I read a thought-provoking post on Medium by the Head of Product Marketing for Google Apps for Work, Jeremiah Dillion. In it, he shared an email he wrote to his team that posed a simple challenge to try a new time management strategy.
Subject: If you don’t have time to read this…read it twice.
Stop. Breathe. Now, think about how you’re managing your time. Speaking for myself, I have some room for improvement.
It’s been said there are two paradigms to scheduling — the manager and the maker.
The manager’s day is cut into 30 minute intervals, and they change what they’re are doing every half hour. Sorta like Tetris — shifting blocks around and filling spaces.
The maker’s day is different. They need to make, to create, to build. But, before that, they need to think. The most effective way for them to use time is in half-day or full-day blocks. Even a single 30 minute meeting in the middle of “Make Time” can be disruptive.
We all need to be makers.
The email has gained a lot of attention, and inspired a video, because time is such a valuable commodity. The ability to dedicate “Make Time” can help us complete tasks uninterrupted, when we are our most productive.
So how exactly do you become “a maker”? It begins with your calendar. Devise a scheduling strategy, commit to implementing it, and devote yourself to protecting your time. Jeremiah suggest you always bias your “Make Time” towards the morning, before you hit afternoon fatigue. Consider the following while planning your weekly schedule:
- Monday: Energy ramps out of the weekend — schedule low demand tasks like setting goals, organizing and planning.
- Tuesday, Wednesday: Peak of energy — tackle the most difficult problems, write, brainstorm, schedule your Make Time.
- Thursday: Energy begins to ebb — schedule meetings, especially when consensus is needed.
- Friday: Lowest energy level — do open-ended work, long-term planning and relationship building.
One key thing to keep in mind while blocking out your schedule: productivity is not one size fits all. Each individual is going to be different, but the overarching principle is the same: we need to take back control of our day with better time management.
Are you up for the challenge? We have a webinar you can watch which will teach you some easy-to-implement tactics to help with organization and managing interruptions and ultimately help you “Make Time”.