Time Management Expert, Event Speaker: Mark Lamendola

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Time Tips: Time Segmentation Tip #2

Does it sometimes seem like it takes you forever to get a big project done? There's a reason why that happens. You see, we can be "in the zone" for only short periods. Depending on what you are doing, this zone might last 10 minutes or it might last 3 hours. For typical tasks, we can realistically expect a good 20 minutes of solid focus.

So, to maximize your personal productivity and therefore save time, break big projects into smaller chunks that you interlace with chunks from other projects. Schedule these, or just do them "by feel." Here's an example:

  • 0700. Joe arrives at the office, starts working on proposal to sell 15,000 widgets to Ajax Mfg.
  • 0730. Joe takes a break. Watches coworker pick nose, then goes through his e-mail for a bit.
  • 0750: Joe hits the proposal again.
  • 0820: Joe takes a break, takes a leak, fills up water container, gets yesterday's phone messages, returns a few calls.
  • 0840: Joe hits the proposal again.
  • 0900: Joe takes a break, eating a Ready to Drink Meal Replacement to nourish his mind and his body. He takes a short stroll, catches his boss in the middle of a major booger dig.
  • 0915. Joe is jazzed. He hits the proposal for the next 45 minutes.

The pattern here is that Joe keeps his energy level high, every time he is doing anything. He knows he can't expect to sit there all day until he gets one item done. You'll also notice that Joe did not begin his day by returning calls or going through e-mails. Starting the day with those activities sets a low-energy, non value-added pace for the whole day. Instead, Joe starts off with his most important project--that big proposal. And he hits the proposal with peak energy all day long.

Joe might spend 6 hours per day on that proposal, but a casual observer would at first accuse him of not "getting after it."

Gary might have worked on the proposal nonstop the first day, until his eyes got blurry. Then he'd have worked through the fog until he finally had to stop. By Day Two, Gary would already dread working on that proposal. He'd get in the habit of pacing himself and of doing other "essential things" (e-mail, phone calls, watching the boss dig boogers) that allow him to put off actually working on the proposal.

At the end of the first week, we could expect Joe to have done perhaps four times as much real work as Gary, and at a much higher level of quality.

Yet, most of us work the way Gary does. If that's you, try the other method. You will be amazed at the difference.

Bring me to speak to your group, if you want to really put your schedule on steroids.



Do you want to radically improve how well people in your organization make use of the limited number of hours in each work day?

Contact me to arrange a time when we can talk about a presentation: mark@mindconnection.com. Why arrange a time? So I can give you full attention during the call. There's a really powerful time management tip. Ask me why it works.