Do you find you have an uneven, unpredictable schedule — one that makes inefficient use of time or has you running around like a chicken with your head cut off?
Today, I’m going to share with you one of the most useful time management tools I’ve ever encountered.
It’s called a DEFAULT CALENDAR.
A wise person once told me that the missing link in goal achievement is scheduling. They were making the argument for migrating to-do lists into calendars. Since I learned how to do this, my productivity has at least doubled.
You see, there are a few key problems with the to-do list. First, they overwhelm us with too many choices. Second, we are naturally drawn to simpler tasks which are more easily accomplished. Third, we are rarely drawn to important-but-not-urgent tasks, like setting aside time for learning. Fourth, to-do lists on their own lack the essential context of what time you have available. Fifth, they lack a commitment device to keep us honest.
This was enough for me. I converted from my religiously observed to-do list (daily work plan) to this calendar system, also known as timeboxing (a term borrowed from agile project management).
Your Default Calendar shows you what to do each hour of each day to be optimally effective. You block the most important things in your schedule as an appointment with yourself…so that you can hold yourself accountable and achieve lasting success.
At first, your Default Calendar might need to include more of the smaller activities that lead to the creation of high revenue opportunities (emailing, networking, prospecting, etc.), but as you bring in more revenue you will have more and more ability to outsource and delegate those smaller tasks, making room for more revenue-generating work.
While your Default Calendar changes over time as your business grows, what remains important is that you prioritize your higher-value tasks as much as possible.
Using a Default Calendar improves how we feel (control), how much we achieve as individuals (personal productivity), and how much we achieve in the teams we work in (enhanced collaboration).
This may be the single most important skill or practice you can possibly develop as a modern professional, as it buys you so much time to accomplish anything else. It’s also straightforwardly applied and at no cost.
The pain of discipline or disappointment!
Maybe the hardest thing in using a Default Calendar is integrity at the moment it comes to that time. At 10 o’clock on Wednesday when you said I’m going to do eat that frog or do something that is tough for me to do like make some calls. You have to have some integrity at that moment, and we get to pay either one of two pains, the pain of discipline or the pain of disappointment.
The pain of discipline of doing it in a moment or the pain of disappointment in not getting the results that we want for ourselves this week, or in five years’ time or whatever timeframe you’re thinking about.
To show you exactly what I mean, I’d like to give you a FREE default calendar template that you can use in your business. To access it, simply click the link here.
ACT NOW. Fill it out. Be sure to make plenty of time for your Quadrant 2 tasks.
Would you like some help with this?
If you’d like some help managing your time, please reach out to me, as I’ve helped many business owners gain control over their calendars. I invite you to book a 15-minute call to discuss business coaching. You can book a complimentary 15-minute call with me at www.TimeWithShane.com.