This is an unapologetic plug for the power of “Time Blocking”
Here’s my calendar for next week:
For years, I resisted the siren call of the practice of Time Blocking.
After all, I was pretty much born an entrepreneur which (by definition) translates to being “FREE” to do as I please and ever imagining new and different (out of the box) ways things can be done.
While that’s been fun through the years, there’s one very important piece that seldom happened . . . I rarely FINISHED what I started, because there were so many bright, shiny objects (squirrels) popping up in my peripheral field of vision which would distract my attention on the task at hand thereby shifting my focus elsewhere.
I am still afflict by this condition as are SO many of my friends and colleagues . . . Birds of a feather flock together, eh?
If it weren’t for my penchant for reading and learning (accumulating knowledge), and forever travelling on this quest for “BETTER”, I’m pretty sure that I would never have shed my blinders which protected my belief that I would stumble into success if I were to continue to flit from one thing to the next and so on and so on and so on.
This life of seldom crossing the finish line, was exciting and exhausting and vibrant but not fulfilling – rewarding.
Failing to finish is not to succeed.
I’m still “that person”, but I finally discovered (15ish years ago) that I MUST find a way to force myself to “finish my peas”.
I found therapy through voracious reading and working with a variety of professional coaches – MOST significantly – Harrison Owen (My Father) with his discovery and dissemination of Open Space Technology with 5 principles and the law of 2 feet – Angeles Arrian with her “FourFold Way” – Deepak Chopra – Stephen Covey was a HUGE influence, Joe Stumpf with his “By Referral Only” program – Bill Haggard who taught me the importance of being willing to be held accountable resulting in my having multiple forms of accountability (Weekly on Mondays with my team, monthly with 5 different colleagues each via 1:1 Zoom meetings, and one monthly 5 hour “Forum Six” with 4 other business owners) – Gary Keller @ Keller Williams Realty MVVBP & WI4C2TS, the 411 and weekly worksheet – and Larry Kendall with the Ninja Selling program – Seth Godin with his pithy wisdom landing in my email inbox every single morning .
As I write this, I realize that they were all saying the same things packaged differently, and I needed ALL of them to be sufficiently “programmed” to become a “FINISHER”.
I distilled all of that “content” down to a “way” which I call “Life Rhythm” . . . this is a 5 session workshop (2 hours/session) that I will offer in November.
All of the above written is to say that this concept commonly knowing as “Time Blocking” is my magic pill for finishing more projects even as the world around me conspires to distract me.
The truth is that “multi-tasking” is rarely (if ever) efficient because it fractionalizes FOCUS . . .
We all have multiple daily tasks and myriad projects which we must finish in order to complete our mission (succeed).
There’s great wisdom in the old saying: “How do you eat an elephant? . . . “One bite at a time”
This is the essence of “Time blocking”
When we schedule daily, weekly, monthly, annually recurring activities, we develop our own unique rhythm.
In this way, we “touch” every one our “initiatives” each and every day thereby making daily incremental progress towards “finish”. This allows us to laser focus (single-task) our way through our days.
My calendar pictured above is VERY BLUE which means that I have scheduled most of the available hours in every working day with some activity leaving very little ostensible time for “Emergent issues and/or Client meetings”.
Gary Keller “fixed” this dilemma by introducing the permission to “erase and replace”. We can always adjust the time blocks by moving or deleting them to accommodate flexibility.
The reason this “strategy” increases efficiency (more finished with less effort and time), is that it prohibits the “bad habit” of us seizing a new initiative and allowing it to all consume our time and energy thereby neglecting other projects or “quality of life” activities and responsibilities.
When I “got rhythm”, I reduced my “working hours” in 1/2 (80 hours a week reduced to 40) with no loss of production.
How blue is YOUR calendar?