Strategy #5.Use the 3/3/3 technique to increase you daily productivity. Most people can do the kind of work that demands serious mental focus for a total of only about three hours a day. Beyond that, your can continue to be productive, but your energy levels just aren’t as high and your concentration is not as intense. This may seem like a limitation, but it is actually quite freeing. I don’t try to optimize my time for the entire workday. Instead, I reserve those three high productivity hours-for when my energy is at its highest and I have a good chance of keeping interruptions to a minimum–for my most challenging and important projects. Outside of that, I try to make the most of my lower-productivity time by completing at least three shorter tasks, usually urgent ones I’ve been avoiding that require moderate concentration such as answering email and conducting meetings….and dedicating time to three maintenance activities that require low concentration but daily attention to keep life running smoothly–perhaps returning phone calls or planning business trips. The 3/3/3 technique ensures that I’m prioritizing what matters and getting it done each day even if my mental energy levels fluctuate.
Strategy #6. Pay yourself first. This technique comes from the world of personal finance when you automatically funnel a portion of your paycheck into worthy goals such as savings or retirement investing. If you wait to do this until the rest of your financial obligations are taken care of each month, there never seems to be enough money left over. The same concept works well with time. If a certain activity matters deeply to you–such as working on a creative project or nurturing a friendship–block out time for that first when you organize your calendar for the week, then adapt the rest of your schedule accordingly.
I have two more strategies that I will write about in the coming weeks. If you feel you need help with time management or other issues, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 361.442.9590.