Tools I Use: One Calendar

Time

How many sets of 24 hours do you have each day?  One 

So why should we use multiple calendars for scheduling all of our events?

Everyone has 24 hours per day, 1440 minutes per day and 168 hours per week.

What do you do with your time?

How do you use each hour of your life? Too many don’t care and waste it.

We are either productive or not.

We move the needle toward accomplishment or not.

We move the needle toward our own fulfillment or not.

I believe if I did not accomplish something every day, the day is wasted and that is hurtful to at least one person. You.

Even if I am sick or on vacation, that is not an excuse.

Track your time

How many calendars and scheduling tools do you use to track your time, all your meetings (personal/professional), all your calls and everything else in your day?

I know too many people who use nothing for their own personal schedule and a work schedule applied by their workplace. That is not time tracking nor time management.

Without time management,  we create the excuses like “I am so busy” or “I don’t have time”.

The fact is we choose how we spend our time. We choose when we get up and go to bed. We choose when we eat. We even choose when we go to the bathroom.

There is plenty of time management advice about focusing on 1 thing or top 3 things per day.

I take a different approach.

Use one calendar for all of my time. Google Calendar follows me everywhere for all of my time.

Thoughts on Paper

Forget paper calendars. I know too many people who repeatedly lose their little agenda or don’t even travel with it.  Which makes it a useless afterthought.

Hanging in my office is a really nice, big paper wall calendar which was designed by the late Massimo Vignelli. It is very nice decor, but I do not use it.

Change

When you need to shift your calendar events because someone reschedules, how do you handle that?

Simply confirm a new date/time and drag the existing event to the new date/time on Google Calendar. Done.

If the tool we use is inflexible and cannot handle iteration, change the tool you’re using. Do not wait for change to happen to you. Seek it ahead of the change so you understand it better than after it happens to you. No whining. No excuses. Use your time more wisely. We can all make the time we need based on our own priorities.

How do I manage: Email

Email is still a necessary evil (time sucking monster) for most of us in the working world.

As mentioned earlier, I have only have and answer one phone. On my iPhone, I also combine all my unread emails from multiple email accounts (4–12 email accounts depending on the number of clients and projects I have going on) into one unread email folder. This is done with the understanding that we read mostly unread emails, unless we need to reference something from past emails sometimes.

When you have multiple email accounts (work/personal/etc), having one unread email folder from all the accounts combined makes it easier to:

  1. Scan all emails for importance based on sender and subject line
  2. Edit out (delete without reading) all emails not worth reading (we all get them, but why waste your time, just unroll.me)
  3. Read only the emails worth your time

This process also helps expose unread emails within a threaded email with multiple replies.

This way it is easier to maintain inbox zero everyday (which I do). I do not ‘nuke’ all emails if I have too many, but I have heard people do this and hope that people who really want to reach you about something will simply re-attempt later.

You do not have to check email hourly nor every time you get another email. Checking email twice a day (morning and late afternoon) makes it much more manageable so there will some volume to start this process rather than repeating throughout the day. Replying to valid emails within 24 hours is only fair to those who you should reply back to. The emails will still be there when you get to them.

Rarely have I seen emails that are set to expire (it is an option within advanced email tools) when the information has a very valid expiration date with very formal deadlines for any action items. I would see this email well before it expires.

Some advanced email tools allow you to know if someone opened your email, but I am not in sales so I don’t care. If my email was not read, their loss, not mine. Yes, I do keep all my sent emails.

When you consider when people are more likely read and reply to emails (weekdays), so I schedule emails and replies. Seconds do not matter in the world of email.

This is how I manage my email. How do you manage your email (monsters)?

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Original post seen at https://henrikdegyor.com/2016/09/20/how-do-i-manage-email/

How do I manage: Time

 

Stopwatch

Some people I have worked with, as well as friends, are amazed at a number of things I accomplish in short periods of time. They ask how I do it. Time management is the key ingredient. Every task takes time.

Most people have ideas, but few execute these ideas into reality. That is what I specialize in. More on idea validation in a future post.  Taking ideas into reality within a reasonable time frame is time management.

Our time is valuable. The money will come and go. Time does not come back into our lifetime. Use it wisely. Don’t waste it.

Everyone has 168 hours in a week. Whether you are homeless or a billionaire, we all share the same time. You chose what you do with every hour. What do you do with your time is a choice. You chose to focus (or not) on something and spend the time to do something (or not).

You choose where you live, where you work, when you eat, when you sleep, even when you go to the bathroom.

Get rid of time wasters

It amazes me how people waste their time…

Stop standing in lines or waiting

Many people know about Amazon Now beyond books, but now you can order things online, including coffee before getting to the cafe, have groceries delivered and (soon) schedule an Uber to pick you up. There is often a better and faster way to spend more time where you need to spend time instead of wasting it.

I used to spend up to 10% my week researching things like this online and in person.

No excessive entertainment

Everyone has their own priorities. Playing video games to reach a specific goal. Catch up on a specific TV series of TV. Watch hit movies. Doing things that will only slow you down even more and achieve nothing.

