My wife and I are quite different in how we plan our days.
The main difference is that she plans her day, and I don’t. Ok, that’s not really true. I was mainly going for a cheap laugh.
And yet, there is some truth there too. She’s got a healthy dose of ‘C’ in her DISC Personalities™ score (think detail, structure, process, routine) and I have a healthy dose of ‘I’ in mine (creativity, being verbal, living in the world of ideas).
Btw, here’s a free cheat sheet if you want to understand DISC Personalities™ on a single page:
She gets up at the same time every single day. She has the same morning routines and lives a very structured life.
My day is always different. So, I’m not going to pretend to give you ‘efficiency’ tips. Instead, I’m going to share some of the time vampires that I see out there, some of which have sucked a fair bit of blood out of me over the years. Killing those time vampires will make you more effective, and happier too. See if you can relate to any of these:
I had to kill my apps
It’s not my phone that’s the problem, it’s all the addictive apps on there. For me, they’re time vampires. So, starting last year I began deleting.
First, social media came off. That wasn’t enough.
Then, I took off access to internet searches. Finally, about two weeks ago I took off the last app (apart from maps and podcasts) that connected me to the internet. I can’t handle them, so they had to go!
My wife super disciplined wife was addicted to her weather app so she deleted that.
Be honest, how much of your life do your apps suck away? For many of us they are time vampires, and we’re better off not having them.
Learn the power of time blocking
This really came home to me when I wrote my book. The process of writing a book is so horrible, that I had to make appointments with myself, or it just wouldn’t get done. Somehow, I would always find something more pressing to do.
Making an inviolate appointment with yourself is a powerful way to get the important things done. Treat the appointment the same way you’d treat an appointment with a client.
Stop pouring time into C and D players
When you feel burned out, chances are it’s because you aren’t working with A-players. People who are unproductive, or who have bad attitudes are exhausting to be around. When they pop their head into your workspace, your heart sinks.
On the contrary, it’s actually inspiring and energizing to be interrupted by A-players. They’re enthusiastic and solutions focused. They lift you up instead of dragging you down.
You know who your energy drainers are. Stop prioritizing them.
Meetings with no end time
I encourage clients to be ruthless with allotted meeting times. When you start, state when you’re going to be done. Appoint a timekeeper. Meetings expand to fill the time allotted. Meetings are like government. They grow on their own unless they’re intentionally checked.
And some ‘time wasters’ that aren’t a waste
- Getting enough sleep
- Doing something that restores your energy
- Playing or listening to music
- Watching a movie
- Building relationships
- Being in nature
Eliminate the time vampires! Identify yours, and please include them in the comments section below. Let’s learn from each other!
Getting ahead is about getting started,
Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.” He is also co-founder and senior instructor at professionalleadershipinstitute.com https://professionalleadershipinstitute.com/
Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here: https://www.amazon.com/Power-People-Skills-Dramatically-Performance/dp/1632651068