Free up at least 20 hours a week to do more of the things you want to do

Slow Down

Do Less

Achieve More

Intro

Have you found yourself wishing for more Time, striving to get more done in the day, and searching for ways to be more productive?

Or maybe you’re looking to free up Time, have less to do, and slow things down?

We live in a busy, noisy and distraction filled world, where life is filled with a constant pull on our Time, attention, and energy.

Always too much to do, with a never ending To Do list that seems to end the day bigger than when you started. You feel exhausted, you’ve been busy, but not really sure what you’ve achieved?

Bombarded with too many messages, a constant and endless stream with inboxes overflowing via numerous communication apps . calls, email, text, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Slack, and more. With everyone expecting you to be available 24/7 and respond immediately! Who said we had to be?

Too many interruptions with everyone expecting you to be accessible all day, every day, and to respond immediately, and therefore trying to do too much for too many people. Ever get someone call you to ask if you got their email . they sent half an hour ago?!

And all this leads to too many more things to add to your To Do list, leaving you unsure where to start?

And, there are simply too many distractions throughout the day, notifications, social media, news, subscriptions to read, links to click, videos to watch, apps to open, people to chat too, it just never ends!

And so what do we do? We think the solution is to find more Time, to do more, work more hours, knuckle down and try to get more done, find ways to be more productive, respond to more messages to please more people.

I’m exhausted just writing this! And that’s exactly where I ended up too, all in the pursuit of MORE!… After 18 years working for five different companies, in pursuit of more got me working 70 to 80 hours a week, not delivering the results I wanted, constantly knackered, frequently frustrated, and burnt out.

I’ve used this phrase a lot since then “We know what we know, and we don’t know what we don’t know”.

And what I didn’t know, because no one had ever shared this with me, and I hadn’t thought until then to search for a different way, is that more is not the solution. It’s unsustainable!

One weekend, exhausted, frustrated, and ready to quit, with nothing to lose, I decided to try something different, and out of desperation I finally ditched the old way, and tried something new, and it worked.

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.

I had the 2 most successful years of a 20 year career all whilst working 20, 30 and 40 hours less a week than I had done in the previous 18 years.

The lesson I learned is not to Work Smarter, but to simply be Smart with my Time.

Since then I have been in pursuit of learning more about how to be smart with my Time, to continually free up Time to enable me to do more of the things I want to do, as well as live a more relaxed life. And I’ve been sharing what I did, and what I’ve learned since with Business Owners, Entrepreneurs and Managers helping them do exactly the same

Slow Down

Do Less

Achieve More

I’ve now taken what I’ve been sharing for over a decade and created a 13 week online training program called SmartWeek

SmartWeek 90-Day Online Training Program

SmartWeek is about putting you firmly back in control of what happens with, and what you do with your Time. It’s about designing the ideal week for your success (whatever success is for you), all 168 hours, across four weeks, and then implement it.

It’s also about changing our mindset from trying to do more, to wanting to do less to ACHIEVE more, there’s a difference, a HUGE one.

My aim with SmartWeek is to ultimately help you free up Time to do more of the things you want to do, forever!

To do this, we’ll explore how the four boxes of Time either work for you, or against you.

1) TIME WASTERS

1) TIME WASTERS

The things we do that add no, or little value to our life, and take us further away from the results and life we want.

2) TIME STEALERS

2) TIME STEALERS

The things and people we allow to steal our Time from us, all day long, every day, and normally we don’t even realise it.

3) TIME SAVERS

3) TIME SAVERS

These are the things we too often sacrifice because we’re busy being busy, and don’t have the time to them.

But every hour spent doing these activities, will save you hours every week

4) TIME CREATORS

4) TIME CREATORS

We only have 24 hours a day, and as much as we become smarter with our Time, there will always be so much we can achieve as an individual.

Here we look at how you get things done without having to do them.

1) TIME WASTERS

The things we do that add no, or little value to our life, and take us further away from the results and life we want.

2) TIME STEALERS

The things and people we allow to steal our Time from us, all day long, every day, and normally we don’t even realise it.

3) TIME SAVERS

These are the things we too often sacrifice because we’re busy being busy, and don’t have the time to them.

But every hour spent doing these activities, will save you hours every week

4) TIME CREATORS

We only have 24 hours a day, and as much as we become smarter with our Time, there will always be so much we can achieve as an individual.

Here we look at how you get things done without having to do them.

The program is made up of 13 weekly modules, delivered one week at a Time, and include …

  • Weekly module
  • Video
  • Downloadable guides
  • Exercises to complete
  • Time to implement your learnings

Step One

Slow Down

This is all about freeing up Time.

