I like to ask people how they spell “LOVE”. When they look at me in a strange ‘did you really just ask me that dumb question’ sort of way, I follow it up with saying “I know how my boys spell it. They spell it T – I – M – E ”.
Time is our most valuable resource – as well as our most scarce. And how we use or time is one of the biggest opportunities we face every day.
Imagine that a secret benefactor gave you £86,400 on Monday, but just like Monty Brewster with his Uncle’s test in the film “Brewster’s Millions”, you had certain rules regarding the money. Those rules are:
You must use it wisely
You cannot give it away
You can use some of it for charitable purposes
You must use it all by the deadline. Any that remains will be taken away from you.
There are no credit terms – you cannot go overdrawn
So the big question is: How would you use it?
Of course we all get that balance every day – except it comes in the form of seconds not pounds, but the rules still apply. Any time we don’t use wisely will be taken from us, never to be seen again.
The big question still remains – How would you use it? But let’s rephrase carefully:
How will you use it? This is a strong positive question, but it is too ‘big’ a question for most people to comprehend, particularly if they currently lack focus in their life.
How could you use it? Gives you the option of choice, but this question lacks any clarity about using it for the right reasons?
How should you use it? This is much more powerful. Introducing the concept of morality into the question will help us choice wisely in how to use our time.
In the current day, people multitask – trying to get as much done in the precious time they have, me included. But I’ve been reading up on the subject and multitasking doesn’t actually save us any time – in fact studies suggest the opposite is true.
We can only process one thought at a time, so switching from one task to another constantly does not make us effective. Researchers of brain activity have found that, on average, it takes 28 milliseconds to switch from one task to another – and that dead time quickly mounts up. The research went on to suggest that multitasking results in a daily loss of 28% productivity, particularly as they also found that multitasking results in more mistakes than simply being focused on one activity.
So how can you improve your own time effectiveness?
In my experience, the single most important tool to improve the amount of work I get done is to create a list of the 6 most important tasks I need to complete.
I’ve noticed that I can improve my effectiveness by improving the process around creating my list. Simply writing a list of tasks just won’t cut it.
Firstly I categorise all my tasks according to their urgency and importance. Importance is my assessment of the benefits to me of completing the task.
Urgent tasks clearly need to come higher up the list than non-urgent ones, but, as best as possible I delegate the urgent, non-important tasks to my team.
I focus on the urgent important tasks, and then move on to the non-urgent important ones.
Once I have categorised my tasks, I ask the Focusing Question. This little gem comes from Gary Keller’s Book – The One Thing and is :
“What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?”
Focusing on the most important task with undivided attention will significantly improve your productivity. And with improved productivity, comes increased profitability.
So this week, start reviewing how your plan your day, and then choose to work on what you should be doing to take you towards your goals – and ask yourself ‘what’s the one thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary’.
How much more could you achieve if you had the right focus and accountability to get stuff done?
As a coach, I help my clients focus on their “one-thing” and then hold them accountable to getting it done – and their results speak for themselves.
If you’d like to achieve more than you currently are, working fewer hours, and having more fun than you can imagine, then we should talk!
Why should you contact me…?
Simple – you will be better off with me as your Coach than you are without me.
I will expect and encourage you to achieve more than you think possible, you will love me some days and hate me the next. I will take away your excuses and replace them with achievement; and on the way we’ll have more fun than should be allowed in Business…
So, if you think you’re ready – drop me an Email…
Haven’t got the time? Of course you haven’t…. if you did have the time you’d be sunning yourself on a beach in the Bahama’s…. And what other fun things do you not do because you don’t have the time? Let’s talk and we’ll find you the time to do all those things you’ve been putting off!