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Empty your diary and free-up your time

Tags: Meetings | Impact | Save time | Do more | Influencing

21st November

Struggling for time?

If so, this Tip’s for you.

It contains four simple ways to empty your diary and free-up your time.

But, before I show you what they are, a quick reminder about the #1 Rule with Time:

        Time isn’t about time. It’s about priority.

In other words, there’s always time. It’s what you choose to do with it that counts.

And what do you choose to do with your time?

Well, you choose whatever goes in your diary. After all:

  • Put something in your diary, and you’ll do it
  • Don’t put something in your diary, and you have to work round what’s in your diary. So you’ll probably have “no time” to do it

So, given that (1) time and (2) priority and (3) diary basically mean the same thing, here’s how can you empty your diary and free up your time – my ABCD:

A = Accountability

Your diary is your fault. Nobody else’s.

Yes, people can put things in your diary. But their invite isn’t a court summons. You can decline it if you want.

So the first step of taking charge of your diary is to realise that it’s yours to take charge of.

B = Booked is sacred

Once something’s in your diary, don’t double book yourself.

And don’t let other people do it either. For example, if you’ve diarised ‘planning time’ and someone tries to grab some of it, tell them you can’t make it because you’re busy then. They’ll have to book another time.

C = Capacity is good

Or “back-to-back is rubbish”.

Diarise breaks during your day. After all, if today’s diary contains eight consecutive one-hour meetings… well, that’s clearly going to be a rubbish day.

And an unproductive one.

When are you going to reflect or act on what you’ve heard in Meeting #1? When are you going to get a drink? Go to the toilet? Your day is doomed before it’s begun.

Try this: don’t have meetings that last 60 minutes. Instead, make them last 45. You now have time for liquid in and liquid out!

D = Disciplined follow-up

What gets diarised gets done.

So, if you do something today which needs following-up, put that follow-up in your diary. That way, it becomes a priority. And, because it’s in the diary, you’ll have time to do it.

ABCD ensures your important stuff gets done.

For example, it isn’t always easy for me to find the “time” to create Tuesday Tips. But I’ve been writing them since June 2010, and not missed a week yet.

And how do I always find the time?

Because they’re a priority.

So ‘Write Tuesday Tips’ is in the diary.

This week I’m mad busy. But, guess what? I bet there’s another Tip next week…

Action Point

‘ABCD’ your diary. Remove/reduce the things you don’t need to do. Insert the things you do. You’re about to have more time. And get a lot more done.

And – talking of time – to get a lot better very quickly, watch a few five-minute videos, showing you how to save time. Here’s where you can get one of them for free.