Focus: a time allocation issue
I’ve tried the serious and intense time management stuff. I’ve managed my time in 15 minute increments. I’ve kept a list of tasks and projects. I’ve worked on one of those tasks or projects at a time and used my timer to keep myself on my schedule. My outcomes?
- Stressed because I could not keep to my schedule
- Tasks not completed because of interruptions
My focus strategy: I chunk my time
Chunking works for me and it might work for you. When you chunk your time, you step away from your task list and instead first look at how your week and days flow. I only chunk the current week. Here’s how I look at my time chunks:
- Work week
- Work day
With my calendar handy, I next look at my scheduled meetings, coaching clients, lunch appointments, and networking sessions. I now understand when I’m going to be in the office and when I will have a chunk of time.
The quality of a chunk of time is definitely worth your consideration. If you spend your first hour putting out fires, acknowledge this, allow for it in your chunking by scheduling it in that time slot. Putting out fires is important work!
Once you understand your time chunks for the week, go to your task list to fit your tasks into your time chunks. Be true to your plan if at all possible. I give you permission to reassign your tasks to another time chunk because we all know time chunks can change between Monday and Friday.
My hint: I acknowledge the completion of a task by highlighting it in yellow rather than crossing it off my list. I prefer the color to show my success.
The ROI of focus
While the term Return on Investment (ROI) is often used in financial areas, it applies here to the benefits I get when I chunk my time:
- Feel more in control and successful at completing tasks
- Complete more tasks than I do when I don’t chunk my time and respect my time chunking
- Operate more efficiently and cost-effectively
Would you like to talk about time chunking and how it can work for you? Give me a call today at 910-215-0077. I look forward to our conversation!