James Burgess, Focus31, Time ManagementIts Still A HOAX That You Can Fix It!  Late last year I started a series of Blogs on Time Management. I shared that the idea you can fix your time management issues is all a HOAX, a sham, perpetuated by “business coaches” and consultants who want billable hours to build revenue from the same business pain over and over again.

I recently spoke to a group of business owners on this topic and due to the resounding positive response to our own 10-Steps To Conquer Time Management I felt compelled to share them with you, my business friends.

The plan had been to post all 10-Steps promptly last year and that didn’t happen. So if you missed Steps 1 – 5 here they are here.

1. The idea You Can Fix Time Management Is A HOAX

2. Time Management:  Now For Steps 3, 4 & 5

BUT….It is only with our final steps #9 & #10, the 2-True Easy Steps To Conquer Time Management, the 2-Steps no “business coach” or consultant dare share or lose billing hours, that the solution to Time Management and can be found.

Here are now Steps 6, 7 & 8 of our 10-Easy Steps to Conquering Time Management:

Step #6: Follow Stephen Covey

In Stephen Covey’s book 7-Habits of Highly Effective People, HABIT #3 is “Put First Things First”James Burgess, FOCUS31, 7 Habits. I couldn’t agree more. Get the heavy lifting work done and out of the way and then maybe you’ll open up time to get a second piece of big work done.

We all know that during the course of a 5-day work week in one or more days something major is going to happen that will take us off our best laid plans. If we know this will happen then plan for it to happen by putting the first thing first.

Let me explain it this way.

When I start my work on Monday there is a 100% probability that something will go wrong on any given day. That is an average probability of 20% for any given day of that week. If I get through Monday with no major issue to take me off of the rails then starting Tuesday the weighted average something will go wrong today is now 25%. Suppose I get through Tuesday with no major issue. Well now there is only 3-days left in the week, something still needs to go wrong because we agreed every week something does. So there is now a big jump to a 33% probability something will go wrong and kill my plans for the week on Wednesday. Finally if I get through Wednesday unscathed, I’m now faced with the 50% probability that something is going wrong in one of the next 2-days. If I should survive Thursday well then the odds Friday will be a bad, very bad, day (yikes if it is the 13th of the month) is undeniable.

Now if I get to Thursday with no big problems Monday through Wednesday but I also haven’t bothered to get to the most important work I had hoped to do because I’ve been working on the minor many pieces of work instead of the major few, I’ve wasted my week or at least wasted my opportunity to get powerful work done. Now I’m faced with the likelihood that the important work won’t get done because the big bad thing still has to occur. The result of this kind of time management is stress at not getting key work done plus the sense that the week was a waste of time.

Stop the madness!

Here is my recommendation. Every Monday morning know what the major work to be accomplished is. Then book time into your Monday calendar to get it done or at least started. One of two things will happen on Monday. You’ll either get it done. Woo Hoo! Or because the thing that was going to take you off the rails happened on Monday you can take the appointment with yourself and move it into Tuesday after the crisis has passed.

By putting the first thing first, you have the opportunity to rebook the big project work several times in the week when unexpected major issues arise. Thus you improve your chances that the week will in fact be less stressful and more fulfilling.

Step #7: Make/Document Weekly Commitments

The starting point in Step #6 of putting the first thing first is to know what business critical work needsWeekly Commitment to be accomplished for the week on Monday. With that knowledge writing it down (5-minutes) adds a higher level of accountability to actually get the work done. Then share your plan with your boss or supervisor (of if you are a business owner with your Virtual CEO like FOCUS31). Bringing a 3rd-party into the process adds a powerful degree of commitment and accountability to get to done.

Documenting commitments to weekly business activity is extremely powerful for sales associates and sales managers. With selling don’t just make a commitment to take action but also add a measurable outcome. Huh?

Here is an example. Before joining with FOCUS31, a business owner would typically go to a networking event, like a Chamber of Commerce breakfast, with the intent of profiling their business. After working with us that same business owner would now go with the intent to generate 5 warm leads (defined as having opened the door to a follow-up meeting). We then hold them accountable to measure how well they did post-networking event so they learn from their successes or their misses.

Which approach is more powerful? Which approach increases accountability to perform? Which approach pays for the time, energy and money spent being at the breakfast?

James Burgess, FOCUS31, Success or FailureStep #8: Reward & Recognize Successes & Punish…..

This Step is very straight forward. When you manage your time well celebrate it. If you accomplish some huge important mission critical work don’t just celebrate it reward yourself for doing it. Make the amount or type or reward commensurate with the power of the work done. Celebrating successes will reinforce the right habits to continue to improve with your management of time.

The corollary of that though is if you fail to manage your time, fail to get mission critical work done you need to punish yourself.

The 2-True Easy Steps to Conquer Time Management being Steps #9 & #10, will follow in the next few days. Come back and review this coming article as we will also share BONUS Step #11 that makes it all so EASY!


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