Before I start asking you to do something new, I know I need to help you free up some hours first, then you’ll have more available Time to implement the Time Saving and Time Creating activity we look at in the later Modules.

  • Freeing up Time will enable you to
  • Slow down as you will not be trying to cram as much into your 24 hours a day In turn this creates you space and thinking Time
  • That leads to us making more informed and better decisions about what we will do with our Time.
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MODULE 1: Time Wasters

These are the things we do (and we all do them) that add zero, or very little value to our work or personal success.

Many have crept up on us without us really considering their impact, and most didn’t exist 20 years ago.

Here, we’ll raise your awareness to the things you are doing that are simply Wasting Time, and can be reduced or stopped completely.

  • The five activities (if we did them all) would consume 85 hours a week
  • The not so obvious new activities in our life-consuming our Time
  • Realising far too much of your work activity is adding little or no value

Every hour saved is an extra hour you now have to do something else with, something more planned and purposeful, for you, or your work, or both.

MODULE 2: Time Stealers

These are the things, and people we allow to steal our Time, but unknowingly most of the Time.

Our Time is being stolen from us all day, every day, and it’s these Thieves of our Time that are a major contributory factor to the busyness of our day, and yet getting to the end of the day without achieving a lot.

In this Module we’ll explore

  • Distraction, and it’s devastating impact
  • The Six biggest Thieves of our Time
  • Identify the Thieves having the biggest impact on your Time, attention and energy
  • And set about eliminating them, or at least considerably reducing their impact.

Once the Time Stealers have been eliminated, you’ll feel more in control of your day, achieve more in less Time, and feel more energised at the end of the day.

MODULE 3: Your Thinking

Our thinking drives everything we do, or don’t do. Thinking leads to decisions, that lead to our actions, that create the results we have (whether the results we want or don’t want).

Therefore, if we can control and influence our thinking to better serve us, to stop giving attention to the problems, the challenges, the negativity around us, and instead switch it to identifying solutions to move forward, you’ll simply make more progress.

  • Understand why “Time Management” is a myth, it has never existed, and to stop talking about it
  • And to replace it with “Self Management”, and why
  • Raise awareness to your thinking about Time, and how it may be holding you back
  • Understand why we as human beings are programmed to dwell on the negative
  • And more importantly, learn how to change this historical way of thinking to serve you better in the future

Once you change your thinking and swap out “TIME MANAGEMENT” with “SELF MANAGEMENT”, you begin to take control of your situation, and the solution

Step Two

Do Less

Counter intuitive I know, to suggest Doing Less when we’re all in the pursuit of more, to get more done, more quickly, but often this blinds us to asking the most important question of all…

“Do I even need to do this?”

And often the answer would be no, or at least no, not now.

These days there will always be more to do than Time to do everything in, and we need to adjust to what I call ruthless prioritisation. With clarity about what is really important, it becomes easier to say no to everything else. One of my favourite quotes from all Time comes from Warren Buffet…

“The difference between successful people and really successful people, is that really successful people say no to almost everything!”

So here we’re going to do exactly that

  • Identify what is really important
  • And make sure it fits into our 168-hour week.

MODULE 4: Challenges and Opportunities

Very often when defining our goals and projects to work on, we focus on the new things we want to achieve, and don’t consider enough the things that may be getting in the way and preventing us from getting where we want to go, leading to frustration with our lack of progress as the quarter and the year develop.

This Module was inspired by a story I came across that originates from the early 1900’s, and is more applicable to today than it ever was back then. It is one of the three key activities I implemented in helping me reduce my working week from 80 hours down to 40 hours, and have the two most successful years of a 20-year career.

In this module we’ll cover

  • A simple exercise that fits on one piece of A4 paper to define your TOP SIX priorities
  • Why considering your current challenges is as important, if not more important than all the new things you want to do, when defining the key Projects to work on in achieving your Goals
  • The simplest and most effective method I’ve ever come across to define the order of things, the post-it note prioritisation
  • And finally, gaining absolute clarity on the one, two or three most important PROJECTS to receive your Time, attention and energy over the coming months.

By considering the things that may prevent you from moving forward, and working on some of these first, you’ll clear the way ahead and progress much faster than you have previously done

MODULE 5: The Hats You Wear

One of the situations we can find ourselves in is we are simply involved in too many things, or trying to do too much at the same Time.

