Gary Keller, author of The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, guards his time fiercely.
He uses a technique called time blocking, in which he dedicates several hours to a single task, to help strengthen focus and eliminate distraction.
Related: Find More Time In Your Day
It may sound extreme, but it’s effective. Here’s how it’s done.
- Identify your top priority. Look at your goals for the year. What’s the one thing that will make everything else you do easier or unnecessary? Design the first four hours of your workdays around that.
When Keller was working on his book, he blocked the first four hours of every day and used the time to write.
“My motto is: Until my number one priority is done each day, all else is a distraction,” he says, adding that four hours is crucial.
“If you want to do something at the highest level, it’s got to be four hours a day. Time on the task over time – that’s how you become a master at what matters most.”
- Work on event time. Keller says most people live their life by the clock and by someone else’s schedule. He works on what he calls ‘event’ time, scheduling tasks around the events or goals he wants to accomplish. Everything else waits until he reaches a finishing point. He leaves work when he has accomplished that day’s most important priority.
“My most important work comes first and it’s done when it’s done,” he says.
“The key to making this work and still getting home in time to have a rewarding personal life is to block time as early in the day as possible.”
- Block in planning time. In addition to working on his one thing, Keller blocks in time to reflect on where he is and where he wants to be.
“It’s the pause before I hit the start button. I set aside a day each year for annual planning, an hour each month for monthly planning and an hour each week for weekly planning.”
- Block time off. At the beginning of the year he blocks out long weekends and long vacations. Time blocking has been key to living the life he wants.
“Knowing where we’re going and what we want to accomplish, gives us clarity on our priority.”
Do you usually feel like your week runs away from you?
(Infographic) 9 Productivity Mistakes You’re Making In The First 10 Minutes Of Your Day
From setting goals to drinking coffee, these bad morning habits might surprise you.
There are a number of things you’re probably doing every morning that are actually hindering your productivity.
If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you might be surprised to find out that drinking coffee between 8 and 10 a.m can make you more stressed throughout the day. That’s because caffeine early in the morning interferes with the time that the stress hormone, cortisol, is peaking in your body. It’s best to get your fix between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
When you get into the office and try to jump right into the top of your to-do list, you might find yourself confused and not very productive. When you don’t let your brain empty and refresh before starting a project or task, it loses a sense of control, becomes overwhelmed and ultimately, makes you less productive. Something else to avoid is checking email or social media right when you wake up. Typically, after checking your inbox, it takes a person at least 25 minutes to get back into a productive state. If you start your day off reading and responding to email after email, it will take you a long time to get back on track.
Another surprising mistake is setting self-imposed goals. Setting goals and deadlines for yourself might seem like an obvious productivity hack, but it turns out, that’s not the case. Instead, share your deadlines with others and you’ll feel more pressure and responsibility to get things done.
Check out resume.io’s infographic below for more productivity mistakes you’re likely making in the first 10 minutes of your day.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Workflow And Business Efficiency – 5 Strategies You Ignore At Your Peril
Emails alone don’t cut it as an efficient way to communicate with team members. You’re not still depending on email, are you?
An inefficient business can cost you a lot more than just growth – it can affect your revenue, too. According to a report by IDC, your business runs the risk of losing 20 to 30 percent of your revenue due to inefficient systems.
Unfortunately, many companies still struggle to implement the right systems to improve their workflow. Others have it worse, because they have no systems. In those situations, projects take ages to be completed, more time is spent on menial tasks and teams never seem to get enough done during work hours.
If that describes your company, your company’s profits may start to plummet, too.
Every successful business, then, has clearly defined systems to help the business run like clockwork. Improved workflow, better management and business efficiency save time, increase the bottom line and ensure a higher profit margin.
In fact, in an article on ContractZen, Tim Cummins, president of the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management, wrote that, “The average corporation could boost its bottom line by almost 10 percent if it invested in improving the quality of contracting.
For many companies – especially those in more complex, project-based industries – the prize could be much higher – perhaps as much as 15 percent.”
