[ -and don't worry; i'm not going to sell you anything. ]
I was always taught that:
( BEING BUSY = HARD WORK. ) ( HARD WORK = PRODUCTIVITY. )
and so I reasoned that:
BEING BUSY = PRODUCTIVITY!
I should fit as many things into my day as possible!
Only then will I be "productive", worthy of the pay-cheque, the success and the hard-fought respect of my peers, my family and my self.
This however..... could not be further from the truth.
We've all heard the allegory of the man/woman who worked so hard that they either: spent no time with their family, had a stroke, developed a heart condition or DIED! What's funny is that even though this story is used as a cautionary tale, most of us still aspire to be that person, interfacing with the blueprints of that very way of life every day.
So what would happen if we were to be more deliberate with our time?
CUE: The 1½x Rule.
(it's bloody simple)
Let's say we had every hour of our day mapped out, the same way we did back in school days...
(Some of us continue to do this, and if you haven't already, I thoroughly recommend it. This includes your down-time as well.)
Either way, you have a list! You might have 15 things on your list... Each point existing back-to-back! If you're self-employed, you'll know EXACTLY the kind of day I'm talking about...
Each of them are nestled next to each other (with frankly no time to chill in between) and while you're being productive, you may have had to:
Miss/re-schedule a meeting.
Arrive at your next meeting overwhelmed and confused.
Not make time for lunch.
Have a constant lurking sense of fear knowing that you might not make it!
Here's the simple rule.
"When scheduling your day, ADD ½ of the duration of the event to your schedule as a buffer. This way, even if you run over, you'll make good time."
For someone who had trouble managing my time, this was an absolute god-send.
[For a 1 hour meeting] - SCHEDULE 1h 30m
[For a 30 minute meeting] - SCHEDULE 45m
(you get the point)
You'll not only FEEL better in your meetings knowing that you don't need to rush off after; you'll also BE better in the way that you speak with your client.
One of the sharpest and most underrated business tools is to be relaxed. The client will always mirror you, so set the precedent!
With that, I love you.
Let's see it happen.