Did you know that in a recent survey by Travelodge it was discovered that 72% of the British workforce were giving their employers an extra ten hours of free labor a week, all in an effort to manage their workload and to keep their line manager happy?
Or, that the average business worker spends nearly nine hours each week just looking for information? That’s almost two hours a day!
The 7 Secrets I’m about to share with you are about using an entirely new and different approach to Time Management. In doing so, you will gain back more time in your workday. You’ll get more done in the same or less hours. Don’t believe me? Just take these simple steps and processes and apply them yourself. Then, you decide.
That’s what I did. I’ve been fortunate enough to study and learn from some of the world’s greatest managers. They were the best because they knew how to manage time at the highest level. But I didn’t just learn from them. Instead, I proved for myself what they taught me. I’ve used these “Secrets” not only in Corporate America but also over the past 10 years consulting some of the fastest growing companies in their markets.
Let’s get right into the Secrets.
- They use 21st Century Time Management systems.. Most Time Management is still based on 20th Century principles like Stephen Covey of Franklin-Covey, Dale Carnegie, and many others. But those were systems for those times. Our world has changed dramatically since the introduction of the iPhone. To effectively and efficiently manage time in now, you need to deploy 21st Century practices.
- Know it’s all about Performance. Old school work culture was based on time. Factory workers punching clocks. But in the 21st Century, it’s all about performance. The real secret to manage time is then to move away from being a Time Based Worker and toward becoming a Performance Based Worker.
- Become Cured of the “Fill Your Day” Disease. Because nearly all business are still stuck in the Industrial Age, office life is still all about appearances and perceptions. To gain more time in your Workday, you must break free of this disease. Understanding this principle is the first step to recovery.
- Have a Structured Workday. Time Management Pros have a Structured Workday and never stray from it. That means BLOCKS of time designated for specific activities, whether checking email, making calls, working on projects, or having meetings. They are disciplined.
- Boundaries are Real. If you want to gain more time in your Workday, having Boundaries is a real start. Boundaries protect your most valuable asset: Time. This goes hand in hand with a Structure WorkDay. But having a set Schedule is meaningless unless you have peers and your Boss honor that schedule. That’s where learning to “teach others how you want to be treated” is vital.
- Avoid Meetings like the Plague. Top Time Managers know meetings are the great Time Sucker. Not because Meetings aren’t important, but because nearly 98% of workers don’t know how to properly conduct them. Most of the time, meetings are a waste of time because they were unnecessary in the first place. So, avoid them and you’ll instantly gain more time.
- Use Email as their Weapon of Mass Delegation. Time Management Pros use email to Delegate and gain massive Leverage. But they don’t merely “dump” by sending gazillion emails. They deploy proven and effective delegation methods integrating email that achieve real results and thus leverage. They accomplish more and spend less time doing it.
Using the 7 Secrets you just learned, what SPECIFIC ACTION STEPS can you take RIGHT NOW, today, that can move you on the path to being an even better manager of time?
Here’s some real specifics to try. Test at least one of the following:
- Stop punching a clock & focus on Performance.
- How you move from Time based to Performance based is all about your To Do List and your job’s specific duties.
- Make a 1 page List of your role’s most important duties and tasks. Then, start to measure your performance on doing JUST those important duties.
- Leave work every day the next week at 5pm, no matter what. If you think your Boss is going to have an issue with this, talk to them beforehand and tell them you’re focusing more on productivity. You want to perform an experiment for 1 week. Nearly all bosses will say yes to this short test.
- By setting a stopping time, you’ll force yourself to get more done in your “standard” work day. Try it out and see. You’ll find you HUSTLE more during the regular work day and might not waste as much time with meaningless things or conversations as you did in the past.
- Quit looking for work to keep you busy. Being efficient is still a waste of time if you’re performing unnecessary Tasks that others could do or don’t need to be done in the first place.
- As discussed in the first Action Tip, make a 1 page LIST of your role’s most important duties and tasks. Then, start to measure your performance on those important items only.
- Use this LIST to guide your day or week.
- Do NOT surf the internet for 1 week while at work.
- Perform your MOST IMPORTANT Tasks or Duties FIRST. Do not put them off and waste your time with unimportant Tasks. For 1 week, do the Big Stuff first thing in your day. Don’t save it to last or late in your workday.
- Create a Structure Workday. Here’s an outline of a basic structured day. This is NOT listed by HOURS as we want to REDUCE those for you. Instead, it is based on Tasks or Areas:
Start of Day
- 1st Pass at Emails
- Can be 5-60 minutes. Stop after 60 minutes no matter how far you get.
- Check Voicemail
- Important Calls Block
- Can be 5-30 minutes. Do NOT go over that.
- Work on Project(s)
- Meeting Blocks
- Can be 5 minutes to 2 hours. Studies show anything beyond 2 hours has diminishing returns. You should switch to another Task after 2 hours no matter what.
- Food- eat, refuel, take a break.
- Work on Project(s)
- Meeting Blocks
- Again, can be 5 minutes to 2 hours. Studies show anything beyond 2 hours has diminishing returns. You should switch to another Task after 2 hours no matter what.
- 2nd Pass on Emails
- Again, can be 5-60 minutes. Stop after 60 minutes no matter how far you get.
- Follow-up Phone Calls Block
- Last Look at Email Inbox & Delegation To Do List
- Home after a satisfying and fulfilling day!!
End of Day
As you setup your New Work Day Structure you need to COMMUNICATE this structure to everyone who comes in contact with you. Essentially, you need to establish or re-establish BOUNDARIES.
Communication can be accomplished in many manners. You can have conversations with your peers, co-workers or boss. You could also setup new Voicemail Message and Out of Office Setting responses for email that will communicate to people your new availability.
REASON: This gives you the boundaries to have your Structured Work Day. Also, it PREVENTS interruption.
- Never take an unscheduled call or meeting
- Only attend a meeting (or call) that has a pre-set agenda that is provided AHEAD of time.
The Key with any new Strategies is you MUST make them actionable. That means don’t just read this awesome information but put it into ACTION.
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