Do I want to spend two hours and be heard by 5 people or 300?
I would have thought my daily choices point to the latter (thereby leveraging my time). But after a quick audit of my activities, I still have a tendency to pick broadcasting to 5 over 300.
While watching a documentary earlier today…I got a stark reminder that I am one of those drivers Danny Kahneman was talking about. The scenario was that even if Taxi Drivers know that they get more passengers during rainy days vs sunny days, they don’t make it a point to work more hours on rainy days (and take a day off during sunny days). What’s worse, is the Taxi Drivers stop working once they hit their daily goal (which is the same during sunny days) even when there are tons more earning opportunities.
So, in addition to my daily time tracking sheets — I am aiming to pause every few hours to ask the question: ‘Should I continue? Or do I need to pivot?’
I know it’s a different scenario for the Notes of Encouragement (which is personalised…and I aim to send each an every one of them myself). But for the Q&A and building the mailing list. There’s an option of guest posting, rather than spending my time on Twitter interacting with individual tweets that are amusing or engaging.
Put in another way by Charles Duhigg: “Productivity is not about doing things unthinkingly. Productivity is about pushing yourself to think more about the things that matter…We know that the people who are most productive tend to spend more time thinking about what their priorities ought to be. Instead of getting into their office and just automatically answering emails, and then working on their expenses, and then returning phone calls. Instead of going on auto-pilot….What the most productive people do is they sit down and they say: ‘Okay look, I know I did that yesterday, but is that the best use of my time today?’ ”
Note: The Battle In Your Mind is available for purchase if you’re looking for viewing for your conference attendees.
Did this post spark something that you’d like to talk about more? Go for it! Send me a quick note so I can learn about your bumpy (yet exciting!) adventures.
Was it was an action!?
Better do that first before sending me that note!
Have you considered how essential the task you are doing? One quick way is by asking yourself: “Is this the one thing I should be doing right now?”
With our field of vision (screens — whether on the computer or the phone) constant filled with distractions (like the Instagram feed of Paul Jarvis — sprinkled with appearances of his cute rats), not to mention normal brain distractions (good: ideas seemingly popping out of nowhere; bad: ‘What if I don’t hit my sales figures this week?’)
It doesn’t mean you ignore the ideas that pop up when you clearly should be working on something else. You just have to capture them (now! no pen? load your notes app on your phone, type in, or record a voice memo) — then put them on hold.
Once your done with that one thing, get ready to put on your best Bartlet voice and ask with a smile: “What’s Next?”
Still on the fence whether you should sign up? Or resurrect your account (because when you tried using Twitter, it was just too much to bother investing time in)?
To leverage the time I spend on Twitter, I’ve set some guidelines for myself:
- Only follow individuals who share their first and last names on their profile.
- If someone follows me, I don’t need to follow back automatically. (Though I do usually follow back)
- Consider connecting with a person outside of Twitter (preferably via email), if they do not respond to (or struggle to keep track of) direct messages.
- Minimise Tweets, and focus more on direct messaging.
- No using external apps (particularly auto responders).
- Limit people I am following.
Of course, as with guidelines, they are a starting point — and don’t have to be set in stone. If there are times I think I have to deviate from it, having that specific guideline in mind just helps me give that action a second (or third!) thought.
One example is following @SomeKernels author of ‘Some Kernels of Truth‘ (deviation from guideline #1):
Would love to hear how you make the most of your time on Twitter! Do you have guidelines too (even if they are just mental notes! I actually hadn’t written out my guidelines until this post!)? Use the comment section below or send me a message directly. 🙂
Making the wrong decision scares the heck out of me. Thing is, in order to grow (and move forward), I can’t just say yes to everything…or do nothing.
My saving grace (on some days) and reminder, came in the form of something from a review:
Some examples of the power of saying ‘No’:
Author’s Note: I intentionally keep entries short — elaboration and rants reserved for individual conversations (including those who reach out to me).
The problem with having all the good intentions of ‘time management’ by tracking down each task, is at times, other tasks meld into it (like looking at pictures/videos of cute faces of dogs, puppies, and cats).
When it happens to me, my time tracking sheet ends up looking like:
- 1:32 PM – 1:45 PM – Check WNE Facebook responses
- 1:45 PM – 2:10 PM – Lunch
- 2:10 PM – 5:45 PM – Check email (whoops! got distracted a LOT here!)
- 5:45 PM – 6:10 PM – Exercise Time
Because I tend to have multiple tabs open at a time (those ideas have to be caught when they drift in!), I’ve found myself getting a thought…wanting to watch a quick video (to make sure it is the one I wanted to forward)…then ending up losing an hour or two while on my ‘check mail task’.
My solution to minimise this happening is to set a 20 minute timer, and to make sure that I vary my tasks between 20-40 minutes (to avoid sitting for long stretches of time). This way I can escape the hold of those cute furry faces (or even an interesting article or essay — as I would be best to catch up on it later).
…of course sometimes it doesn’t work as well…and I drift towards…well…what ‘feels good to watch’ (again…like cute furry faces that make you smile and go ‘awwww…’)
If I get frustrated when I have those moments when I realise that I’ve lost track of time or have not invested it wisely. One of the quotes I’d turn to would be from a review of ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ — which was written by Mark Hughes:
Need me to be your timer (maybe not every 20 minutes…maybe just to check how you are doing)? Say the word…um…I mean…send me your message here! 😀
Being able to track the time you spend on a task not only stops you from having no idea where the rest of your day went, it also could serve as inspiration — if you do want to find ways to invest the next (unplanned) 2 hours when you are free.
For the Q&A, the approximate time I have in my head at the moment is that it takes me approximately 10 hours to finish one. This includes:
- Question Prep
Thing is, if I do want to improve myself in terms of where (and how) I invest my time — just approximate numbers wouldn’t do. So I’m now tracking the time I spend on each Q&A.
Some things that may help with your own relationship with time management:
Interested in updates about my experiment? Sure! You can send me a quick note via YouTube (don’t forget to log-in!) or here. 🙂