I personally have never found time management courses very useful, as they are a little too prescriptive. As with everything, if it isn’t easy to do, we won’t do it!
The system I use for managing my priorities and getting more done is not actually mine, but a combination of different components I’ve borrowed from other people. Days of the week and how I allocate them may change but the concept remains essentially the same. I know that when I fail to use this system, my productivity drops considerably. This system works for me and I wanted to share it with you. How you modify it for yourself is up to you.
It’s very simple:
I use Monday as my Preparation Day for the whole week. It sets me up to achieve more than just my to-do list; it helps me power through what is a priority. I use my Preparation Day for things like:
- Setting my priorities for the week (my team are part of this process as they have to feed into my priorities as well)
- Preparing for client meetings and activities and doing the required work prior to these meetings
- Clearing my desk so I can focus the rest of the week on what needs to get done – this may be literally clearing it or clearing it of admin related tasks
- Organising personal and business appointments (I have never delegated my diary management and still prefer to control my own schedule)
Having this one day to prepare for my week, and do the necessary preparation work for client activities, means I’m really well prepared. The better prepared, the better results I have.
I use Tuesday through Thursdays as my Action Days. These days are for:
- Client meetings
- Client activities (such as workshops, strategic retreats, business mentoring sessions, etc.)
- Meetings with prospective new clients
- Projects with my team
- Follow up calls
- New business calls
By knowing I have three dedicated days in a row for revenue-generating activities, keeps me very focused on what needs to be done, and I don’t get sidetracked by other ‘interesting’ diversions!
These are the days I work on my business. I use these days for planning, reading and making notes, implementing, reviewing progress and course-correcting as required.
I block out the entire day, and by having all this time to focus on my business, I can easily get into my ‘zone’ and get very strategic about priorities and growth strategies.
Once you communicate this system to your team, they can be more in tune with how you prioritise and can help you maintain this way of working to get things done.
This system is flexible but in big enough chunks that you can be very clear about how you focus your attention in any given week.
Since I started using this system I would say my productivity has at least doubled, if not more. If you’re having problems with your own output, I urge you to try a variation on this for your own business!