We wear many HAT’s today, even more so as a Business Owner, and each HAT (role you have) brings with it things to get done, which require Time in your diary, as well as attention and energy. Wearing too many HAT’s can lead to overwhelm, lack of clarity, and poor results.
Here we’ll identify

  • The HAT’s (role’s you have) you wear currently
  • And why you may be wearing too many, contributing to your overwhelming To Do list and Time Poverty
  • The ACTIVITY to be done for each of the HAT’s you wear, and more importantly, the Time required for each ACTIVITY
  • What ACTIVITY remains, and more importantly what goes, what can be paused for now, and what can be reduced in either frequency or Time, all aimed at freeing you up Time to do more of the things you want to do

This is the preparation for the following module where you’ll find out if it all fit’s into your 168-hour week.

I’ll share with you now, it probably won’t, but knowing that will then enable you to make more informed decisions about what else needs to be eliminated, paused or reduced.

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MODULE 6: TimeChunking (week 1 of 2)

Very often when defining our goals and projects to work on, we focus on the new things we want to achieve, and don’t consider enough the things that may be getting in the way and preventing us from getting where we want to go, leading to frustration with our lack of progress as the quarter and the year develop.

This Module was inspired by a story I came across that originates from the early 1900’s, and is more applicable to today than it ever was back then. It is one of the three key activities I implemented in helping me reduce my working week from 80 hours down to 40 hours, and have the two most successful years of a 20-year career.

In this module we’ll cover

  • A simple exercise that fits on one piece of A4 paper to define your TOP SIX priorities
  • Why considering your current challenges is as important, if not more important than all the new things you want to do, when defining the key Projects to work on in achieving your Goals
  • The simplest and most effective method I’ve ever come across to define the order of things, the post-it note prioritisation
  • And finally, gaining absolute clarity on the one, two or three most important PROJECTS to receive your Time, attention and energy over the coming months.

By considering the things that may prevent you from moving forward, and working on some of these first, you’ll clear the way ahead and progress much faster than you have previously done

9

MODULE 7: TimeChunking (week 2 of 2)

One of the situations we can find ourselves in is we are simply involved in too many things, or trying to do too much at the same Time.

We wear many HAT’s today, even more so as a Business Owner, and each HAT (role you have) brings with it things to get done, which require Time in your diary, as well as attention and energy. Wearing too many HAT’s can lead to overwhelm, lack of clarity, and poor results.
Here we’ll identify

  • The HAT’s (role’s you have) you wear currently
  • And why you may be wearing too many, contributing to your overwhelming To Do list and Time Poverty
  • The ACTIVITY to be done for each of the HAT’s you wear, and more importantly, the Time required for each ACTIVITY
  • What ACTIVITY remains, and more importantly what goes, what can be paused for now, and what can be reduced in either frequency or Time, all aimed at freeing you up Time to do more of the things you want to do

This is the preparation for the following module where you’ll find out if it all fit’s into your 168-hour week.

I’ll share with you now, it probably won’t, but knowing that will then enable you to make more informed decisions about what else needs to be eliminated, paused or reduced.

MODULE 8: Time Creators

We often talk about finding Time, making Time, but the only way to ‘create’ Time is by getting something done when you are not the one doing it.

Sometimes there are financial reasons as to why we do everything ourselves, often it’s because that’s the way it’s always been, and we’re maybe not considered other options before now.

To enable you to duplicate yourself and your Time

  • We’ll cover the three ways to do this, including some of the easier ways to create Time in both your Personal and Work life
  • A simple one page plan to more effectively enable employed Team Members and outsourced Partners to get more done for you in the Time you are paying them for
  • Why knowing the value of your Time is important, and how it impacts on what you should and shouldn’t be doing
  • Some of the tools available to take the burden of doing the work away from you
  • And throughout, I’ll highlight where some of these options won’t even cost you any money to begin with

This is where you can get so much more done, potentially massively accelerating your results. But we have
to look at eliminating as much as possible in the previous seven modules first, otherwise all you would have done would be to spend Time and money getting a lot of unnecessary activity done

Step Three

Achieve More

Having eliminated a load of ACTIVITY from your day and week, gained a clearer insight into what is important and worthy of your Time, attention and energy, and checked it fits into the 168 hours a week you have, in this final step I’ll share five things you can now introduce to help you SAVE even more Time, stay focused on what is really important, and prevent life’s distractions (and there are many as you’ve discovered) from getting in the way.

MODULE 9: Week Focus Page

I’ve mentioned ruthless prioritisation previously, and for me it is an ongoing principle to follow, especially today. Even after everything you’ve covered up to now in SmartWeek, it is likely there will still be too many things to do on your to do list and ideas list.

