You need to be the master of your time.
There are so many options out there for what you could spend your time on. You can’t hope to fit them all in to your 168-hour per week allocation. To stay productive, you’ll need to choose.
You simply have to decide what’s most important or someone else will decide for you.
However, as well as deciding on your priorities, you need to defend them. Otherwise someone else is still shaping your list!
One way I took control of my time, and defended what was most important to me, was by creating and sticking to an ideal weekly plan.
This is something I look at and tweak about once every 2 months or so to keep it fresh and make sure it’s still useful and a good reflection of my priorities at the time.
Here are the steps involved in getting setup
- First I took a fresh calendar – I used paper to start with then transferred it to my digital calendar.
- I thought about my top 3 to 5 priorities only (those things I simply must do because they are the core of my particular offer to the world – e.g. creating content to inspire others).
- I experimented a bit and chose when in the week I would set aside time to do them (for example, Monday mornings from 8am to 12pm for writing blog posts for robbialostocki.com)
- Then I blocked out that time allocation, clearly labelling the block and even colouring it (I use a small number of calendars, each with a distinct colour – it helps with quick visual recognition).
- To begin with, I had it displayed in my office until I had it embedded in my brain. Others could see it too.
Stay Productive – Build then Defend
Now, when I get an invite or request to do something on Monday morning, I check my ideal weekly plan, see I have blocked it out and politely but firmly say “Sorry, no can do. How about Wednesday afternoon?”
Would having an ideal weekly plan work for you? Or, if you have one, is it fresh and a good reflection of your current priorities?
Question: What’s one thing that simply must be in your ideal week?