Supercharge Your Productivity – How Blocking Your Calendar Helps You Control Your Time
You can’t create more time. But you can control how you use your time to get stuff done. It all starts with your calendar.
There aren’t enough hours in the day.
How many times have you thought that when you’re fighting to get everything done?
You’re busy all day. But when you sit down with your list of priorities, you can’t figure out what you actually achieved.
And you’re going to notice that one thing.
It’s that one thing that you wanted to do but didn’t get around to. The reason you didn’t get around to it is that you’re not controlling your time.
We all have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. Why aren’t you getting everything done?
Burying Your Head in the Sand
Here’s the problem that I see. And I know this is a problem because I’ve done it myself.
We see that we haven’t done what we set out to do. Then, we bury our heads in the sand. We ignore the problem because we don’t really want to do that one hard thing that our business needs.
That’s when you start looking for excuses. You spend time dealing with emails or browsing Facebook. You say you don’t want these interruptions but I suspect a lot of us secretly do.
They take your attention away from the hard thing that you need to do.
On top of the distraction problem, I also used to have a habit of chronically overcommitting my time. I’d commit too much to a project or a client.
And do you know what happened?
I’d get overwhelmed.
I took on so much work that it wasn’t possible for me to get it all done. And that feeling of getting overwhelmed builds fear into the goals that we set for ourselves. Everyone fears failing what they set out to achieve. When you’ve overwhelmed yourself, you might end up throwing your hands up in the air and giving up.
That goal’s not going to get reached because you’ve got too much on your plate.
Punching Through the Brick Wall
That’s the problem. But where’s the opportunity?
When you take control over your time and become a productive owner, you can do more for your business.
The trick lies in figuring out how to let go of 95% of the stuff that you do so you can focus on what really matters.
You probably have some big thing that you want to achieve that you’re not really working toward. The goal is to punch through the productivity brick wall so you can make that thing happen.
To do that, you need a system and environment in your business that allows you to punch through the wall. You need to find a way to maintain your flow and keep it moving toward the big goal that you have.
We get so caught up in the $10- or $100-per-hour work that we lose sight of that big goal. That’s why you don’t feel fulfilled after a heavy day. You haven’t achieved what you want to achieve even though you’ve spent the whole day working.
How Being More Productive Helps
How would being twice as productive help your agency?
Of course, it’s going to help you achieve those goals that you’ve buried underneath all of the other work.
But it’s also going to help you be able to walk away from the keyboard at 5pm every day. It’s going to give you a life outside of the agency while you’re actively working to build the business.
You’re going to help your people, too, because you no longer act as a bottleneck in the business.
So the business grows, you feel calmer, your team’s happier, and you’ve got time to live your life.
Sounds like a bunch of wins all rolled into one, right?
The Hot Principle – Block Your Calendar
I actually have Five Hot Principles that help you become more productive.
But we’re going to focus on the first one here because it’s important. It sets the stage for everything else that you’ll put into practice.
And it’s super simple – block your calendar.
One of my mentors once told me something awesome. He said that we don’t find time, we make it.
When you block your calendar, you unpack the important and separate it from the urgent. That means you’re going to create space that allows you to get the important stuff done.
Anyone who’s worked one-on-one with me already knows how this goes. When I ask someone to do something, I’ll also ask them how much time they think it’ll take. They’ll tell me and I’ll ask them to pull out their calendar and block the time.
“I’ll do it when I have the time” isn’t good enough. When you approach an important task with that mentality, you may never get it done.
Say your important task needs three hours of your time. Who has a spare three hours floating around in the day?
You’ve got to block that time so you know exactly when you’re going to complete that important task.
But there’s always a trade-off.
If you’re going to do one important thing, you’ve got to take other things off your plate.
And that leads me to my first tip…
Tip #1 – Make Conscious Decisions
When you block your calendar, you’re going to have to make conscious decisions.
You need to say, “I’m going to do x, which means I’m not going to do y.”
So if you’re blocking time to write your book, you have to come to peace with the fact that you’re not doing anything else. You’re not going to do any coaching in that time and you’re not going to write your weekly memo.
Those items have their own blocks. And with other tasks, you might hand them off to somebody else.
Sometimes, you’ve got to take awesome things that you love doing off the calendar to make time for something else.
But it’s also going to make room for the things that you ultimately want.
Tip #2 – Build Your Rules and Defense Systems
To make those decisions, you’ve got to understand what activities you have and what you want to achieve.
This is where you create rules and defense systems for blocking your time.
I want you to think of your time as something to protect. You’ve got it inside a castle and you’ve got a moat and all these defense systems protecting it.
I want you to build those systems into your calendar to protect your valuable time.
One particular UGURUS members does a great job of this. She’s a full-time mom, with a schedule that leaves her with only five or six hours to work on the business every day.
Tuesday through Friday covers her client obligations. This is the billable work that’s going to put money in her pocket and food on the table.
But on Mondays, she spends all of her time on marketing. She blocks that time out to do something that she needs to do to build the agency. And she uses her rules and defense systems to protect that time.
She’s done that for over a year. Who thinks that she has a problem with lead gen right now?
Of course she doesn’t. She’s blocking her calendar to make sure she doesn’t have any problems.
You may not need to dedicate that much time to marketing. Your blocks vary depending on the agency and your specific needs. The important point here is that you block the time and protect it from all invaders.
Those invaders being, of course, those interruptions and other tasks I mentioned earlier.
Tip #3 – The Calendar Booking System Trick
Everybody reading this should have a calendar booking system. There are so many out there, such as Appointment Core and Time Trade.
I’m going to share a quick trick to make these systems work better for you.
When you’ve got a client appointment, you schedule it into your booking system, right?
But what do we not do?
We don’t schedule in the appointments we’re making with ourselves.
That’s what we’re doing when we block time. We’re making appointments with ourselves to do something important.
Log those appointments in your booking system. If you don’t, you’re going to see an open slot when you check the system. And you’re going to say “I can fill that slot with an appointment” when you know it’s time that you should spend on a task.
Treat yourself like a client when you’re blocking your time.
Get More Productive Today
As I said earlier, I’ve got Five Hot Principles for boosting productivity.
I’ve shown you one of them here. And if you put this information into practice, you’re going to see an instant improvement.
You’ll finally start making progress towards your goals. Plus, you might get some stuff off your plate that doesn’t serve your agency.
But you need all five principles to become the productive leader your agency needs you to be.
You can learn them all if you join UACADEMY.
I’m offering a FREE strategy session to agency owners. Apply today to find out if you’re eligible.