The Week Focus Page

Is a system to follow every week to help you cut through the volume of things you think you have to do, and get crystal clear on the few key things that if done, will have the biggest impact.
It fits on one piece of A4 paper, simple
Contains the one step missing from most task management apps, articles, blogs, etc, that when done, will massively increase your chances of getting everything done you plan to do
Raises awareness to when you are potentially overcommitting yourself for the week, and enables you to revise your plan before becoming frustrated and overwhelmed as the week progreses

And adding an additional step to the process to check you have sufficient TimeChunks available in the week to fit it all in, and if not, now you know, and you can make some informed decisions about what changes you will need to make.

MODULE 10: Day Plan Page

The Day Plan Page is about creating your agenda for the day and having everything you want to get done in one place, and very visible all day.

This module is also about developing the daily habit of investing 30 minutes (15 if your pushed) in planning out your day, to ensure you are always investing your Time, attention and energy on the most important activities, and not what life and everyone else would have you do instead.

Eliminate the need to constantly switch between multiple apps throughout the day, and having important things hidden
Understand how investing 30 minutes a day could save you up to five hours a day Have everything you need for your day in one, visible place
Apply the TOP SIX method to get ultra clear on your most important To Do’s for the day
Make the one necessary change to planning your day to enable you to complete more of your To Do’s

Develop this daily habit and you will literally save yourself hours doing the wrong things, or the right things at the wrong Time every day.

MODULE 11: Tools to Use

This is about assisting you in being organised, having your information available everywhere, anytime, and to improve efficiency.

There are thousands of apps out there claiming to make you more organised, more efficient, more productive. Some are excellent, many are ok, and far too many are pure rubbish. (I’ve tried and tested hundreds of them over the years)

In this module I want to save you a load of Time, frustration and possibly money by sharing with you a few of the excellent tools and apps I’ve used over the years, and continue to recommend continuously.

You’ll learn about the tools and apps to help for ten of the most common areas of daily and weekly activity, that when used well, I guarantee will help you save Time, and get more done more quickly We’ll cover the basic daily organisational apps … Calendar, Task Management, Email, and Notes.. Then the larger areas of business … Lead Management, Project Management, and Accounts
How Web Browser and Email Extensions can remove dozens of little tasks and save you hours every week
And finally looking at blending traditional note taking with new digital tools
All of the tools and apps are either free, come with a free option, or when paid are only a small fee every month

This module does come with a warning, do not rely on an App to make you more organised, it starts with you, which is why we don’t cover this until Module 11 of 13. Apps are an amplifier, if you are disorganised and inefficient, they will make the problem worse. If you are organised and efficient, then they are likely to help you be more organised and more efficient.

MODULE 12: Stickability

There is one thing above all else I believe makes the difference to how we work, how we live our life, and what we achieve … our daily routines.

You’ll identify a few activities you want to include in your personal and work routines (this will evolve over Time) to ultimately help you remain focused and stay on track with everything we have covered during this SmartWeek training program.

Within this Stickability module

You will define you morning success routines to prepare you and your work for the best day possible Identify the activities to close down your day at work and have a clear desk ready for tomorrow Develop a personal evening routine to relax and prepare you for a great night sleep. The day never begins in the morning, it always starts with what we did the night before
Ensure there is the available Time in your diary for these activities, and if not, refine the routines to fit your current schedule

Once you engage with others (in person, phone, email, messages, social media) anything can happen, and sometimes the best laid plans can disappear in an instant. Protecting a bit of Time at each end of the day is the best way to guarantee Time for the most important things to you.

MODULE 13: Reflection and Plan

Very often in the busyness of modern day life, we don’t take the Time to reflect on our past actions, give ourselves the ‘well done’ we deserve for our successes, take the learnings where applicable, and plan accordingly for the future.
Yet it is probably the most important activity we should have in our diary, or at least one of the most important.

Reflection and Plan covers two parts

Part One is reflection in general, the benefits of doing it, when and how to do it. Here we’ll remain within the Time-frames we’ve covered … the day and the week
You’ll identify the best Times to reflect, and create your own list of questions to answer to provide you with the learnings you require
Part Two is to reflect on your SmartWeek experience, and plan for the next quarter. I’ll provide you with a reflective exercise to complete to identify which areas you want to continue to focus on developing during the next quarter
And finally, following the reflection exercises, you’ll review and amend where necessary your TimeChunked 168-hour week to set you up for success for the next quarter

Now you’ve got this far, it’s not about moving on to the next new thing, it’s about embedding your learnings,