Where the Rubber Hits the Road – The 411 & Time Blocking
“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade.”– Louis E. Boone
There is perhaps no greater waste of time than to do a great job on something that doesn’t matter. Yet, troops of trivial tasks emerge daily from our texts and inboxes. Deadlines must be met, anxious clients need to be calmed, and opportunities to be claimed. The trick to defending against them is knowing what you’ve already said yes to. We must keep our priorities clear and give them the time and effort they demand. The simplest way to do this is with the 411 and Time Blocking.
The 411 completes the work you’ve done in this series on the building blocks of extraordinary success. With Goal Setting to the Now (GSTTN) you created future goals founded in your purpose and values and walked them back to the present. The 411 is both a process and a form. The process is GSTTN in miniature. Each week you ask and answer what you’ll need to achieve to be on track for your monthly goals. And each month, you’ll determine the monthly milestones you’ll need to reach to stay on track for your annual goals. The form serves as a dashboard with your weekly, monthly, and annual goals all in one place. With a glance, you can reset your intentions.
Set aside time weekly to work the 411 process. Once you have clarity on your weekly and monthly priorities, open your calendar and ensure you have time dedicated to each priority. Your whole week need not be time blocked. Just the mornings. Set aside time early each day to knock out your top priority. Highly successful people tend to have a great day before noon. Meetings can move to the afternoons. And leave slack time each day to triage the urgent. In business, you can count on the unexpected, but if you fail to allocate time for it, you’ll steal time from your priorities.
I know achievers who end their work week each Friday with updating their 411 and calendar. I do mine on Sundays when I’m preparing for the coming week. Any time between end-of-day Friday and Monday early morning works. Just avoid the trap of leaving it for Monday at the office. Who knows what crisis lurks in your office awaiting your arrival? When you launch your week without clear priorities, every little thing competes for your attention.
One question to ponder in your thinking time: Does my calendar reflect my priorities?
Make an Impact!