, but hardly cutting-edge.
Throw in a bit of clear desk policy, setting a few SMART goals and sharing tasks with others (as if) and you’re literally loaded to the gunnels with advice that promises to slow down time, but quickly fails to deliver.
You can keep adding more of these ‘time hacks’ but you will never reduce the relentless flow of incoming data which is competing for your attention each day.
But here’s what I’ve discovered…
People who get things done, don’t increase their choice, they reduce it.
Introducing: The Best Time Management Tip in the World…
1.Sort your To Do list into three groups or as I teach my clients who attend my Clarity Workshop, “The Jobs”.
- The Desk Job – these are the things you have to do in your business that you class as ‘admin’. Things like updating the CRM, your monthly expenses and completing your tax return.
- The Day Job – this is activity that results in a sale or at least the potential for a sale. Networking, client meetings and sending quotations all fall into this category.
- The Dream Job – this is the ‘blue sky’ strategy stuff that will help build for the future like creating a marketing campaign, designing new products and attending training.
2. Now estimate a time that each of the individual tasks on your lists will take. You don’t have to be completely accurate – ballpark will do. Once completed, you’ll be looking at three lists full of tasks and each task will have an allocated time next to it.
3. Next, divide your day into the three jobs by assigning 15% of your time to The Desk Job, 65% for The Day Job and 15% for The Dream Job. These splits are generally accepted by experts to be a good balance for progressive business performance.
“But that’s only 95%” I hear you say!
Correct. There will always be people who don’t value their time much as you do and will try and take some of yours – yeah, that person! You always need some ‘Disruption Time’ for these people so set aside 5% in your day for them. This small window of time allows you just enough time to decide your best response and if they don’t show up, use the time to reward yourself with skinny-mini-mocha cappuccino.
4. Finally, take tasks off your lists and add them to the relevant time sections based on priority until each of the your relevant daily Job allocations are full. You’ll be looking ahead to a well-structured, full day and predominantly Day Job based. Now all you do is execute it.
Adopt this daily strategy and you’ll not only learn how to measure your time, you’ll value it more. You’ll focus on ‘The Day Job’ more and in return for this ‘investment in measurement‘, you’ll become ruthless with your time and create more opportunities to grow your business.
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About the author: Matt Sykes is founder of Sales Training company Salescadence and author of the book Sales Glue. He works with Growing Businesses to help them logically convert more of their leads into customers.