Most people I talk with say it’s time more than money.
So in order to be more successful, we need to guard and nurture our most valuable resource, time. I’ll admit that it’s something I often struggle with. (You know what they say about the best intentions …)
I’ve written before about one idea that has helped me: scheduling ‘Meeting Days.’
Another idea refers to thinking about managing time in terms of managing our energy and attention. After all, we don’t have the same level of mental focus or physical energy throughout the day. Most of us have peaks, valleys and stretches of plateau.
According to Craig Ballantyne, author of the Early to Rise blog:
“We all have a time in our day when we are literally THREE times as productive as any other time of day. All you have to do is identify that time, recognize its importance, free up that time, and then ruthlessly protect it from the time vampires who try to suck it away from you.”
He calls it your Magic Time.
The key to being more productive is to understand our own rhythms and make them work for us instead of against us.
Makes sense to me. Not only do I have different levels of focus and energy throughout the day, but I also have different kinds of work that need to be done – some requiring more brainpower than others. So I need to align my Magic Time (for me, first thing in the morning) with the work that needs the most focus and creativity. This time needs to be reserved & respected – everyday. The rest of the day can be spent taking care of the less mentally strenuous things on my to-do list.
Here’s the hard part – as he said – ‘ruthlessly protecting’ it. I started writing this post this morning during my Magic time, but allowed the email vampire to suck my attention away from it for hours. From now on, I’m going to need to break out the garlic cloves & wooden stakes to guard my most productive time.
What’s your Magic time and do you block it off?