Power of time-blocking
The primary goal with time-blocking is to carve out blocks of time to commit to the most important activities in your day and week. The schedule represents what your week would look like in a perfect world for you and your business. Of course, the trick is sticking to your commitments and not allowing interruptions, distractions or something else deter you from doing the activity you have scheduled.
Download the Agent Perfect Week and customize it for your business.
- Use the categories outlined below to guide you to scheduling the key areas for you and your business.
- We recommend scheduling “Prospecting” time in the mornings. In our coaching experience, this is the area many people tend to not stay committed to completing.
- If you erase, you must replace! That means if you decide you will work with a client when you have prospecting scheduled, then you must reschedule that time block somewhere else in the week.
- Avoid the tendency to multi-task when you are in one of your time blocks. You will be more efficient and get better results if you stay focused on the task at hand. For example, schedule 30-minute blocks for social media daily 5. Just knock it out. Stay on task and don’t get distracted with other tasks on your to do list.
Main categories to color code and schedule
Schedule your personal -family time and day(s) off first!
- Day(s) Off
- Meditation or other morning rituals
- Breakfast and prep for the day
I.P.A. – Income-Producing Activities
- Client Appointments
- Networking Events
- Client lunches and pop-by’s
S.A. – Support Activities
- Trainings- Workshops- Webinars
- Office Meetings
- Prep work-research
- Social Media
- Team Meetings- Accountability
Are you leveraging the training and coaching available with your WC membership?
Try blocking out one hour a week and choose a topic, training module, or webinar replay. Make a commitment to implement just one new idea or strategy in your business each week. Take action each week and you will build momentum to get your priority systems in place for your business.
Getting Things Done (GTD)
One of the books on our recommended reading list is David Allen’s Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. The basic premise of the book is to get everything out of your head, off your mind and into a trusted system you know you will use. Older time and resource management systems can be inefficient in today’s fast-paced, multi-tasking world.
Our minds are powerful instruments – constantly reminding us of things to do, unfinished projects, seemingly endless “open loops” of information. Our stress levels are increased when we don’t have a method of emptying these thoughts and collecting them in a system that we individually trust and know we will use. When we have a trusted method to collect and hold the thoughts, to-dos, and the “stuff” that comes up in our lives and business, we can respond efficiently and return quickly to a calm state. Clearing the mind and being flexible are essential.
Basic requirements for managing commitments
- If it’s on your mind, then your mind isn’t clear. Anything that you consider unfinished in any way must be captured in a trusted system that is OUTSIDE your mind.
- You must clarify what your commitment is and decide what you have to do to make progress towards fulfilling it.
- Once you’ve decided the action to take, you must keep reminders of them in an organized system you can review regularly.
Why Things are on Your Mind
- You haven’t clarified exactly what the intended outcome is.
- You haven’t decided what the very next physical step is and/or
- You haven’t put reminders of the outcome and the action required in a system you trust.
Two key questions to ask for all of your projects:
- What is the successful outcome?What has to happen so this can be checked off as completed? If it takes more than one step it’s a project.
- What is the next action?If this was the only thing you had to get done, what is the very next physical thing you would have to do?
Five Phases of the Workflow Process
Click here or on the image above to download the GTD flow chart
Capture everything you need to remember, track or act on in a container or bucket – a physical inbox, to do list, a mobile app, a voice recorder, email inbox. You must empty the buckets regularly. Keep the collection buckets to a minimum.
Deal with one item at a time. Never put anything back into “in”.
If the item requires action:
- Do it (if it takes less than two minutes) OR
- Delegate it, OR
- Defer it
If the item does not require action:
- File it for reference, OR
- Throw it away, OR
- Incubate it for possible action later
Organize and keep track of items awaiting action.
- Next actions – every project always has a next action to move it forward
- Projects – every “open loop” that has more than one action needed to accomplish it
- Waiting for – Items you have delegated to someone else
- Someday/maybe – Things you want to do at some point in the future
Review – as often as needed to keep your head empty
- Loose papers
- Process your notes
- Calendar items
- Projects, Next Action lists, Waiting for lists, Someday/maybe lists
- Empty your head
Do – in the moment, guided by intuition, supported by the four previous phases, influenced by the reality of current situation:
- time available
- energy available
Critical Success Factor: The Weekly Review
The weekly Review is a way to keep yourself updated, and at the same time give you a feeling of being in control of all your “stuff”.
- Gather and process all your “stuff”
- Review your system
- Update your lists
- Get clean, clear, current and complete
Basic Categories for Your Buckets
- A “Projects” list
- Projected Support Material
- Calendared actions and information
- “Next Actions” lists
- A “Waiting For” list
- Reference Material
- A “Someday/Maybe” list
- Do – Doing – Done
Here are some GTD templates you may find useful to get you started with this system:
Productivity Apps & Tools
Leverage Your Existing Software Solutions First!
- Your CRM/Software Solution(s)
- Action Plans
- Core app for paperless operations
- Take notes, sync files (Notebooks) across your devices
- Save webpages
- Share files & folders with clients and colleagues
- Cloud-based file and folder storage
- Share and collaborate
- Transaction storage management system
- Slack is a messaging, collaboration and project management app for teams
- Has four pricing tiers, including a robust free one
- Works with other apps (Dropbox, Evernote, Skype, Google Apps, Trello)
- Collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards
- Tells you what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process
- Excellent for project & content management