Related: Become A Life-Hacker
Unfortunately, some companies fail to provide systems that put users first, taking a negative toll on those companies’ workflow and efficiency. The good news is that they’re only five strategies away from turning this around:
1. Automate all you can
From email lists, bookkeeping, invoicing and contract management, to social media posts and payrolls, almost everything can be automated. For a business that aims to be more efficient, automation is a must.
Automation doesn’t just save you time, it can be the one strategy that can guarantee explosive growth and higher conversion rates. According to this Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness study, 63 percent of companies polled that were outgrowing their competitors said they had automated their marketing.
Automating monotonous tasks that have to be repeated several times during the day helps you be more productive in tasks that require your personal attention.
2. Invest in customer-relationship management software
It’s not uncommon to find businesses that are barely able to keep up with their leads. Some waste hours hunting the low-quality leads instead of focusing their energy on those ready to buy. Here, a customer relationship management (CRM) solution linked to these businesspeople’s network phone system is a great way to enhance customer communications.
Customers value businesses that provide excellent customer service. A CRM solution increases the ability to keep track of customer information, monitor leads and provide efficient delivery. Businesses can provide for their customers’ needs faster and make effective business decisions. With CRM, businesses can also keep their focus on quality leads that will drastically improve conversion rates.
3. Set up a task-management system
Emails alone don’t cut it as an efficient way to communicate with team members. Email makes it difficult to carry everyone along. However, setting up task-management software like Slack, Trello or Asana makes it much easier to have everyone’s tasks in one place and ensure that everyone is carried along in the project.
Task-management software helps members of a team track their progress and ensure that everyone is working on their tasks.
4. Sync your calendar with that of everyone else on your team
How many times have you had to reschedule appointments because you didn’t know you had other meetings lined up for the day?
Aside from leaving negative impression in clients’ mind, this error makes you less productive. Having to go back and forth until you have settled on an appropriate date can be cumbersome especially when different time zones are involved. So, do this instead: Sync your personal calendar with your work calendar, and make sure that everyone in your team is synced to the latter, too.
This will ensure sure that everybody is “on the same page” in terms of appointments and deadlines. Google Calendar can help you do just that. Once everyone is synced up, any change in the calendar will be seen by everyone so they can manage their own appointments.
5. Block out chunks of time
Constant interruptions hamper your workflow. Imagine having to deal with turning over a project on a deadline while you’re stuck in a series of meetings throughout the day. It can get very difficult to focus on completing your most urgent tasks.
Block out chunks of time on your calendar for uninterrupted work. It’s better to schedule a series of meetings in one day than to spread them throughout the week.
If you’re creating content, block out one day to create all the content you’ll use for the week. That way your business will run more efficiently.
Related: 3 Reasons You Should Embrace Change
Wrapping it up
With the right strategies, you can turn your business around to make it efficient and lucrative. Automating your processes, setting up the right software and remaining focused on the tasks at hand will go a long way to help you do this. But just as with every good strategy, you need to remain consistent and give it time to do its magic.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
How To Multitask Like Tim Ferriss, Randi Zuckerberg And Other Very Busy People
Nine entrepreneurs tell us how they get it all done.
Think you’re busy? Take a look at Guy Fieri‘s calendar. Or a U.S. Army general’s. Or an in-demand teenage actor’s. Or the CEO of a globally recognised company’s.
Some of the busiest people on the planet took time out of their days to tell us how they get it all done. Take note!
Support for Women Entrepreneurs4 days ago
11 Quotes On Hard Work, Risk-Taking And Getting Started From Beauty Billionaire Estee Lauder
Budgeting2 weeks ago
Planning A Year End Function On A Budget? Five Fabulous Tips To Get The Most Bang For Your Buck
Entrepreneur Today1 week ago
Introducing The Conext Sponsorship Forum: A Platform To Explore, Learn And Connect With Great Next-Gen Sponsorships
Company Posts1 week ago
Why Spartan Is Focusing On SME Funding And How They Can Support Your Business
Self Development1 week ago
Research: The Power Of Meditation That Will Blow Your Mind
Entrepreneur Profiles2 days ago
The House That Moladi Built – How Challenging Traditional Building Empowers Local Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneur Today2 weeks ago
67CEOs To Host Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018
Company Posts2 weeks ago
“Free” Online Courses Versus Interactive Classroom Courses