Everyone has heard of the dreaded budget. It's usually a checklist or a spreadsheet that dictates how much money you can and can't spend on any specific category. Some people follow it, most people don't. Personal budgets are important to help stay on top of bills and set money back for investments. Company budgets are vital in the sense that if expenses are not tracked and end up exceeding income, which they will at some point, then the perverbial battleship has been sunk.
We all tend to think of budgeting in a monetary since but budgeting time is even more valuable, as we all have a limited supply. Budgeting time can be approached from a number of angles. For instance on our team, we 'budget' our marketing. Every acquisition specialist has set themselves a number of marketing activites every week (cause) whether it be social media, mail-outs, cold calls, and/or hand cards. This allows for their efforts to compound over time just like interest on money (effect). But it also does something else; it allows them accomplish goals outside of their jobs and personal lives.
Time is allocated (or budgeted) every day to complete the weekly goals. Weekly goals are bite size accomplishments that help you devour your yearly objective.
Here are 5 steps that will help you increase your productivity and possibly open some slots on the calendar.
1. PLANWrite a to do list EVERYday the night before and prioritize your activities.
2. TIME BLOCKING Break down activities in blocks.Google Calendars does a great job of this. You enter an activity and it automatically blocks the time for you (typically an hour unless specified). You can even color code it for specific activities. Make sure to give yourself cushions for traffic, weather, and other unexpected occurences.
3. Now that you know exactly what must be accomplished today and you know exactly what time you need to spend on each activity, all you have to do is stick to it. If you have to be somewhere or you have a meeting, BE EARLY. You don't want the meeting or said activity to run over and throw off the rest of the day, which brings me to the next point...
4. Make sure you have HARD STOPS. Sometimes things will take longer then expected. Having hard stops and communicating those hard stops to any other parties in advanced will keep your day on track as planned.
5. TIME FOR YOURSELF It's imperative you give time to yourself. Quiet time, meditation, prayer, Yoga, or whatever tickles your fancy.... but also, personal time. If you don't eat, can't stay hydrated, keep your head on straigh, don't read, check your Facebook, or just breath in life. You will find yourself exhausted (possibly burnt out) and probably doing these things inside of other time blocks.
We all want more time. The only way to have more is to be wise with what we do have and give ourselves fully to this moment.