There are many time management systems around, they usually involve attendance on training courses and the purchase of a vast amount of specially designed documentation, BUT - The Ivy Lee System, like all good ideas, is very simple and yet effective. It could find you an extra hour a day, which is equivalent to an extra 20 hours a month - resulting in an extra month per year.
You must commit yourself to trying this system for a minimum of thirty days; thereafter we are confident you will never look back!
Write down all the tasks you need to complete the next day,(rather like a to do list.) It is advisable to do the next days at the end of each day.
Then prioritise those tasks - be careful not to give tasks a higher priority because you enjoy doing them (from experience it is often best to get those tasks you’re not that keen on, completed first - then you have the ‘most pleasant’ tasks left as an incentive.)
At the end of each day you may be left with tasks that you’ve not completed - the temptation (as with a to do list) is to automatically carry them over to the next day. A lot can happen in a day and tasks that are important today are not necessarily so tomorrow.
During any normal working day there will be an element of the unexpected - what you need to do in the first week is make a note of how much of your time was taken up with the unexpected.
‘Build in’ times for the unexpected - Continue as for week one, but also allocate time to handle the unexpected. How much time can be calculated from your first week’s activities? In addition during the day make a note of how long it took you to complete each task.
Make a habit of allocating time against each task- You will now have a fair indication of what you can achieve each day, including coping with the unexpected and how long it should take you, by allocating time to each task you will set yourself a target and as such will be more likely to complete all of your daily tasks.
Ask yourself three questions - When you have written your task list but before you prioritise them ask yourself:-
Do I need to do this? - If the answer is no - then delegate.
Do I Need to do this today - (i.e. what will happen if I didn’t do it?) If the answer is no - why is it on your list?
Does doing this task add value to the company or me? If the answer is no then why are you even considering it?
By following the Ivy Lee System, you now have 13 months to reach your annual target!
Twenty Essential Questions To Use In Analysing Your Daily Time Planner:
The following are twenty essential questions you should get used to asking yourself about your daily time planning.
o Did I accomplish all of my high-priority goals?
o Did I reach or surpass all of my other goals?
o Did I invest as much time as I planned in persuading others?
o Did I contact every prospect that was on my list today? If not why not? what prevented me?
o How much time did I spend prospecting for new clients?
o How much time did I waste procrastinating today?
o What is the most productive thing I did today?
o What is the least productive thing I did today?
o Of the things I consider a waste of time; could I have avoided them or eliminated them?
o How much did I spend doing something that will profit me? Can I devote more time here?
o Was today a productive day for me? For my company?
o Did I take care of all the paperwork I needed to care of?
o How many of today’s activities have helped me achieve my goals?
o How much time did I allocate to my family, friends etc.?
o What can I do to improve the quality time I need to spend with my family/friends etc?
o How much time did I allocate to me?
o If I could live today again, what would I change?
o What did I do today that I feel really good about?
o Did I send thank you notes to the people who gave me business and to those who helped me secure that business?
o What or who wasted the greatest amount of any time?
Ten Common Time Traps to be Avoided:
• Desperately seeking what should not be lost - Become more organised
• Failure to do the job right the first the time - Work to ‘Right First Time’ principles
• Procrastination - Get to the Point
• Unnecessary or unnecessarily long telephone calls - Be Succinct
• Unnecessary or unnecessarily long meeting - Be Rigorous
• Check lunches that last for two or more hours - Be Honest
• Negative thinking - Be Positive
• Driving time - Plan
• Unconfirmed appointments - Be realistic
• Laziness - Be diligent - Productivity = Results
The most important word in time and self-management is.........NO!
The moral right of the author, Jonathan Farrington, has been asserted.All rights reserved.This publication or any part thereof may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording, storage in an information retrieval system or otherwise, unless this notification of copyright is retained.
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Jonathan Farrington - www.jonathanfarrington.com - is a business coach, mentor, author, and consultant who has helped hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals around the world achieve their full potential and consequently, optimum performance levels in his capacity as Managing Partner of The jfa Group – www.jf-assocs.com