Time management 101 tells us that we should figure out how long something will take us to do and block out the time to do it. Makes sense on the face of it. What bothers me with this way of thinking is that it puts the project in control of your “time budget” instead of you deciding how you are going to spend your “time budget”.
I prefer to decide how much time I want to GIVE TO a project based on what I believe the project is worth to me.
This is what we do with money, which we can get more of, but we don’t do it with our time, which is finite.
Think about it. If you want to rent an apartment, do you look at them blindly, or do you first consider how much you are willing to spend on rent and then look at apartments that suit your budget?
In my experience tasks expand and TAKE whatever time you leave open for them. If you have a “wide open day” with no appointments or plans a quick five or ten-minute task can easily TAKE all day. On days that you have appointments scheduled back to back and you’re running from one thing to the next you GIVE that same task five minutes and it is done.
It’s the same with money. If you go to the store with an unlimited budget you pay no attention to what you’re spending, you will find that your purchases increase to fill the void. Generally, if you go to the store with a budget in mind you get what you need at the price level you are comfortable with.
When you decide how much time to GIVE something (AND stick to that time limit) you are forced to increase your focus, make quick decisions and you take quick action.
What’s even better is that since you have real deadlines you eliminate procrastination and eliminate (or at least reduce) your need for perfectionism.
Here are three questions I use daily with my clients (and certainly myself!) to help us decide how much time we want to GIVE to a project. Give them a shot and take control of your time budget.
- What is the goal of the project? What do I expect to accomplish by having it done? What will it do for my business? My profitability? My clients?
- Is this a long-term project or a quick task? Will the results of this project be long lasting enough to justify the investment of my time?
- What other projects am I working on? What other commitments have I made? How will my time be best allocated between the things I want to accomplish?
AFTER you’ve asked yourself these questions, and answered them honestly, you can decide how much time you want to GIVE the project. Now you can go back to Time Management 101 theory and block out the time to do it.
Where can you take charge of your time? Share with me.
My clients tell me of a love/hate relationship with systems. The love part comes because systems make things easier. The results are predictable, you know what you need to do and know where all the things you need to do it are. The hate part comes because there is a belief (which I disagree with) that systems lock you in and don’t leave room for creativity.
So let me ask you a question…do you really want to be creative with the paperwork, agreements or whatever you use when you bring in a new client in or would you rather just celebrate? Yeah, I thought so.
I don’t think that everything you do needs to be regulated 100% by systems but I bet you’d be surprised that by adding a system to ensure that creative time happened that you actually got more creative.
I’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news is that we live in a world with endless possibilities and opportunities. The bad news is that all of these possibilities and opportunities can get overwhelming and you may find yourself not accomplishing anything.
Different people have different reactions to all of the options. Some people end up freezing and doing nothing, while other people may jump from one thing to another in an effort to get everything done. The end result is the same…at the end of the day you wonder where the day has gone and marvel at how little you’ve accomplished and how much more there is to do.
Since there are so many things that my clients and I either want to do or feel that we “should” do, we sometimes create one of those “brain dump” lists to get everything out of our brains and into one spot. I wish I could simply wave a wand and accomplish everything on my “brain dump” list but I can’t because the reality is that we only have 24 hours a day.
Maybe it would be different if the list was stagnant but it isn’t. Somehow the universal law of to-do lists seems to be to always add more than you can possibly cross off. If you try to do everything all you’ll manage to do is engage in a race against the clock that you will never win and you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and in the end, unproductive.
When I see this happening either for myself or my clients it means it’s time to Read more
Famous last words: “It’ll only take a moment…” and before you know it you’re running late, you don’t get the things you need to do done and your whole day is shot.
Chaos to Cash Strategy:
“Squeeze-ins” are the things you do before you do what you’re supposed to be doing.
For instance that “one quick phone call” you make before you leave for a meeting is a squeeze-in.
Squeeze-ins seem innocuous but they can derail your entire day.
Start catching yourself; is what you’re doing a squeeze-in?”
~ Chaos to Cash: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Eliminating Chaos, Overwhelm and Procrastination So You Can Create Ultimate Profit! By Carrie Greene, Chapter 1, Page 96
What if this strategy could come to life for you? What if together we put this and many other strategies to work for you immediately? Join me and stop spinning, get out of overwhelm, stop procrastinating and start growing your business and life.
Click here to learn more and reserve your seat.
It’s the end of May…we’re five months into 2011. Are you on track to meet your 2011 goals?
Join Carrie for a revealing 30-minute Take Action Teleseminar
Action 911: The Immediate Steps You Must Take to Stop Planning and Start Profiting in 2011.
*** Fill in the SHORT form below to register for this FREE program! ***
I keep hearing the same story over and over…
- The first five months of 2011 are over. I haven’t implemented any of my ideas and I’m not making money.
- I’ve been waiting to get all my ducks in a row but I’m not sure I’ll ever get there.
