Tag Archive: phone calls

Chunking your time takes a true commitment from you and will take  time to create as a new habit, but it’s well worth doing.  Working in blocks of time can add value and will increase your productivity. Here are a few quick tips on chunking your time:

  • Set a specific time for every day task like email and phone calls.  Choose a particular time of day to read and reply to email and to make phone calls.  When it comes to email,don’t check it as soon as you hit the door.  Instead work on a top priority task and then check your email 1.5-2 hours into your day.  You might want to set two different times during the day to check email.  No matter what we do, there has to be time for phone calls, so set a specific time to make and return calls.  A good time to do this is after you’ve devoted a good amount of time to your priority tasks.
  • When you plan your day, allocate specific blocks of time (from 1-3 hours) to work on specific tasks.  For instance, I set a block of time each week to create  upcoming blog posts.
  • Once you have the blocks of time in your calendar, see those blocks of time as appointments to complete the particular tasks that you’ve scheduled in those slots.  At the end of each segment, move on to the next task.

Organizing your day in blocks of time can help you accomplish your top priority items each day and over time will increase your productivity. You could easily be getting twice as much done in no time if  you schedule your chunks of time and then stick to it!

To manage all that there is to do, in addition to discarding, the second “D” to choose from is “Delegate”.  Remember that this applies to the items on your to-do list, snail mail, email and phone calls.

Delegate It-If you don’t have to be the one to do it, give it to someone else.  You might think that in the time it takes for you to explain something to someone you could do the task yourself.  The truth of the matter is that if you take the time to set that foundation, you really do save yourself time in the long run.  If there are things that can be delegated, determine who the right person is; give them clear instruction on what needs to be done and a due date for what you’ve assigned.  Make sure the instruction and due date are clear.  If what you’re handing over is crucial or might take a longer period of time to complete, set dates for status updates so that you know where things stand on a regular basis.

With today’s fast moving pace and people continually doing more and more, there is always more than enough to do.  Every day we’re bombarded with email, snail mail, to-do lists and the number one culprit, paper.  The only way to manage it all is with effective systems, processes and habits that support you.  With the many things you have on your plate it’s necessary to have those things in place to make your day a productive one.  To make that happen you have to make choices about what to do with everything that comes across your desk every day.  You have to choose from the three Ds: discard, delegate, or do it now.  These next few posts will cover the three Ds.

Considering the amount of paper you encounter every day, making a choice is important.  It would be nice to only handle each piece of paper once, but it’s just not possible, which also makes it that much more important to choose one of the three Ds.  You might only think about being able to only make those choices with paper, but the same can be done with items on your to-do list, snail mail, email and phone calls.  The first time you touch a piece of paper, read an email or a piece of snail mail, or have a request that comes via phone or voice mail, choose to act by discarding, delegating or doing it now.

Discard It-if you don’t need it any longer or you can get it again (from a book, the internet, etc.), get rid of it.  Shred it or recycle it.  Throwing away something that you don’t need is one of the best things you can do.  It’s a small step, but it keeps the clutter away.

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