The Best Time Management can only be achieved through Good Energy Management.
My earlier post on The Personal Benefits of Improved Productivity kicked off this months theme of Effectiveness. This is my 2nd of a 4 part weekly series delving into specific contributors to Effectiveness.
I intend these posts to be beneficial to you on both a personal & professional nature, regardless of your seniority or responsibility within your current capacity.
Our Biological Clock
Consider the diagram below and then review when you’re doing what during a typical day.
Are you reading personal e-mail’s or browsing your friends Facebook activity when your body & brain are at their peak performance stages? Are you reading detailed reports & catching up on projects that require extra-special attention after your Melatonin secretion has begun?
Listen to your Biological Clock & schedule your activities accordingly if you want to see your effective time management go through the roof.
Some background on Performance Rhythms & Cycles; I’ll delve deeper into this next week, but many studies show that our brain can only effectively (at peak performance) concentrate on an intensive task for up to 90 – 120 minutes at a time. The same studies also show that on average it takes anywhere from 4 to 6 minutes (from when you commence a task) to reach peak concentration. Got that? Now consider that these very same studies reflect that our concentration is interrupted every 11 minutes.
Solution 1 – Get rid of disruptions; Freeze all of those alerts on your screen. Turn your phone OFF when you need to focus & get through things quicker.. the vibrate function still distracts you.
Solution 2 – Forget to-do lists & Lock it into your calender; If it isn’t written & measurable it doesn’t get done & if you don’t measure it afterward you’ll never understand it. Forget to-do lists! Lock the most significant & important activities into your calendar. If you don’t block time for something you’ll run out of time to get it done.
Create a daily habit of looking back on your day & giving yourself a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Put the key learnings into practice the very next day
Solution 3 – Prioritize; In the heat of the moment you’ll either do what feels better or whatever is making the loudest noise. Each day have a Top 3 things that need to get done. Only 3! And one of them is your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).. the one thing that if nothing else gets done, must be done.
It’s unrealistic to try & do more than 3 significant things in one single day.
Solution 4 – Pull vs. Push; Pull your e-mail into your applications instead of having it automatically pushed to you by through the automated update feature. This will put you in control of the biggest time killer.
Solution 5 – Set timers; Set a time limit for yourself on e-mail, social media activity & other things you find stimulating. They will surly eat away at your precious time otherwise. Especially on a difficult day, we tend to seek emotional gratification to ease our discomfort and one common way is to fall into patterns which are safe & known routines.
Be conscious of this and set an alarm clock if necessary.
Further posts in this weekly series will delve more specifically into Performance & Behavior Management which contribute to our effectiveness.
I hope you’ll keep reading.