In that same CEO role in Auckland, New Zealand I suddenly became a morning person. I had to. Have you ever driven in Auckland traffic! I lived on the opposite side of the harbour from our offices and so my solution was to leave home about 5:30 am, workout then be at my desk for 7 am.
What I realised soon enough was that time between 7-9am each day became sacred thinking time. Time to work on the business, not in it. A time when I was able to ensure there were no distractions and I could write papers on why, how and what would make measurable impacts on the organisation I was leading.
So, once you are practised at deciding when you are going to do things the next click down is to schedule work based on what “brain” you need to have switched on.
Do you need your "thinking" brain? Do you need your "making" brain? Are the things on your schedule complex and will take time? Are they administrative process tasks you can do on remote control?
After about 10 years of practice, I am pretty good at scheduling my day based on when I know my thinking brain is on and when I know I can commit to not being distracted by others but not impact their progress adversely if they need me.
In the short term, I love Owen Moran’s “Time Blocking” strategy where rather than focusing on the dreaded ‘to do list’ he simply blocks out chunks of time. When chunking your day think about these variables on top of what brain you need on to be successful:
- Do you need to collaborate with others?
- Do you need to be at the computer / the office / connected to the Internet?
- Where is the information you need to complete the task?
All in all, owning your schedule starts with tracking a week or three and reflect on when you feel you did your best work, when you were interrupted the least and when you had access to everything you needed to make progress. Schedule those chunks of time out over a few more weeks and see how you go working within that framework.
If you are interested in seeing a screenshot of my schedule hit me up and we will get you started on your way to making your schedule for you.
Next week - Align your efforts to weekly, monthly quarterly “rocks”.