Now, this is a really interesting one, because the challenge is we all have the same amount of time, so it's not a case of not having enough time. You have the same 24 hours the Mother Theresa had, that Gandhi has, that Tony Robbins has. Let's be clear, this is not a time issue. We all have 24 hours.
This is a challenge about priorities, and how we feel about the priorities that we achieve, and more importantly, sometimes, how we feel about the priorities that we don't achieve.
Here's four tips that I'd recommend in reading more time when you feel like you have none.
Most people have the habit of waking up, and what's the first thing they do? They roll over to their bed and look at their phone, and check their notifications and scroll scroll scroll in e-mail, and scroll scroll scroll on Facebook. I read a brilliant book by Tim Ferris, The 4-Hour Work Week, where he recommends that we move away from constantly being involved in all of these things that are notifying us, and batch them into certain parts of the day. I aim for 10 A.M. and 2 P.M. as the two windows that I both check email and Facebook.
You may need to, on the other side of this, have a bit of expectation setting with your clients, where that looks like an out-of-office reply, but it means that you're back in control of the priorities in your day, and therefore in your life, and you'll feel much better about it.
We're business owners, so we're in the habit of having meetings with clients. Now, we're eventually going to move away from meeting our life away, but we can apply that same priority we give to meetings to our personal lives and to the things that are important to us. When you have your day's priorities, schedule the amount of time that you think it will take to get them done, book it in your calendar, and just like you'd never show up to a meeting late, or you'd never not show up, let's give the same priority to the projects and priorities that you scheduled for yourself throughout the day, whether these be personal things like going to the gym, or whether it be work-related things like putting that important report together.
From measurement, you can start managing. You've heard of that topic. What I recommend in this place is an application called RescueTime. It's one you can install on your computer or your device, and it gives you awareness, over a week or over a day, about what you're actually doing on your computer. If you're in emails, it will measure that. If you're on Facebook, it'll measure that. If you're in Zero, it'll measure it. If you're on YouTube, it will measure that. Sometimes, as business owners, it's going to help to be aware about where we're actually spending our time. An application like RescueTime can help give us that awareness. As you know, awareness is step one. Once we see it we go, "Wow," and then from there we can start making change.
One great habit you can get into as a team, this is fantastic for culture, is every morning when you get in, have a little huddle around the desk and say,
"What are the key priorities that we're all going to achieve today?"
You as the business owner can be accountable to every other team member within the group, and same to, they can be accountable to each other. Think about your top three or four priorities, verbalize them to the rest of the team throughout the day, and either at the end of the day or the following day's huddle, we can get accountability on how we went with what we said we were going to do.
If you're in business, but you wouldn't say that numbers is really your thing, I'd recommend downloading this E-book, The Five Numbers That All Business Owners Need to Know. This will give you insight into the five numbers that matter most in your business and in your life.
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