“Full engagement begins with feeling eager to get to work in the morning and equally happy to return home in the evening and capable of setting clear boundaries between the two.” Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, The Power of Full Engagement
Are you racing through life without thought of who you really are. Trying to do the best you can but demand is exceeding supply – the 24/7 life where work just never ends.
If we take full accountability for where we are and the life we have and therefore the business we have then to live that fully we also have to take responsibility for how we spend our time and manage our energy. Taking responsibility empowers us, blaming others or the external environment limits us.
In all my training courses I come back to time (or energy) management and the fundamental importance of always being militant with how we prioritise and use it so it is invested not wasted.
So how do we manage time and energy to best serve the life we want to live. The busier we are the more important we seem to ourselves and to others (we think) but really the ability to disengage, relax and step away allows you to fill your tank, get balance and then more passionately reengage. Its no use having time without energy, so the basis of time management is planning to use our energy to best serve our needs and make us as effective as possible.
An interesting exercise is to actually audit how you spend your day. Take a diary sheet, set a beep on your phone to go off every 30 minutes or hour and make a note of what you are doing and how you feel energy wise. You will soon see how you are really spending time and when naturally you are at your most energetic, creative, distracted, tired etc.. Honestly once you see how much you get done when you manage time you will, over time become militant with your days and how you fuel your tank to get the best out of that day. And by the way, the act of actually doing this exercise will mean that you probably wont do it for very long because what you measure you manage!
In a few paragraphs that is the place I come from on managing time, ironically it is a huge and lengthy subject. For now, here are some basic practical steps to get on the path of great time management and remember it is basic actions repeated daily …
To set yourself up you need to move from being reactive to proactive mode for as much of the day as possible:
Right now, a first download your mental list of everything you need to do.
Prioritise the areas in your business that need weekly focused attention – these are the areas that directly affect the bottom line (sale, finance, customer service, etc etc) and which you should be spending focused time on each week to look at how you can improve them. Add Growing The Business to the end of the list if you have non automatically written it down. Allocate an hour a week beside each of these items and put them in your diary.
Message those concerned with the days and times of these weekly meetings and tell them that they need to bring all their ideas/queries/feedback/non-urgent issues to the relevant meeting and not interrupt you with those same questions on other days. You are now going to spend a dedicated and focused 60 minutes with your team on improving that area so all issues for that subject should be brought to that meeting.
Allocate 2x a day when you can be interrupted and open your door at those times and let people know when they are.
At the end of each day prioritise 6 things that you need to do tomorrow to move towards your goals and allocate the amount of time needed for each task. At least one of these priorities must be working on growing yourself and/or the business.
Plan your tomorrow; include the 6 priorities, the 2 interruption breaks, when you will check emails/messages and other bits that make up your day,
End your day, go home, disengage, recharge and refill your tank.
Get up in the morning in proactive mode (lots to do here with regards to making great routines etc..but that is not for here) and literally seize the day.
Good luck and let me know how you get on! Write down for yourself the positive and negatives of the day.
I am Jeff Shrimpton, and I work with progressive business owners, helping people make decisions to move forward in their lives. I have learned first hand from many of the best in business leadership including Clive Woodward, Marshall Goldsmith,Tony Robbins and Brad Sugars. I have in my work supported many business leaders to discover how to get the very best from their business to serve them so their lives are amazing.
Committing to coaching is not for the faint hearted, it is for those that want more and want to invite into their lives a supportive and challenging pain in the neck who pushes them to fulfil their potential so they create an awesome life for them and their loved ones.