At Advisor Websites, we’re big believers in personal development and the importance of constant learning how to be great. We even have a company library that supplies books on a wide range of topics like happiness, web coding and marketing strategy. I picked up some great ideas on time management from the master business coach, famed CEO, author (among many more accolades), Chet Holmes book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
1. Stop being reactive
When your time is spent catering to the needs of your team, clients, email and the constant ringing of a phone, there’s often little time left to get those to-do’s crossed off the list.
You know those meetings that happen when someone passes your desk and it’s start with, “Hey, you have a minute?” (I am THE world’s worst on this one). Holmes says these on the fly meetings are one of the biggest time killers. He recommended having ‘pig-headed’ discipline when it comes to your priorities. Instead of reacting to the needs of others, have your team and clients book meetings with you in advance.
2. Limit your lists
To-do lists are some of the most effective ways to stay accountable to yourself… plus, nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment when everything gets crossed off! Holmes recommended definitely making lists, but limiting the standard to-do list to only the six most important items.
According to Holmes, “When you have a long list, your energy is focused more on trimming the list than it is on being productive. Each day, pick the six items that will produce the highest level of results, put them on your list, and finish all six things by day’s end.”
Once you have identified the six most important things and created your to-do list, plan your day. Start by figuring out approximately how long each task will take and then assign a time slot to accomplish each task.
Word to the wise: do the most difficult or challenging things first. Yes, they’re the easiest to put off so get them done early in the day when your mind is fresh and before anything else has a chance to take priority.
4. Take breaks
When you plan your day, go ahead and set times to take breaks. If something on your list takes more time than you originally thought, this helps you continue to stay on track if you spend a few extra minutes on it.
Holmes suggested allowing 30-minutes twice a day for a break – let your team know these time slots are the only times you’ll be able to do meetings on the fly.