There are two types of time: clock time and real time. In clock time, there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. All time passes equally.
In real time, all time is relative. Time flies or drags depending on what you’re doing. So which time describes the world in which you really live, real time or clock time?
There are only three ways to spend time: thoughts, conversations and actions. Regardless of the type of business you own, your work will be composed of those three items.
Practice the following techniques to become the master of your own time:
- Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week. This will show you how much time is actually spent producing results and how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, conversations and actions.
- Any activity or conversation that’s important to your success should have a time assigned to it. To-do lists get longer and longer to the point where they’re unworkable. Appointment books work. Schedule appointments with yourself and create time blocks for high priority thoughts, conversations, and actions.
- Plan to spend at least 50% of your time engaged in the thoughts, activities and conversations that produce most of your results.
- Schedule time for interruptions. Plan time to be pulled away from what you’re doing. Take, for instance, the concept of having ‘office hours’. Isn’t this another way of saying ‘planned interruptions?’
- Take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day. Don’t start your day until you complete your time plan. The most important time of your day is the time you schedule to schedule time.
- Take five minutes before every call and task to decide what result you want to attain. This will help you know what success looks like before you start. Take five minutes after each call and activity to determine whether your desired result was achieved. If not, what was missing?
- Put up a ‘Do not disturb’ sign when you absolutely have to get work done.
- Practice not answering the phone just because it’s ringing and emails just because they show up. Instead, schedule a time to answer email and return phone calls.
- Block out other distractions like Facebook and other forms of social media unless you use these tools to generate business.
Remember that it’s impossible to get everything done. Also remember that odds are good that 20% of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80% of your results.