The most successful people I know manage to have not only a great deal of productivity but also balance in their personal life at the same time.
Dan Sullivan, founder and president of The Strategic Coach organization, reports: “People enter a new time sphere, and one of the most difficult adjustments people have to make lies in their fundamental concepts and beliefs about time management.”
He himself has created a time management program, which I also use (plus some other systems), and distinguishes the available time in three different types of days: Focus Days, Buffer* Days and Free Days.
Focus Day: it is a day that you dedicate at least 80% of your functional time for the field on which you are talented or for your specialization field, by coming in contact with people and involving in procedures that will bring the maximum results in relation to the time you invest.
In order to reach your goals you have to schedule more Focus Days and regard yourself as responsible for the attainment of your goals.
For instance, the fields in which I am talented are: public relations, presentations, financial planning and audit, and sale closing. Thus, a Focus Day for me would be a day that I would dedicate the 80% of my time for the presentation of an offer on a new customer, for the studying of our financial planning and the issuing of orders, and for the attendance of a business event, where I would probably give a speech.
Buffer Day: it is a day during which you prepare and schedule a Focus Day, by getting trained on new data, assigning tasks and projects on others, establishing a procedure or a policy, or holding an autopsy in an industrial or working space.
Buffer Days ensure that your Focus Days will be as productive as possible.
Personally, I might spend a Buffer Day on attending a seminar to enrich my knowledge; on meeting with my executive team in order to assign tasks; on rehearsing one of my speeches; on checking a presentation on a client; on training one of my executives; on interviewing; on writing down a policy, etc.
What could be regarded as a magic formula in this case is to gather all of the buffer activities at the same day, so that the Focus Days are not disorganized.
Free Day: it is day void of anything professional. You shouldn’t be available neither for phone calls nor emails; you shouldn’t even be reading magazines related to your occupation. During a free day you are not available for anyone professionally connected with you, unless there is an urgency.
Indeed, most of the incidents we describe as urgent are not such; it’s just colleagues deficient in training, responsibility or power to handle the case. When you guide your employees, your staff and your partners not to disturb you during your Free Days, you force them to enhance their skills and their confidence.
The value of the Free Days lies in the fact that you come back to work well-rested, full of enthusiasm for creation and new ideas that can boost your successfulness.
Ideally, Free Days would consist of the weekends, national holidays, vacations, which, if combined with nature trips, gain more value.
For those having kids, a Free Day could sometimes be the one they entrust their kids in a relative or a baby-sitter, and they just take care for themselves for a change.
It is really pleasing to see people around me to enjoy a life full of happy moments and creation.Qualitative time management could offer you great satisfaction and success.
More data on time management will be included in my next article, where I will be reporting an inspiring definition of time, the three biggest enemies of your time, as well as specific time saving actions and time allocation based on priorities.
*Buffer: to insulate against or protect from shock; cushion. (Collins Dictionary)