By Candy Barone
For most organizations, time management (or the lack thereof) presents a challenge and source of frustration, especially in regards to productivity. So many individuals grumble about how there are “not enough hours in the day” or how they are “just so busy” with all these plates spinning in the air.
Many leaders and business owners claim they don’t have the time to be strategic … when, in fact, the irony is that by not taking that time they actually waste even more time and become ineffective and inefficient. With discipline comes greater control over how one chooses to use his or her time, and thus, becoming far more productive overall.
The keys to creating a more focused mind are to first create the discipline and framework to implement a more focused and purposeful use of your time.
Here are ten strategies to assist you in refocusing your time, and thereby, also your mind:
- Strategy #1: Own your calendar — set time aside every morning to plan and align your activities to match the outcomes you desire achieving for that particular day
- Strategy #2: Prioritize your “must-dos” revenue generators and prior commitments — know what your “needle movers” and big opportunities are and map those out first.
- Strategy #3: Create space to fill your cup first, every day — take purposeful and intentional breaks throughout the day to stretch, walk, take in fresh air, breathe, or simply pause and be still; we were not designed to go, go, go to the point of burnout.
- Strategy #4: Allow for flexible time and free space — life happens; don’t allow your calendar to be overrun by unexpected opportunities, allow for flexibility and movement.
- Strategy #5: Set power blocks for strategy and creative think time — these are sacred blocks with designated start and stop times where you will only focus on this activity (no “multi-tasking” or switch-tasking allowed).
- Strategy #6: Delegate, delegate, delegate — anything that is not allowing you to play and your highest and best level should be moved off your plate.
- Strategy #7: Dedicate time for reflection and reset — at the end of the week, make sure you take time to reflect on how the overall week went, identify any open items or gaps.
- Strategy #8: Build the following week’s calendar — get in the habit of building a week-view approach to help you prepare for the upcoming week; address any unresolved issues and plan accordingly so you can walk peacefully away from the work week.
- Strategy #9: Play! — give yourself significant play time to celebrate a week well-done; give yourself permission to recharge and refresh (again, this is a sacred block of time).
- Strategy #10: Lead by example — what you set in motion gives others permission to create the same for themselves, as well; demonstrate the power of creating balance and effective time management with your team(s).
Time management shouldn’t be this black hole that is the dreaded elephant in the room or the “myth” everyone wishes they could attain. It is a practice, one centered around intention, discipline, and then inspired and purposeful action to carry out. When you make an investment to plan for your success, you create a culture where others desire the same.
Invest in yourself, invest in your team, and invest in the overall growth of your organization by creating more focused time, and ultimately, a more focused mind for all.
Because, remember … ROI is a return on investment, not a return on intention.
Candy Barone, CEO & Founder, You Empowered Strong, LLC
Candy Barone is a catalyst and change agent who works with what she calls the 3 Es: Executives, Entrepreneurs and Emerging Leaders to help them bring “heart” back to leadership. With nearly 20 years in Corporate America, she is a master at building exceptional, high-performing teams, maximizing and leveraging ROI, growing emerging leaders, and catapulting individuals to achieve explosive growth.