Why am I doing this?
Having been that person in the pursuit of more thinking it will get better eventually … to put more hours in to get more done, to be more available to serve more people, and to continue to take more new things on to improve results, all it got me after an 18 year career was 80 hours a week, not delivering the results I wanted, constantly exhausted, frequently frustrated, and burnt out.
So out of desperation, and inspired by a story from the early 1900’s about Ivy Lee and Charles M Schwab, I set about the pursuit of doing less to achieve more, after all, what had I got to lose? I wasn’t prepared to carry on with the way it was!
Within a month I was down to about 40 hours a week, and stayed there, and during my final two years in corporate life took my business area from 48th out of 51 (not an enviable position to be in!) to 2nd in the company. All whilst doing 20, 30 and 40 hours less a week than I had done in the previous 18 years!
It was scarily simple to do, once I worked out what to do, and how to do it. And for over a decade I have been sharing what I did with Business Owners, Entrepreneurs and Managers helping them to do the same.
One of the most irritating phrases I used to hear was “work smarter, not harder”, and I remember thinking if it was that simple we’d all be doing it wouldn’t we!
I become TimeSmart
What did I actually do?
2. Created my SmartWeek, taking all 168 hours in the week and completing an exercise I call TimeChunking, where I planned for all 168 hours (inc sleep) with the activity I wanted to do, over a four-week period (to account for the ad-hoc and monthly activities). This one change enabled me to take back control of my time!
3. With each of my Teams (individual businesses) created a simple one-page plan every quarter, focussing on just three things (there were up to 29 areas of focus for some!).