Does the pressure of the day put you out of balance?
Please understand that as soon as you start to become conscious of how you spend your time, the time vampires will come to try to drain you. Small talk, emails, meetings, solving other people's problems, phone calls, friends that want to "play." These are all things that will try and steal the most precious asset you have...YOUR TIME!
Begin to gradually spend more time on the high priorities. Focus on income producing or accelerated activities that support you in goal achievement and find a way to have other people do the things that pay you less than your time is worth.
Here's three tips that you can activate before the year is out:
Tip #1: Start Managing Yourself Better.
As you plan your day, begin to think of the two most important things that are a priority. Next, plan a 96 minute focused session for each one. Follow each 96 minute session with a 15 minute break. Your day should look like this. One 96 minute focused session on important task #1, followed by 15 minutes of relaxation, then another 96 minute session on important task #2, followed by another 15 minutes of relaxation. Do this every single day for the next 21 days and you are going to be shocked at the changes.
Tip #2: Be Present, When Your Present
Be 100% present for at least one hour each night with your friends or family. For example, when you arrive home or just hanging out with friends in the evening BE "there." BE present, not on your phone, not on the computer, not cleaning the kitchen. Give yourself permission to forget everything else going on and give your full attention for one little, tiny hour to the people you care about. Believe me this will be hard for most Super Women who love to multi-task. It takes work but give your family and friends your undivided attention.
Tip #3: Say No!
It's two simple letters, we don't use enough.
- Say NO to anyone who wants to steal your time with small talk. Politely ask them to come back during one of your scheduled breaks or when you are done with "work"
- Say NO to long meetings. Begin to plan your meeting agendas and stay the course. Meetings, in general, tend to take 3 - 4 times longer than they should because of lack of direction and focus.
- Say NO to email and internet surfing. Start to schedule daily email and internet surfing blocks of time. Do not start the day with an email scan. This usually leads to you being on someone else's schedule. I suggest you check email after lunch when you've already completed most of your high priority tasks done.
- Say NO to other people's agenda. You can and should live your life as you please. Set boundaries and standards. Define how your life will operate and start to live it. This might mean not returning phone calls until you have free time, next week or maybe even next month.
- Say NO to unorganized planning. Begin to break your projects down on paper. Step by step and put a deadline on them. Without deadlines you will accomplish very little. Procrastination is in our nature. If left to ourselves tasks will usually take 2 - 5 times longer
- Say NO to your cell phone. Start scheduling your time in 50 minute segments. During your focus times turn your dang ringer off. Leave a message that says something like; "Hi this is Lucinda, I do not answer phone calls during the work day. However, from 3 - 4 during the weekdays I answer all incoming calls. To reach me before then please email my assistant Nye at email@example.com and she will get back to you. Thank you and have an outstanding day"
Keep in mind their agenda is not your agenda.
This week practice saying NO. It's not as easy as you think. So don't give up and when you find yourself off track and on somebody else's agenda, just say NO and begin to get back on track.