Creating a Schedule Archives

You are busy….so busy. We all are, aren’t we?

That seems to be our mantra in this fast-paced, technologically-advanced age. The question is: “What kind of results does your busy-ness yield?”

At the end of each day, being able to say that you fully completed high-value activities that yielded results, is an indication that you are not just busy. You are productive.

Productivity, moreso than skill and intelligence, is what differentiates the successful people from the unsuccessful people–no matter the industry, no matter the field.

In this post, I am going to share five ways to ensure you are results-oriented and not just staying active, staying busy, accomplishing little.  The five strategies are–

  1. Identify high-value activities.
  2. Determine key results areas.
  3. Prioritize tasks.
  4. Create 30, 60, 90-minute chunks of time to focus on each task with no distractions or interruptions.
  5. Work on each task with a sense of urgency until each is complete.

What are High Value Activities?

I learned about high value activities last summer when I read Goals: How to Get Everything You Want–Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy.

According to Tracy, high value activities are “the activities that represent the highest and best use of your talents, skills, experience, and abilities as they relate to your company, career, or organization.”

The first thing you must do is determine what those activities are. You must be honest with yourself. If identifying these tasks is challenging for you, you must solicit help from a mentor, a colleague, a coach, or a consultant.

Once you determine the high value activities, you must proceed to the next step: Determine your key results areas.

What Are Key Results Areas?

Key results areas are “those tasks that you absolutely, positively must complete in an excellent fashion if you are to achieve the most important results required of your company, career, or organization.”  They largely determine your success or failure.

These are the areas that you must study and practice, study and practice. You must do whatever it takes to get better and better in each key result area every single day.

Think about this concept. It applies to you whether you are public speaker, a teacher, a doctor, a real estate broker, an athlete, a network marketer, a pastor, a web designer, a singer, a dancer, an actor, a musician, an author. There is not a field or industry for which this concept does not apply.

So, once you have identified your high-value activities and your key results areas, you must prioritize those tasks.

How Do I Prioritize My Tasks?

You can prioritize your tasks by using the 80/20 rule. Seems like this rule applies to a lot of things in life, right? Well, when it comes to tasks, the rule says that “20% of your activities will account for 80% of the value of your activities.” So, Kellie, what does that mean?

That means that if you have 10 things to get done in one day, only about 2 of those things will be more valuable than the other eight activities combined. Those two actitivities are the ones that will have “greater potential consequences than the other 80%.

In business, these activities are often referred to as “money-making activities.”

How Do I Manage My Time?

You are now on a roll. You have prioritized your tasks and now it is time to get them done.

This is the hard part. Honestly, it is.

It is hard for so many people for so many reasons, but we won’t go there in this post. :-)

Managing your time boils down to doing two things: 1) Creating chunks of time in blocks of 30, 60, and 90-minutes and 2) Committing to not being distracted.

Yes, this means, focusing on a task without checking facebook every time your phone beeps or checking your text messages and emails. This also means not aimlessly and leisurely talking on the phone or daydreaming when you are supposed to completing the task.

And let me say that it certainly means not “getting ready to get ready” and wasting time on the low value activities that need to get done, but don’t increase your bottom line.

I told you it was going to be hard. But, it is definitely worth it. :-)

How Do I Resist Procrastinating?

The final strategy in this entire process is moving with a sense of urgency. A sense of urgency means “Getting it done, now!!!” Brian Tracey calls this “creating a bias for action.”

Getting it done now requires you to be disciplined. You must constantly speak to yourself about what you are doing not what you are going to do.

When your mind tells you, “Awww, you are going through something, you can get it done, later”….or “Take your time. There is no rush. It will get done in due time”….or how about “You just need to study a little more, pray a little more, read a little more, meditate a little more, hear one more sermon, hear one more motivational speaker, have one more strategizing session, wait until you can clear your schedule, wait until your kids are in or out of school, wait until you get a deeper revelation, wait, wait, wait–and then you can proceed”….this is when you speak.

You speak loud and clear to yourself and say, “No, get back to work and get it done, NOW!!!” Then, just do it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, considered the supreme genius of modern German literature,  said it this way, “The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.”

So, I beseech you, therefore brethren, to become engaged in activities that yield results in every area of your life–every hour, every day, every week, every year that you are here. :-)

 

 

Respecting Every Hour of Your Day

The way you use each hour of your day shows what you value and what is most important to you. Stephen Pierce, Secrets to Creating Wealth

24 hours. 1440 minutes. 

That is what you have been given every single day of your life. It does not change.

You see, if you can’t depend on anything in this world, you can depend on time. It never fails. It doesn’t pause. It doesn’t wait. It doesn’t rewind. It doesn’t fast forward. It moves at the same pace every single day.

That’s deep, when you really think about it.

How many times has something seemed so far away—a wedding, a promotion, a concert, a birthday, a graduation, a relocation—only to find that it “crept” up on you before you had time to “hurry up and wait” (something my grandfather used to say).

Well, while I was cleaning up the kitchen yesterday, I began to think about how I can be a better master of the time I have been given. I instantly thought about how efficient I was with time as a classroom teacher. My class ran like clockwork. That was my specialty, you could say. I took pride in my students knowing what to do and when to do it. The how? That was my part, too. Teaching them how to do it and then letting them soar was the best part of my teaching experience.

But, I digress. :-)

I was thinking about how I would create my own lesson plan book after about the 3rd week of school, when I had the kinks ironed out of my schedule.

I would type up the exact blocks of time for each subject, break, recess period, transition time, and preparation for home. Then, I would print enough pages for the entire school year. Finally, I would head over to Kinko’s where they would create a spiral “notebook” with a clear front and red back (of course).

That plan book became my security blanket, my guide for the day. It kept me on track and as I would go back and read pages, it acted as a journal of productivity. I absolutely loved it. And, more importantly, I loved having written documentation of all that had been accomplished the days, weeks, and months before.

So, while I was in the kitchen yesterday, it dawned on me that I should do the same for my life, right now. I should  create  a schedule for each day of the week that allows me to maximize my day.  I should make copies for at least the next six months, and then head over to Office Depot and have that schedule bound into a spiral notebook. This outline for each day would help me show respect for the 24 hours that I have been given.

Immediately, I remembered what I’d read a year ago in Stephen Pierce’s book, Secrets to Creating Wealth:

For your desires to manifest themselves into reality, you need to breathe life into them and get them moving. You need to feed them and you need to nurture them. You do this by developing a solid and unshakable daily habit of performing those tasks you need to perform in order to see that the seeds of your dreams are birthed and that they grow.

You can’t say that you respect your dreams and your desires and not allocate the required hours in your day to go about those important routine tasks, regardless of how routine they may be. They may be critical to the materialization of your dreams.

If you are not doing those tasks, how can you say that you respect your dreams? p. 44 and 45

A year later, those words mean so much to me. I truly understand that what I do each and every day, every single hour of the day, determines whether the vision for my life is realized.

And so it is with you, too. If you are passionate about your purpose and you know that you are doing what you have been called to do– it is no longer about your ability, but about your stability. It is about your willingness to succumb to the “mundane” process of being consistent each day… respecting the 24 hours you have been given. 

(You will find that as you commit to the everyday tasks required to reach your goals, you will enhance your skill set and your abilities will advance.)

So, today, I will create my success routine. I will allot blocks of time for those tasks that must get done, daily. I will create my own customized planner as a guide for every single day.

I invite you to do the same. Are you with me?

 

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