The #1 Thing That Most Improved my Productivity

There is no such thing as time management. Time can’t be managed. It simply is. Nothing you do changes time.

Time management is really self-management.

Everyone who has trouble managing time is really struggling with self-management.

Reasons you can’t manage yourself:

  1. You let others run your schedule. Being responsive to others may turn into giving others control of the way you use time.* Misconceptions about compassion and kindness can destroy productivity.
  2. You need clarity and commitment regarding mission, vision, and purpose. You need to know WHY you’re here before you can effectively manage your schedule.
  3. You don’t know how to best use your time.

*Note: Some jobs require you to let others run your schedule. If you’re in emergency services, for example, you don’t get to choose when a house catches on fire.

Everyone who commits to respond to others must navigate tensions between controlling your own schedule and being responsive.

The #1 one thing that most improved my productivity:

Protect open time on your calendar.

Open time on your calendar is your most precious resource.

When someone calls for an appointment, schedule it during busy times, not open time. If you see a three hour block of open time or one open hour on your calendar, schedule your open hour.

What if:

What if team members can put appointments on your calendar?

Have a ‘calendar conversation’ with your team. Agree that everyone has the authority to protect two or three blocks of time on their calendar.

Depending on your organization, it might be a two hour block of time on Monday and Thursday.

Protected time is sacred. It’s your time to get real work done.

Everyone agrees that you have permission to close your door, put your phone on phone mail, and not respond to email during protected time.

What has helped you become more productive?