So, last time we discovered our time wasters. Today I would like to talk about setting priorities and ridding yourself of those time wasters that are sucking out all your time and energy.
When I was in the AssistU virtual training program, one thing we learned was the “absolute yes list.” Basically, having an “absolute yes list” means choosing two or three (no more than four) things that are most important to you, which then becomes the basis for all your decisions. These are your absolute top priorities from which all things flow. Mind you, this list will not be static. It can and should change as you and your needs change and grow.
So, how does having an “absolute yes list” benefit you and your time management? Because, every decision you make or opportunity that comes along will be tested against your list. For example, if your priorities are business related you can ask yourself:
- Is this opportunity (or task or request) in line with my absolute yes list?
- “Will this help me maintain my current relationships or foster new clients?”
- Will doing this help my business or personal growth?
- Do I really WANT to do this?
If you answer yes to these questions, then you will know that the task or opportunity is in line with your priorities and defintiely worth your time. If you say no to any (or all) of these questions, then it should raise a red flag in your mind and make you think twice about adding on that particular task or opportunity.
Now that you know what an “absolute yes list” is and the benefits of one, let’s create it. Take a few minutes to think about what your priorities are – personal and/or professional. Make a list of your top three or four. You can have separate lists for your personal and business life, like I do, or you can combine the two. They can also be as general or specific as you want.
To give you some ideas, let me tell you what is on my “absolute yes list.” My personal list includes faith, family and self-care. My professional list includes continuing education, finding part-time employment, and engaging in social media 10-15 minutes a day. Obviously, your list will (and should) differ from mine.
Once you have your list, take your notes from last time and compare the two. Everything that fits in with your “absolute yes” list keep, and everything that doesn’t, weed it out. Delegate it, cancel it or forget about it. Also, as you go throughout your day, keep your list in the forefront of your mind so you can continue the weeding out process.
Next week we will get into to some practical aspects of time management. We will discuss how to keep our priorities where they belong and how to create a schedule that works for you.