Why You Don't Need To Read Another Time Management Book
- Is multi-tasking a bad habit?
- Should you make a work plan?
- Do interruptions kill productivity?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all three questions you don’t need to read another time management book. You see, most people don’t need to learn more about time management, they just need to (wait for it) …do it!
When I was building my company Adventure Network (the world’s only flights to the South Pole) I was always busy. Busy, busy, busy - I had the perfect excuse for lazy leadership.
My office was a disaster, staff didn’t get feedback or training and I jumped from crisis to crisis. It took me a long time to learn busy is a lousy excuse for poor performance.
If you struggle with interruptions, conflicting priorities, procrastination and crazy-busy days, don’t go searching for a new To-Do app instead go backs to the basics.
Here are three basic time management strategies that always work (you might recognize them from the quiz you aced):
Focusing on one conversation, client request or task until complete may be the single most important skill to practice. Productivity comes from completing the right work not from being busy. In your office remove distractions like notes, lists, files, unread emails, open windows on your computer and sticky-note reminders. Your job is to decide what is most important and to spend as little time as possible on anything else.
My pilots always knew where they were going to land before they left the runway. You should as well. A Flight Plan at work is a short list of high priority tasks you need to complete by Friday. This is not a To-Do list of random left-over tasks from last week - your Flight Plan should move your business or career forward, one week at a time.
There are two strategies that immediately reduce interruptions: blocked time and time boundaries. Block time on your calendar (and treat it just like a meeting) to work on critical time-sensitive tasks. And time boundaries that repeat daily to work on your hardest work, like sales, writing, coaching, and delegation.
Managing your time more effectively and being more productive doesn’t have to be complicated. Practicing the basics will always give you an advantage. Plus, think of all the time you’ll save by not reading another time management book.