Time is constant. The amount of time we have in a day, week or year will never change. People say, “I don’t have time,” or “I need to find more time.” The fact is you will never have more time than you do now. You can’t steal minutes from one day and add them to another.
The only thing we can manage is priority, we all deal with them daily but rarely step back and understand why things don’t get done. Obligations and lack of planning get in the way.
What are those priorities:
1) Urgent deadlines and emergencies; If you spend your entire day putting out fires, maybe you need to analyze how important some of those fires are.
2) Urgent but not important – meetings, correspondence; Guard against overcommitment – ask yourself what are the consequences for not responding or attending.
3) Not urgent or important – non-business related activity; Just stop
4) Important but not urgent – designs & implementation of projects and processes, training; This needs to be protected the most, because they are the tasks that we continuously put off, delay and never seem to get to; and as a result we feel stressed, depressed and unfulfilled.
Every week, write out two or three weekly goals related to each category and make plans to guard them with ferocity. Schedule time for at least one if not two goals per week for each role. Before you start a task, make a phone call or respond to an e-mail, ask yourself if this will help you accomplish one of your most important goals or tasks that day.
Schedule half an hour to respond to all non-urgent emails, and schedule half an hour to reply to all non-urgent phone calls. Batching similar tasks together and doing them at one time helps to increase efficiency.
When it comes to doing “first things first,” only you can decide which things are most important to you. It may take some time and practice, but the more time you can spend in number 4, the happier and more productive you will be.
Phil Heft – Sales, Marketing Connector and FFC Specialist – firstname.lastname@example.org