Finding it hard to carve out time to get important things done? Checking email, people at your office door, unexpected meetings can all fill time but may not be getting you any closer to getting your own work done or to move ahead on projects.
Taken from his blog, Three Star Leadership, Wally Bock offers key ideas on how to do more important things better.
1. Schedule important work for when you’re at your best. Are you a morning person or not? Pay attention to when you work your best and use that time to do high-value tasks.
2. Carve out blocks of uninterrupted time. They key here is uninterrupted— door closed, email closed, phone off.
3. Follow the Raymond Chandler Rule. According to Bock, if Chandler “set aside time to write, he didn’t have to write, but he wouldn’t allow himself to do anything else. Work. Or just sit there. You’ll work soon enough.”
4. Have a limited to-do list. Put a few items on the list that will help you make “progress on goals and projects.” Bock limits his to five items and tracks his performance by assigning a value to each item. For example, the top item might be worth 50 of the 100 points. That way you can see how well you’ve scored each day on completing high-value tasks.
5. Capture your good ideas. Establish a method for recording an idea that you might otherwise forget or be unable to recapture the train of thought. Not all ideas are winners but Bock notes, “… you won’t be able to evaluate and use them if you don’t remember them.”
Bock goes on to say “As with anything, you will improve your personal productivity if you make a conscious effort, track your performance, and make changes based on what works and what doesn’t.”