Be careful of time thieves

Jason, service manager for a sawmill equipment manufacturer in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, told Session seven of Turbo’s Leadership Development Lab (LDL):

“My original 5x Enthusiasm goal was training one of my employees in a specific job skill he needs training in to improve his job performance. The constant daily distractions in my job hijack my time and stands in the way of achieving this goal and many of my other management improvement goals. I decided that unless I take back control of my time, I will remain stuck in this endless loop with no real progress.

“The first thing I decided to do make a list at the end of each day of the high priority tasks that must be completed the following day. Then I blocked out the first 60 minutes of each day on my calendar andcommunicated to my staff not to disturb me unless absolutely necessary. I close the door to my office, turn down the volume on my desk phone, put my cell phone on vibrate and spend the first 60 minutes of each day on high priority tasks only.

“Additionally, I have now structured non-priority weekly tasks into my schedule as time blocks. Now I enter all as a batch during a scheduled time block each week greatly reducing day-to-day distractions and extra work that is just unproductive activity.

“I have been able to take back control of my time and start working towards my goals. I am getting more of the things done that really matter (the vital few tasks that determine my success) and I feel much better about myself and my job.

“The lesson I have learned by applying some of these basic time management skills is that if I don’t set boundaries and take control of my time and schedule, I will be at the mercy of every siren’s call.

“The action I ask you to take is find a way to reduce or eliminate your daily distractions so you can ‘concentrate on your vital few’ to reach the goals that are important to you.

“The benefit you will receive is, you will get out from under the circumstances that can weigh you down and you will be on top of things. You will have renewed enthusiasm for your job and life.”

It starts by defining and clarifying your vital few, your priority tasks, your five to seven key results areas. After you have determined these, set stretching goals for this quarter, month, and week. Focus on these core tasks and keep score of your progress. You will exceed all your former best achievements. You will be the winner.