Thursday, March 25, 2010

Time: Crush It Like a Bug

Image: Salvatore Vuono /

Don't crush that bug, though. She's cute.

Today's lesson is about using your time wisely. It's not about time management, however. It's about time choices.

"What's the difference?" you might ask, and I might answer. In fact, I will answer.

Time management is about scheduling every minute of every day, and sticking to a schedule. It's about having a Plan B in case other schmucks don't manage their time well enough and screw your schedule over. It's about filling up 8 hours in your day.

Time choices, on the other hand, recognize that 8 hours of your day might need to be allocated for work, and might not need be. Furthermore, it's best not to. Some of us can't anyway.

Let me explain.

I have a full-time job. I am required to attend this job from 7am-3pm, 5 days per week. It's a 40-hour job. Fine. I also own a soap business and a publishing business. I must also tend to my child and talk to my husband on occasion. Maybe we'll have a meal together--you don't know! It could happen.

So, how do I get all the work done that needs to be done for a full-time job and two businesses? I decide how my time will be used and I crush that business work time like a bug.

You must give yourself short deadlines, and focus during short bursts of production.

Do not give yourself 3 days to do your taxes. Give yourself 4 hours, and smash it out. Schedule that time, and stick to it. Turn your phone off (not on vibrate, TURN IT OFF), close your office door, get someone else to take care of the kid, and focus on that one thing.

Give that one thing everything you've got, for that short amount of time.

Do not answer emails! Turn off the web browser. TURN IT OFF!

Do not answer texts or phone messages. How did you get that text anyway? Your phone was supposed to be OFF.

Do not wander around the room or the house or whatever building you're in. Do not talk to anyone (unless your task involves talking to one person).

Your assignment: Practice this skill with the next small or big project you have. Give yourself an amazingly small deadline, and stick to it. Crush that time like a bug, focus tightly on that one thing, and see what happens. If you got that project finished in 1/4 the time you thought you needed, that means

you have just freed up 75% of your time to do the things you enjoy.

Please report back on your accomplishments with this, and your goal-setting from the other day, in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing your ideas and wisdom. God bless.