Make time count

Summer can be a slow time of year for some organisations. Then there’s the complication of the Olympics – many fear it will reduce business still further.

Instead of twiddling your thumbs and lining up your paperclips, now is the time to design your high performing week (HPW) so that when business picks up again, you can be up to 50% more effective with your time.

We help all our clients create a HPW because we need to help them find time in their day to work ON the business not just IN it.

Essentially, we ask them to monitor what they are doing every few minutes for a couple of days – including how long they spend on every interruption. Then we help them analyse their time and show them how to manage it better.

The key question is: how much time does an interruption waste? First there’s the interruption itself – which could be as little as 30 seconds for that so-called ‘quick query’. Then there’s the ‘recovery’ time to get back into your train of thought. Studies have shown that this can be more than five minutes.

So if you are working on a project for half an hour and you have four brief interruptions of 30 seconds each – seemingly nothing in the scheme of things – you’re looking at 20 extra minutes to complete that task.

‘This is where the HPW comes in,’ says client Alex Whitfield of Floriture. ‘Tee encourage me to block out parts of my day and focus on one thing at a time without interruptions. I become a lot more productive as a result.’

Top tips

  • Plan your week out on a spreadsheet.
  • Note down regular meetings you have to attend, including formal networking meetings.
  • Include time to deal with emails and correspondence.
  • Block out time when you will make your sales calls.
  • Allocate time for resulting sales meetings so you minimise the amount of time you are out on the road.
  • Finally chunk out time every day (say an hour) when you are not available and your door will be closed even for quick queries. This might mean getting someone to hold your phone calls, or switching on voicemail and training staff not to disturb you.

The extra time you find is so worth it.