That used to be me in the upper picture, give me enough liquid stimulation and I could speed through any day. The two problems with that is that you speed right by opportunity in a mad dash to be busy accomplishing very little and also you become a disorganized mess. Even when you approach time management intelligently it really is more of an intention rather than reality so what have I done to correct the problem and still have those times of interruption that are inevitable?
The Morning Routine: A proper morning routine starts the night before. I know what clothes I am going to wear, and I have reminder list on my Apple devices that are my mission for the day. When I wake up I don't go immediately to the coffee pot and email, I first discuss the positives we want to accomplish with my business partner wife, I hydrate with at least 16 ounces of water since sleep itself dehydrates you, and then I have my moment of solitude. Starting the day with positive intent and rituals that set the tone is the right habit, turning on the TV is not.
Saying No: To have the gift of time saying no is your most powerful weapon. Not every phone call is important and often just spam. One app I love is Hiya for the phone. It lets me know is I am getting a phishing call, and even sometimes it has the ability to give you the name of the caller even when they are not in your database. To me the phone becomes our biggest distraction and stops our flow and momentum. Ask yourself how often is picking up every call urgent? You also need to train people to text or email.
Outsourcing: Years ago I started using elance.com now Upwork. I still use it today because I find experts who are better and when you think about the money value of time really a cheaper solution. That alone lets me focus on long term planning. I also extensively use sources like Amazon Prime. besides the soul sucking experience of going to a Walmart or Walgreens, just think about the loss of productivity in getting in the car to get items that easily can be delivered to the house. We also love our three organic meals delivered by Green Chef. That gives us three days where we don't go to Whole Foods to pick up dinner.
Time Blocking: I did a post awhile back about the Pomordoro App. It sets up 25 minute sessions with 5 minute breaks with a timer or for Apple users you can download a $4.99 app called Be Focused Pro. I typically set 4 Pomodoros like answering emails, updating the CRM, making calls, etc. I also create a voice mail message that I am in a two hour meeting and will call back or I forward the phone. I want no distractions for two hours. You will be amazed what you can get done in half the time when you focus your mind on doing the task in 25 minutes. At the end of the 4 tasks you give yourself a 30 minute break and do anything you want.
Letting Go: My final key is in letting go. Too often we hold onto things we shouldn't like anger or frustration. The Buddhist have a great belief in that there is no ownership. For instance you don't own your own thoughts because you can't remember what you were thinking 23 minutes ago. Holding on to anger, frustration, resentment, or anything that consumes you is loss of time and productivity. The Buddhist call this one of The Hungry Ghosts.
There is so much more to this than these short blogs but as a group in this exercise we can add all our ideas up into a template for success. As someone who is about to turn 70 I promise you there is no time to waste. Please cherish that free time when the mind is quiet and the moment is eternal. it doesn't get any better than that.