It seems to me...
...like most of the goals that were just set last month often either require more time, or revolve around getting more time for the things we want to do with out lives so it seemed fitting to talk about my favorite trick to get more out of the time that I do work!
It’s a pretty simple concept, most of you have probably heard of it and some of you may be using....but I find that most people aren't using it right! Either they think they can't because of their industry or job, or they just don't know!
It’s called Time Blocking and it’s got two keys to best implementation.
First, it’s the idea that you block out chunks of time to work on the things that are important to you. This could be family, or this could be some of the items at work that you know need to be done regularly. And when you block time on your calendar, treat it like a date with yourself! When you’ve decided you need to spend two hours on sales calls for example, you plan when you will spend that time this week, and even if you have to reschedule it to take care of something more pressing, you DO get two hours of time spent on sales calls by the end of the week. Just like you wouldn’t reschedule a date with a significant other, and reschedule, and reschedule, and reschedule, you can’t just reschedule your time with yourself to do these important tasks either.
The second key to making time blocking work well for you is harder to implement. When you’ve blocked time to work on something, you work on only that one thing. If you can, narrow it down to the point of only making outbound sales calls during your blocked time and not answering inbound calls (even returned calls), and not sending emails (even if requested). If not, narrow it down to ONLY making sales calls for your two hours. No emails, no ‘let me check on it real quick’.
The reason this works so well is because the human brain doesn’t do well with task switching (Yeah – there is no such thing as multi-tasking) and we lose momentum every time we switch between tasks. It’s estimated that the average employee loses almost 40 hours per month to task switching – the time it takes our brains to recognize the difference of activities and become effective at the new activity.
And I know - some of you have rolled your eyes and given twenty excuses (if you made it this far). Do yourself a favor, try it out. You'll find a way to make it work for you, and just like every other time management tool, it's a muscle. The more you use it, the easier it gets.
Try it out for yourself today.