How much do you think about time? I know if you are a coach and manager you think about it quite a bit. Have you ever marveled at people that you interact with that really seem to have it together and a super efficient with their time?
I heard a great podcast interview that spoke about limited resources. The person being interviewed said there were many resources that are limited and proceeded to list them but when he was pressed about which one is most precious, he said the most precious resource is your time.
We all have a finite amount of years, days, hours and minutes that we have been granted on this earth. We hopefully do not waste or squander this precious resource and through some of these hacks, we can maximize our time.
Maximizing time can help us to be better coaches, teachers, parents, colleagues and friends as we go through our work and private lives.
Here are a few important hacks that i found very useful for me in my life.
1. Use a To-Do-List every day.
This is very important because it keeps you on track. Make sure you list the tasks that are most important and do this planning the night before so you are ready for the next day. This leads to the second point.
2. Make sure you Schedule Your Day
Even if you have set up your plan for the next day, in the morning, before things start getting crazy, review your day and determine what are the most critical things to do and accomplish today. How do I best coach my team to help them move forward to their goal? Who needs particular help with something happening to them. This goes for things and people in your family.
3. Schedule your daily events and appointments using a Calendar App that is on your laptop, phone and tablet
I find it really valuable to keep a combined calendar with my business and personal commitments in it . It keeps me on track and since I went to this system (I use a modified Outlook Ap) I get more done with less missed or pushed appointments.
4. Chunking Your tasks
Are you checking emails constantly? Do you drop everything for a text? If you are a prisoner to your own technology, I say, it is time for your to take back your life. You do not have to check emails constantly, check emails and respond to them during specific times during the day.
Emails from others are either responses to your previous requests or they are someone else requesting something of you. I will not list the various CYA emails that I receive which are sent to keep me informed but are not actionable for me in any way. I find these to be time consuming and divert me from what I really need to be working on.
I like to start my email request earlier in the day for people . This way I can get their responses moving back to me in the course of the day. I find I can do 3- 4 email viewing and responding sessions in a day.
If you are working on a proposal, make sure you chunk out this time. Writers, make sure you chunk out some time for your writing. What is a good goal of words per hour and plan this accordingly.
Take time during each hour to 90 minutes for a stretch break. Get up and walk around. Get the blood moving.
Chunking time in sales for securing appointments, doing call and expense reports and a number of other tasks can really increase your efficiency.
5. Start Your Day Earlier
How much extra could you accomplish by adding one more hour to the day? Try it for a week and see how much more in control you feel.
I find the mornings to be so much more productive with less distractions. I use this for planning, meditating and reading some positive content to set me on the right path for the day.
I also use the mornings for any really onerous tasks that seem daunting. When I get these started, it seems like I can flow in a rhythm and get them done quicker with the rest of the day ahead of me.
This is a personal preference and I know many people like to exercise later in the day for the mornings are a great time to get that body pumping.
6. Keep Your fitness level up- Get and Keep Your Body Moving!
While we are on the subject of Exercise, You need to regularly schedule some movement and exercise daily. The body was designed to move and not to sit in a car or at a desk sedentary for hours at a time. take a call standing. Use a blue tooth device and free your hands when you are on your phone. Move!
Have some regular exercise. I like biking, spinning , tai chi and yoga. You will find certain exercise routines suit you better. The important thing is to find your thing and then do it regularly.
7. Schedule open time in your calendar
I was over scheduling myself and just stressing myself out. You have to be realistic and block out some free time that allows you to think. This is a good place to schedule your meditation practice. If you haven’t started a regular practice of meditation, I can tell you , you will be happy if you do. Start with 5 minutes and work up to 15 minutes . This may take a month or two but it will pay dividends in the control and problem solving skills that you have. Consider it an investment in time that pays you back 10 fold.
8. Yearly, Monthly and Weekly Reviews can really help
If you don’s know where you have been , you do not know what the path is toward your goals. We all read about the end of the year closing exercises that seem to be published in December. These are fine and the idea is sound. Look at your year and review the things that have happened. Judge the outcomes and see what might be a great result for the next year. Let’s shorten the time between these reviews and I suggest doing weekly and monthly reviews of projects, programs, initiatives and your team to determine what has worked well and what can use some improvements. Your success rate will really improve on these projects and initiatives. This goes for business and personal initiatives.
9. Practice the Count to 5 and just do it habit.
Procrastination is a problem for many people. The idea is “I think I should do this. ” then, you do not follow through with it. If someone asks if you want to do something fun, go ahead and count to 5 and then do it. If you know you have something important to get done, count to 5 and start it. Starting something is the most important thing. Get the momentum going and you will find the task gets completed before you know it.
10. Concentrate on One Thing at a time
We can all get distracted. We are listening to people speak while we are checking our phones or emails. How many people have listened to a podcast while reading emails or checking social media? How about doing your phone 1:1 and an email or text comes in. You try not to look at it, but oh no…you just missed a minute of what your team member was saying because you became distracted.
I find I do both things poorly. Most people can not multi-task efficiently. Concentrate on One thing and complete it and then move on to something else and complete that. Try to put your full concentration into something and give it your best shot. Try not to dilute yourself. Your work product will really move to the next level and you will feel more in control.
There are many other things that we could talk about which gives us more control of our time and less wasting of this precious commodity but I limit it to these 10. Try all or a few of them and see how it will help you to coach, parent, converse and just live your life more fully.
We all only have 24 hours (1440 minutes) in the day. We all have a finite amount of days on this earth. Use these hacks to maximize this time . Next we will talk about the importance of sleep for these 1440 minutes in a day!
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Until next time- I wish your Good Coaching and Good Selling.