Join Dave Crenshaw for an in-depth discussion in this video Identifying your most valuable activities, part of Time Management Fundamentals.
- Let's go through a brief exercise to help you identify your top two most valuable activities, your MVAs. We have provided the handout in the Exercise Files to help you with this process. On this simple chart, list all the different activities that you perform. You'll see I've already added two activities for you in the handout. The first is travel, meaning "travel time to and from work", and the second is wasting time, meaning "choosing to waste time at work", such as viewing social media sites, or spending excessive time gossiping with coworkers.
Hey, we all waste a little time, right? Begin now and list the other activities that you perform during work. For example, managing employees, calling for sales, marketing, writing press releases, booking travel or janitorial tasks. Think of them as mini positions. Imagine yourself wearing many different hats, each of them representing the position, and every time that you have to switch hats that would be a different activity.
Go ahead and list as many of those activities as you can think of in the first column. Pause the video right now to make this list, then come back when you're done. Now that you've created a list of activities, let's move on. In the second column, next to each of those positions that you listed, write what you guess is an average annual salary for someone on that job assuming you hire them full-time.
Go ahead and write that number down in the column next to it. If you don't have any idea about the annual salary you could use a search engine to look up salary information. However, don't be too particular about it. Just give your best guess on the number and write it down. We're looking for rough numbers here, not perfection. Go ahead and pause the video while you list the estimated annual salary for each of these many positions. Now that you've listed the activities you perform and their estimated annual salary, it's time for some simple math to determine the estimated hourly wage.
Use a calculator and divide the annual salary by 2,080, the average number of work hours in a year. Divide each of those annual salaries by 2,080 and write the result. You'll end up with a rough estimate of the hourly wage for each of those activities. Go ahead and pause the video now to complete this column. And finally, the last step is to rank the different activities according to their value per hour, one being the highest.
The first two that I gave you are travelling and wasting time; these are both worth zero, absolutely nothing. So, wait to rank them until the end as they'll be dead last. Once you've created a rank for all these different activities, you'll be able to easily identify your top two most valuable activities. These two MVAs are worth the most in your workday, are the most difficult to replace and bring the most bottom line impact both to your company and your career.
Now, let's explore how we can focus time on these activities.
Learn how to get more done in the shortest time possible and avoid the obstacles and distractions that can get in the way of good time management. Dave gives practical strategies for increasing productivity in three main areas: developing habits to be more organized and reducing clutter in your workspace; staying mentally on task and eliminate the to-dos you have floating in your head; and developing a time budget to get the most done during your workday and focus on your most valuable activities.
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- Finding your productivity style and motivation
- Understanding the principles of time management
- Avoiding the pitfalls of multitasking
- Narrowing your gathering points
- Consolidating email and voicemail accounts
- Practicing mind-clearing techniques
- Choosing and using calendar software
- Saying no with tact
- Mastering the what, when, where processing system
- Processing email vs. checking email
- Maintaining productivity gains