About ten years ago, I met with a business coach with a folder full of ideas and “stuff” and a great dream for my business. As my coach asked me specific details about each “idea” or paper I had brought along, I quickly realized that I was not as organized as I thought I was and DEFINITELY not ready to consider the hard work had been completed. We talked often about my priorities and how I would achieve them. My business coach gave me an intangible gift that I would use to this day. He taught me how to create a default schedule for my week. At first, I silently rolled my eyes at the thought of having a default schedule. What if something came up? What if I wanted to do something that was not on my schedule? What if …
We all have the gift of 24 hours in a day. There is a great quote by Harvey Mackay, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim with The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive”.
“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You cannot own it, but you can use it. You cannot keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”
What a lot of successful people know is that if we cannot or do not want to organize our time, our time will slip away from us. It has happened to all of us. We get to the end of the week and we did not accomplish what we wanted to. In the administrative support business, I may have clients who frequently send me “tasks” that need completed. I could choose to complete the tasks one at a time, but instead I have defaulted time for each client that corresponds with the amount of time needed. I funnel all incoming work into that default time, and I complete all the tasks at once. That way I am certain of the amount of billable time spent on it.
In my default calendar, I schedule my business development time, my personal development time (only 15 minutes daily but protected time), my exercise, my own admin time, and my office hours. On Sunday evenings, I spend 15 minutes looking over the upcoming week to make sure there are no last-minute changes and that I am prepared for the week ahead. When something pops up that needs attention but not immediate attention, I add it to the “admin time” or “office hours” scheduled for once a week on Friday morning. Obviously, I take care of anything that needs immediate attention, but it is surprising how little that is, in comparison to how it felt before I had the schedule with constant interruptions and zigzagging through tasks. If something is important to my business success or my well being, it deserves a slot on my calendar.
There are so many distractions that come each day. For most of us, the real joy is what we do outside of work with our family and friends. So, the more we can get ourselves organized and create efficiencies, the more time we will have available to do the things we enjoy and love. You know the old saying, “No one on their death bed wished for more time in the office.”
Value time, harness time and let it work FOR you not against you. If we can help, contact us and we will see what we can take off your schedule and put into ours.