As professionals we all have at least one big TIME SUCK. What’s that?
It’s a task which can literally take up the entire day so nothing else gets done. It’s like a black hole for time.
For me, it’s email. I could do nothing all day but catch up on past emails and respond to the new ones coming in. They never stop. If I’m not careful, my entire day can simply disappear.
What’s your time suck? Email, cell phone, Facebook, employee interruptions, kids…. If you want to be more effective in your day, you’ve got to:
- First, identify the task draining your time.
- Then, take steps to manage it.
For example, knowing email is the bane of my existence, in the morning before I even turn it on I spend at least 30 minutes moving my A tasks forward. This way the most important stuff which really makes a BIG difference in my goals is done first.
- If Facebook is a time suck, TURN IT OFF. Or set a timer, and cut if off after the time has passed.
- If employees keep interrupting , set LIBRARY HOURS. This is a block of 1-3 hours each day when NO employee is allowed to ask for anything from anybody. If you are having trouble staying productive, your staff may be too. (this also works for kids and husbands)
- If the ringing phone is the time suck, SEND IT TO VOICEMAIL. If it’s a cell phone, turn off the ringer and put it away. Not all day, but for just a few hours so you can focus.
If you were at an important doctor’s appointment, you’d eliminate all distractions while there right? The world keeps spinning and you catch back up when possible.
The same principle applies. Moving your goals, life, business, career forward is like an important doctor’s appointment and these time sucks will keep you sitting in the waiting room…forever.
So… When you sit down to plan the day in your Best Planner Ever, don’t be afraid to block out time to eliminate any and all time sucks. If one hour is too much, then start with 30 minutes. You can always increase the time as you get the hang of it. I promise the emails don’t stop and Facebook will still be there – the only difference is you will be way ahead.