If you’re like most people you come to work each day ready to work, ready to accomplish something but at the end of the day you can’t believe how little got done.
Where did the time go?
The answer is most likely e-mail and meetings and conference calls and pop-in visit to your office or cubicle. I am not saying that none of these were important but most likely most of them were not on your calendar at the start of the day and some would not be at the top of your priority list.
Take a look at your calendar for tomorrow right now. How much of the day is consumed with meetings?
How much of the day is planned for specific tasks to be accomplished? Let me repeat that in a slightly more direct fashion just in case you missed it…how much of your day tomorrow is scheduled with specific time set aside for you to accomplish specific high priority tasks that you need to accomplish?
Most people come to work with good intentions but let the phone, e-mail and other people hijack their calendar.
As you look at your goals for the quarter, month or week, you should break them down into bite-sized tasks. Things that you can accomplish in one focused 30-45 minute session and then put those sessions on your calendar. If a priority will require 12 such sessions schedule those 12 sessions right now…one a day for the next 12 work days or 3 per week for the next 4 weeks, whatever works for you.
Next learn to treat those “work sessions” as sacred elements on your calendar.
If someone asks if you could meet Tuesday from 2:00 to 3:00 but you have already blocked out 1:45 to 2:30 to work on one of your tasks. It is OK to say, “I am busy then (which will be true) but I am free starting at 2:30”.
If that person continues by asking what are you doing from 2:00 to 2:30 that is so important, the correct answer is “a previously scheduled commitment which I intend to honor, just as I will honor a commitment I make to attend your meeting, once we have agreed on a date and time”.
Make sure that you commit to at least two sessions per day to accomplish your priorities, after all it is only committing 60 to 90 minutes of you work day. You may even want to consider more 2 sessions per day but keep the sessions to 30 to 45 minutes, that way, you can stay focused and productive and not be out of reach for too long of a period.
Take back your calendar!
Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC. We work with successful top executives with a driving ambition to crush their competition. We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication and accountability throughout their organization. 55Questions.com
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