We are all busy. We all have dozens of tasks to do, a shortage of time to do them and as a result, we all feel pressured. A study of 65 North American CEOs revealed that while CEOs spend about 18 hours in meetings, 5 hours in business meals, 4 hours in phone calls and 2 hours at public events during an average workweek, they only spent 6 hours working alone. How much can you get done in 6 hours? You probably can relate to this. It’s easy to see why you may not accomplish all the things you would like to do each day.
So how can you get more out of each day?
Here are a few techniques that we believe will help you squeeze more productivity out of your day.
1. Track Your Time
The first step in changing a behaviour is to understand what we want to change. In this case, we’d like to get more done each day, therefore we should start by finding out how our hours are being spent. For the next 5 work days, track your time with our Minute Minder to see how it is being spent. The more precise you are, the better your results will be.
2. Evaluate Your Time
When our clients complete this exercise, they are generally astounded at the results. Think of your time in terms of money to ensure you get the most “bang for your buck.” Take a look at your annual salary. This represents YOU and what you were hired for. Divide that dollar amount by 52 (number of weeks in a year). Divide again by the number of hours that you work each week. Divide AGAIN by 60 (number of minutes in an hour). And if you just read this without actually doing it, then actually do it. It’s important.
Your Salary / 52 / Hour per Week / 60 = Dollar Value of Each of Your Minutes
Imagine that amount of money dropping out of your pocket each minute as you attend meetings, make phone calls, attend public events, etc. Want to go deeper? Do some rough math on the time you’re tracking to see how much money is being spent on each activity.
3. Protect Your time
The reality is that we work in a meeting-driven workplace. Your time is valuable and in demand because of your knowledge and experience. Many managers will choose to blame themselves when they don’t finish their to-do lists each day, but it may not always be an issue with time management. Sometimes it is simply a matter of lack of time. Since meetings eat up a lot of our time, here are a few points you can use to get the most out of those meetings.
- Be assertive with your time: We’ve all been in those meetings where social and personal matters take the forefront and productivity dwindles. As a leader, it’s an important part of your role to keep meetings on track and bring unproductive meetings to a quick end.
- Define the purpose: When you know what the meeting is meant to accomplish, you are more likely to do it.
- Plan your meetings: This point cannot be overstated. Send an agenda to the attendants of each meeting, and request an agenda when there isn’t one available. Keep everyone on time and make sure each of your minutes is used for something productive.
- Understand the type of meeting: There are two key functions served by meetings: sharing information and decision-making. Both are important. Define the time allotted for sharing information. What are you sharing? What is the purpose? Is there a discussion needed or are we passing information only? Define the time allotted for decision-making. Stick to it. Use our 6 steps to innovation process.
A Final Note
We know you’ve heard some of these things before, but have you actually done them? Changing behaviours requires effort. Create the change you want to see in yourself and enjoy the results. Give us a call at 819-827-8000 or get a free initial consultation. We are happy to help.