Join Dave Crenshaw for an in-depth discussion in this video Using your time budgeter, part of Time Management Fundamentals.
- Now that you've created a time budgeter for your most valuable activities, I'd like to take you through a few examples of how you can use it effectively. Watch how I use the time budgeter as a tool to help me answer the "when will it be done?" question of the "what, when, where" processing system. For example, let's suppose I am about to process a note I wrote down, reminding me to create a system to train Cameron on how to better manage employees.
What's the next step? The next step is I'm going to pull out my system's template and begin writing. When will it be done? This is definitely going to take me longer than 15 minutes, so I know it has to go to the calendar. I think it will probably take me 90 minutes. I then refer to my time budget calendar which shows me the best time to complete this type of activity. So, I find the time that I budgeted on Wednesday afternoon to write systems and I schedule those 90 minutes there - in my actual calendar, not my time budget.
Let's try another example. Let's say I have an idea or an opportunity to write an article for a newspaper. Writing is one of my most valuable activities. So, what is the next step? I'm going to brainstorm ideas for the article. When will it be done? Well, let's say it's going to take me 30 minutes to brainstorm. I scheduled Friday as my writing time budget. So I'm going to schedule 30 minutes in my calendar during that writing time budget.
Having the time budget makes it easy for me to figure out where to put things. What if I'm processing an item that isn't my most valuable activity; it's an LVA, or a least valuable activity. Let's say my accountant sent me an email that says we need to review my finances for last year. It's important, but not one of my top two most valuable activities. My accountant in his email asks me if I can schedule the meeting on Friday at 10 o'clock during the time I budgeted for writing.
You'll have situations like this where you'll be tempted to schedule less valuable activities on top of your time budget for your most valuable activities. Don't do it! Just because someone proposed a meeting time to you does not mean you have to respond to the first option they give you. So, I reply back to my accountant and say, "I'm not available Friday at 10 o'clock. "Can we meet on..." and I look at my calendar, and find a place where I don't have any conflicts on my time budget.
Monday morning looks good. So I send an email, "Can we meet on Monday at 11 instead?" For some, protecting your time budget might not be a challenge. For everyone else, for those of you who have the tendency to say yes too quickly, use your time budget as a guide. Refer back to it before making a scheduled commitment, whether you're responding to a meeting request, or you're scheduling work for yourself to do. Protect your most valuable activities and you'll increase the value of your time.
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