Four Time Management Rules You Need To Understand

(This is the second of 4 blogs in this series)

We are busy. All the time. But is it ‘necessary’ work?

Why do most all of us do the following?

Walk into our offices and immediately turn our computer on and the first program we open up is our email. Why in the world do we do this?

Try this…….. if you dare!

For the next three weeks, do at least one hour of work before you open up your email. It is liberating. It will amaze you as to how much work you get accomplished before you start chasing down the rabbit trails of all those emails.

Here are a few questions I get all the time when discussing this.

Q1: But Dan, I can’t turn on my computer and not open my emails.

A1: Yes you can. Turn your email notifications thing-a-maggiger off and don’t open your email program. Hint: don’t be reading your smart phone every 2 minutes either.

Q2: Dan, what do I do for an hour?

A2: May I humbly suggest you take a walk down your hall and see how your Project Managers, Project Coordinators or your Field Supervisors are doing. Ask them how jobs are going. Ask them how you can help them. Ask them if there is anything you should know.

Q3: Okay, Dan, I can’t do that every morning. It will waste my staff’s time.

A3: Agreed. At least once a week go to the back shop first thing in the morning and take your Tech’s and carpenters a box of donuts or a round of coffee. Talk to them. Ask them how things are going. It will amaze you as to how they respond if they know you really have a personal interest in what is going on with them and there jobs.

Q4: Got it Dan. I still have 20 minutes left. What do I do.

A4: Plan your day. Or read an Industry article or magazine. Call a past client. Call a current homeowner you are doing a job for. Dream a bit. Visualize how you want your company to look next quarter, next year….in five years.

Which leads us into our Second Time Management Principal:

2) Drucker’s Declaration – Do first things first and second things not at all.

Peter F. Drucker was a writer and management consultant. His books and articles explored how humans are organized across the business and government.

“First Things First” is attributed to Stephen Covey. Before Mr. Covey, Peter Drucker was advising his clients and readers using the above adage. But even before Mr. Drucker, a famous efficiency expert, Ivy Lee, advised Charles M. Schwab, CEO of Bethlehem Steel on improving his personal efficiency and the efficiency of his staff.

Lee suggested, “At the end of each day, write down the 6 most important things to be done the next day and number them in order of importance. Do the tasks from the most important to least important. After you’ve finished a task, cross it off the list. Any unfinished tasks are rolled over to the next day.” It’s very simple and effective.

Drucker’s Declaration is a more elegant synopsis of Lee’s advice. Once the first things are taken care of, you can move onto the second thing, which is now in first place.

The power of this incredibly simple technique is doing the “To Do” list at the end of your day. Assess the priorities for the next day and put them on your list. Otherwise, you will be reacting to urgent issues that are bound to pop up during the day, instead of dealing with the important ones you already decided upon.

Doing this “To Do” list will result in doing the 20% that counts the most.

So, are you willing to give this a try…………