10 Nov The Workforce Development Coach’s 40 Rules of Time Control
Do you struggle with time control?
Even though the concept of “Time is Money” (Ben Franklin) has been around for over 250 years, it remains a difficult concept for most people to put to good use. Perhaps this is because the hourly wage, at some point in their life, was the way they got paid for doing a job.
The hourly wage is based on the idea, in the employee’s mind, that what is accomplished is not as important as how long it takes to accomplish it. Why? Because the more hours an employee spends on a task, the more money they make even if the outcome is no better. Of course this idea is less viable in the Information Age, where, more and more, employees are paid for the outcome they provide (pay for performance) and not the amount of time it takes them to get to the outcome.
To eliminate the hourly wage concept, I start the coaching process by assisting people to immediately recognize the value of their time and where it needs to be spent to generate the best Return On Investment (ROI). Without this realization of the value of their time, the energy and focus needed to implement an effective Action Plan (the core element of my coaching process) will be wasted.
To help those that I coach to more effectively value their time, I have developed 40 very basic rules that, if followed (and in no particular order), will give them more control of their time, make them more productive, eliminate Time Stressors, make them easier to be around and, as a great side benefit, lets them live longer and happier lives.
Here are the first 20 of those Rules:
Rule #1: Organize your work space. And don’t tell me you know exactly where everything is. Any mess is a time suck.
Rule #2: Make a Daily “To Do” List. Be realistic or you will demotivate yourself.
Rule #3: Write down your Daily and Weekly Goals. Writing is always more potent, when it comes to implementation, than Thinking.
Rule #4 & Rule #5: Bundle your trivial tasks & do them all at once. At the end of the day because this creates a BIG feeling of getting stuff done and generates momentum for the next day.
Rule #6: Have a list of “tiny tasks” taking less than 10 minutes to do. When the unexpected happen and you have an extra 10 minutes do one. Again, this generates a great feeling of accomplishment and momentum.
Rule #7: Break BIG tasks into small tasks. “Chunking” diminishes the overwhelming aspect of the BIG task.
Rule #8: Spend your time on the 20% of activities that produce 80% of the needed results. The Pareto Principle (the 80 – 20 Rule), developed 120 years ago still works.
Rule #9: Do important activities when your Energy Level is high. The corollary rule: Do routine stuff when your energy level is low.
Rule #10: Have uninterrupted scheduled Focus Time each day. And enforce it with others!
Rule #11: Don’t Procrastinate unless it matters to the outcome. Waiting is okay as long as you are waiting for something specific to happen that may alter an element of the task.
Rule #12: Do a monthly Time/Energy Audit. You need to know where your time is going before you can know where to redirect it.
Rule #13: Have an Action Plan with Deadlines for Important Tasks that move you towards the outcome of the Action Plan. And the Action plan has to be in writing, and visible, all day.
Rule #14: Don’t waste “waiting time.” Always have something to read.
Rule #15: Set aside daily “busy work” time. When your energy level is low.
Rule #16: Finish at least one Priority task a day. This means you have to identify your Priority tasks (see Rule #13).
Rule #17: Schedule daily “me” time to relax. This is when you leave your work space for at least 10 minutes twice a day.
Rule #18: Prioritize your activities. All tasks are not equal.
Rule #19: Always improve your Time Control Skills. When you perform your Monthly Time Audit reflect on how to get better.
Rule #20: Hold Meetings at the end of the day. Closer to “quittin’ time” – faster the meeting.
The Bottom Line: This is a buffet. Pick two rules and practice them. You can read about the final 20 Rules are here.