How many times have you ended the day and wondered what did I accomplish today? So many times we get caught up in being “busy” during our day and before we know what hit us, the day is over. We spend time doing this for a minute or two, then we do something else for a few minutes, and then come back to what we started earlier in the day. This is not good time management. In this day of multitasking, some people take a sense of pride in being overwhelmed and “just too busy” to get anything done. Hours go by, days go by, and yes, even years go by without ever accomplishing anything.
Here is the solution. Time blocking can provide structure in your day and allow you to complete tasks or at least complete a large part of a task before moving on to something else. Here is how it works. Decide on the tasks you will do for a particular day. Instead of just having a “to do” list with everything listed in order of importance and working down the list, take a few items from the list that are top priority for accomplishing what you need to accomplish, and block out whatever time you want to allocate to that task. This can be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours. The point is to only allocate the allotted time to each task.
Here is an example. Today I want to write an article, follow-up with 3 contacts, go to a 1 networking event. I will allocate 1 hour to writing the article. This is a focused effort on just writing the article. Whether I finish the article or not is irrelevant. I will only spend one hour on writing the article. I will do the same for the other two tasks. I will allocate 30 minutes to following up with contacts, and allocate 2 hours to the networking event. By doing this you are sure to, at the very least, accomplish these tasks. You will not end your day wondering where the time went and what you accomplished.
Give this a chance and try it for 5 consecutive days and see if you have improved productivity, less stress, and more time to do the things that are important to your business and your life.
Mike Coleman is a speaker and independent marketing consultant. He helps small business owners and professional service providers grow their business and build a better business. He is also the author of Playing The Right Cards: How To Successfully Market Your Small Business of Professional Services book and the Playing The Right Cards Marketing System. Go to http://www.mikecoleman.net to sign up for FREE monthly newsletter.