5/25 Rule

List your top 25 goals/priorities. Organize them in priority order.

Stop doing the bottom 20. Cold hard stop. Focus on the top 5 only.

Months later, revisit that list of 25 to see if those other 20 are still important to you. Likely not so much.  Refocus as goals/priorities change over time

Use your freedom with purpose

You likely have a lot of freedom in your day to day life. We all have 168 hours every week, not 40.  What do you use your freedom for?

What have you achieved with your own freedom? Are these life goals? Checking off bucket list items? Have you improved the world or your world somehow?

Or are you repeating fairly worthless tasks? Being “too busy” is the biggest cop-out robbing yourself of your own time, your own mindset and your own freedom to accomplish, to fulfill and to satisfy what matters to you.

Stop being a sheep

Paraphrasing General Patton, “You can lead, follow or get out of the way”.

You can follow someone else’s dream (like most people) or you can work on your own dream. Pick one.

Lead, don’t follow. Stop worrying about what others think about you or what other people say about what your doing. Other people’s opinions are their own.

Don’t follow the crowds. The other path will be less crowded for a reason.

Follow your goals to your dream, not the paths already taken by others. Your life is not paint by numbers.

18/40/60 rule

If you read Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (Revised and Expanded): The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Lack of Focus, Anger, and Memory Problems, I will paraphrase the author Dr. Daniel G. Amen:

“When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking of you.

When you’re 40, you don’t give a damn what anybody thinks of you

When you’re 60, you realize nobody’s been thinking about you at all.”

Now imagine living your life from age 18 knowing and believing this. What is possible now? Now that you know this start now regardless of your age.

80/20 Principle

Realize what you are in control of

You do not control everything. Realize what you have control over and what you don’t.

Don’t waste time with what you have no control over unless you can influence those that can make a difference directly.

Do not participate in any drama. It improves nor solves nothing.

If you have to face drama, walk through any drama through all scenarios to their end states. As you envision them, you will see how pointless and baseless most of these are.

There is always what you’re in control of. If some dies, there is nothing you can do except bury them. If you get fired or laid off from your job, you can focus your energy on finding another position.

Prioritize your intentions with focused action.

Is that higher risk? Sure. You might fail a few times, and in the process, you will learn a lot more as well.

Is it more lonely? Yes, that can be part of the point. Less noise. Less distraction if you are self-aware of the distractions around you. Limit the distractions.

We can learn more from our failures and learn even more overcoming our challenges.

We do not learn as much from our successes, regardless of the number.

Segment your time

Themed days works for you some people like having Meeting Mondays.

Some have a morning routine or a daily routine, possibly for your own betterment.

Are you a giver, matcher or taker?

Have you read Give and Take? Most people are matchers. Yes, Quid Pro Quo. Some greedy people are simply takers who ask for a lot and give nothing back.

A few people are givers. I am a giver… of my time. Because most people don’t do this and are often matchers, they want to match what I do for them in return, but don’t understand how they could possibly match the value I provide them. This blows their mind because they encounter it so rarely. Matchers wait for an ask or sales pitch from a giver (that does not come). Takers mistaken being a giver as a weakness they can exploit, so takers attempt to take advantage of the giver. However, takers find out later being a giver is a strength that they do not have, takers fail to see the long term purpose of the givers actions and it usually blows up in the face of the greedy taker. There are rarely any short term gains, except for the giver.

Get someone else to do tasks for you 24/7/365

Most of us sleep. Why not have tasks done that are non-critical, (not business drivers, but support tasks) while we sleep or anytime for that matter. Use time zones to your advantage.

You could mow a lawn if you have a lawn or you can pay someone to do it faster and better. Time gained, even if the time is to rest longer/more.

This is why I send audio podcasts to be edited to Upwork at night before I go to sleep and review them by breakfast time. I pay a small fee for this. Well worth it.

This is why I send approved audio to be transcribed into text to Rev within 24 hours for a small fee. Not worth my time to try and transcribe it myself. Someone can do this far better than me. Be self aware of tasks you do yourself and ask yourself why do you do it yourself. Why not delegate someone else to accomplish it and maybe even do it better. That’s ok too.

I leverage global crowdsourced work forces to do task that can do it better, faster and cheaper than I could ever want to do it. It makes little difference where the work is being done as long as it is being done well enough to save you the time and effort of doing it yourself.

Humans vs. machines saving you time

Many of us are using more artificial intelligence (AI) to augment or simply do our tasks for us. Eventually, these will be good enough to do the tasks for us. These are tasks we don’t need humans to be doing so we could focus on more important things. The tipping point for AI to be ubiquitous is not there yet due to quality concerns and luddites.  As I interviewed people on Tagging.tech, many of the AI technologies are focusing on user experience and speed. Since we have no patience, speed for the results are important. However, the accuracy of results still matter, even though humans are not getting any more accurate. Some AI experts claim another 10 to 15 years of development before these can be that good.

Then, what are we going to do with our time? Imagine not being burdened with tasks you don’t want to do and imagine what you could accomplish with that freedom.