I have been asked many times, how I manage to get so much done in a relatively short period of time. Everyone attributes it to the ability to multi-task. I believe there’s no such critter. People who seem to be multi-tasking, are in actuality, simply masters of time management. Very often, it’s the most besieged among us, as in our own Ben Franklin’s quote:”if you want something done, ask a busy person”, who manage the most fraught schedule in the most accomplished way. Quite simply, we have learned to manage our time as you would any precious resource, so we’re not under pressure & overwhelmed.
Something as simple as a list, with time approximates is a great way to begin. I love working with 90 minute windows. You can review my “Lifestyle Checklist” for an idea of how this works effectively as per lifestyle productivity. But, the concept works with everything, you just need to prioritize & break it into manageable elements. 90 minutes is about the best span of time before fatigue or distractions capture your attention and slow your progress.Whether it’s major lifestyle changes, or just a list of chores, breaking it down makes it easier, faster, and more pleasurable.
I also love working with directional logistics. Don’t be intimidated by the term, all it means is be logical when planning appointments and other trips. I had a boss once, who only managed 3-4 appointments a day, while I conquered 6-8. He was frustrated, but curious as to how I did it. When I took a New York City map out, to trace our respective appointments, he laughed when he realized he jumped up,down & crosstown multiple times, wasting hours of travel time. It can’t always be perfectly orchestrated, but most clients will be sympathetic and amenable if you ask and explain why you’d like to meet at a certain time. I often added, it was also so I could give the time and attention to them that they deserved and not rush to the next appointment, so it became relatively simple to plan an easier route to accomplish my meetings for the day.
One final thought. If you think of everything you’ve got going on in your day, and incorporate, instead of compartmentalize or delegate, I promise you’ll be in better shape, in every sense. As examples, I no longer have a dog-walker, a cleaning service, or a gym membership. Although I loved the initial convenience, organizing everyone’s schedules became such a time-consuming chore, that I found it counter-productive to my initial desire to save time. Since I work from home very often, I no longer lose travel time going to & from the gym, I just jump on my elliptical machine. I no longer let chores & laundry stack up waiting for someone to do them, I just incorporate 90 minutes every day and get them done. I am in my better shape & my house looks beautiful,both of which give me the time and inspiration to accomplish more personally and professionally.Walking my dog Mica, is when I delve into problem solving,moving briskly in the fresh air. It clears my thoughts and re-organizes everything. By the time I get back, he is relaxed and settles down for a nap, and I am brimming with new thoughts and ideas, and ready to get back to work.
Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you, & if I can help.. And, the next time anyone says you should learn to multi-task, just chuckle, because by then, you’ll know better! You can also check out “Motivated Or Mired” for more tips!
Best, Concierge Jo-Anna
There is always a valid case for delegating, especially if you aren’t comfortable or engaged with a particular something. But it’s not as often as you might think, especially for the entrepreneur. The more we incorporate our needs and master our time, the more effectively we can manage everything, personally and professionally.