While the world appears to operate on a clock that is strict and objective, real time is flexible and relative, appearing to move at different rates based on our activities. At the core of many time management failures is the simple fact that clock time is irrelevant when compared to real time. Instead, think of your time in terms of the three activities where time is spent: thoughts, conversations and actions.
Techniques to Master Real Time
The most successful entrepreneurs have constant demands upon their time, finding multiple things that need their attention simultaneously. With these strategies, you can begin to control how much time you will spend on each interruption, focusing on the activities that will lead to success.
- Record one week. Carry a notepad with you for one week and record every thought, conversation and activity that occurs. This will show you where your time has gone and how much of it has been productive.
- Prioritize. For the most important activities and conversations, assign a specific time to work on them. Move these high importance items off the to-do list and onto a schedule, and strive to keep these appointments with yourself.
- Prepare for interruptions. Inevitable as they are, take into account a certain number of times you will be pulled from what you are doing. Factoring that time into your day will keep you from feeling frustrated at the disruption.
- Plan for productivity. Set a goal for yourself to spend at least 50 percent of your time on thoughts, activities and conversations that have proven to produce results and achieve goals.
- Map your day. In the first five to ten minutes of every day, chart out what you hope to accomplish and when. This timeline planned at the beginning will minimize wasting time later on.
- Anticipate results. Before every call, task or meeting, consider what you hope to come from the event. Taking this time to pause will give you a planned break to focus your thoughts before moving on to the next event. Take another five minutes after to determine if the results were achieved as you hoped or how it could have gone differently.
- “Do not disturb.” For those times when focused work is a necessity, don’t be afraid to hang a sign to let the office know. Include the next time it will be convenient for you to meet to truly maximize your time.
- Turn off the phone. While the instantaneous abilities of phone calls, emails, instant messages and even social media have led to quick response times, things are rarely that urgent. Schedule a time to return each phone call and email all at once, rather than allowing interruptions every few minutes.
- Be intentional. With the assurance in mind that it is possible to get all you need to done, remember that productive activities feed into an attitude of productivity and produce even more results.
If your Colorado workplace is running well, your office furniture is comfortable, and your time is well spent, success will surely continue to follow!