- I’ve been planning and planning…actually I’ve been planning to plan … I don’t have enough clients, I’m not making money…I just don’t know what to do.
- I’m afraid I’ll be looking at these same plans at the end of December!
This has got to end.
It’s time to stop planning and start doing. The bottom line is that unless you act nothing will happen. You and your business will not grow. You will continue to be frustrated. You will keep running around in circles. You will continue under-earning. Everything will stay exactly the way it is.
During this FREE presentation there will be no-hype and no sales. Just 30-minutes of pure content delivered quickly so that you can immediately stop spinning and put your plans into action.
You will learn how to…
- Take the plans you already have and act on them so that you can quickly monetize on the work you’ve already done.
- Focus your attention on the actions that will give you the biggest return on your investment.
- Let go of perfectionism and “just do it” so that you can get the clients you want.
And this is just a small part of what you’ll discover.
There’s nothing to stop you!
Go ahead and complete this SHORT form and register now!
P.S. Do you know someone else who would benefit from this program? Go ahead and forward them the link to this page but make sure to reserve your spot first!
I don’t know about you but when I click on “send/receive” I feel like I have to brace myself for the onslaught…I think “NO! Please don’t download any more!!!”
Recently one of my clients told me how excited she was because she brought the number of emails in her inbox down from 1,500 to 500. A consultant I was speaking with said that she went ahead and deleted 7,000 emails from her inbox without even looking at them. Frankly, I can’t remember any client where the subject of email management did not come up.
I get well over a hundred emails a day. I tell you this not because I think the number is so big or so small but because, whether you get 5 or 1000 emails a day, they add up and they add up fast. What’s more is that email management seems to take on a life of its own. We spend hours every day “doing email”. It’s a huge time sink. What happens with email is that everyone else’s demands, requests and even simple “hello’s” become equally important and take precedence over the things that you really want or need to do.
So how can you manage it? Here are 5 strategies for you to try. By the way, these are the same strategies that I use and that I recommend to my clients. Read more
It snowed overnight and the snow turned into sleet and icy rain. If you know anything about shoveling snow you understand that this is trouble. The snow on the ground gets incredibly heavy, if you leave it on the ground it will freeze solid and there’s no way a snow blower is going to be of any help. Shoveling the driveway was now the number one thing on my to-do list for the day.
As I worked shoveling in the sleet, I saw a connection to what many of us in business — tasks that we have to do that we’d rather not. As I shoveled I realized that I was applying the same ten strategies I use in my business every day to get the more difficult projects done. Hope they help you as much as they helped me! Read more
Wouldn’t it be great if we could do it all? Imagine never having to think about having the time or resources necessary to do a project because you had all the time and resources in the world. Wishful thinking huh?
The truth is that you don’t have infinite access to time or resources. There are things that you might like to do that will be left undone. In order to make sure that what you value the most gets done it’s important not only to set clear goals but to strategically pick the goals that you want to accomplish and create a plan to accomplish them.
To do this, when I work with my private clients one of the exercises we often do is a brain dump. First we create a list with every goal my client can think of, and then we apply the following 5-CarrieThru Keys to Creating Goals to them in order to make sure that we pick the most important goals and make them happen.
Give it a try.
Key 1: As you create your list of goals include the reason you want to accomplish each one. The clearer you are on why you want to do it the better you’ll be able to specify exactly what your goal is.
Were among the 500 people signed up for today’s special teleconference From Procrastination to Payday: Breaking through the Fears and Overwhelm of Entrepreneurship So You Can Start Making Money Immediately?
If you were I owe you a HUGE apology because I know you set aside time to participate and join Suzanne Evans and me as we discussed a topic that plagues many entrepreneurs but weren’t able to listen. I haven’t taken the time to figure it out why yet, but the technology got the better of me and the teleconference did not play. This is not how I like to do business and I apologize.
The good news is that I have a complete recording of the program and have uploaded it to my website. It’s available right now!
So why is this even better for you? Since the recording is on my website it can be downloaded it to your mp3 player and won’t have to be glued to your computer as you listen.
Here’s a quick preview of what Suzanne and I discussed:
- Specific ways to identify the most important project for you to focuse on.
- How procrastination “helps” you and why understanding this will help you move beyond it.
- Simple steps to take to get you past the overwhelm to so that you can move forward and achieve your most important projects.
One last thing…
During the call I previewed a new CarrieThru program, The 3C’s Boot Camp. I made a special offer to the first 7 people who sign up for it before Friday. I think Suzanne seemed a bit peeved at me when she realized just how generous of an offer I made but I guess she’ll have to live with that.
Here’s the link again… http://carriethru.com/index.php/youre-registered-from-procrastination-to-payday/
By the way, because of the technology fiasco I experienced I decided to make this recording available to everyone even if you hadn’t signed up for the call consider this a special gift from me…no additional opt-in required!