As we enter week two of 2019, the reality of our existing work and our big dreams are starting to appear on the horizon. Before you gasp or look for a way out, see if you can rid yourself of some big time sucks and free yourself for what’s most important. 

Tip 1) Manage meetings. Meetings are where most of my work happens, time goes and unfortunately where much of my wasted time happens. For complex or critical decisions and negotiations, face to face meetings is the best option. But for other things consider alternatives.  For short check-ins and updates, can they be done on a short form people submit on a periodic basis? Or can you schedule a short video call? That keeps people from having to come and go to the meeting, provides better and clearer communication than a regular phone call, and avoids the temptation to multitask on conference calls. Just be careful of your desire to roll your eyes.

Tip 2) Manage pings, buzzing, and technology disruptions. Turn off the sound notifications for everything you can except maybe phone calls when appropriate. Schedule your time for email. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Set a timer for social media – remember social is built to keep you interested so you can also see ads. Consider taking social media off your phone or at least moving it to the second or third page of apps. 

Tip 3) Take breaks. I know it sounds absurd but breaks give your creative brain time to solve problems, your analytic brain gets a break to re-energize, you get to breathe and reset and come back refreshed. I’m not talking about a 2-hour siesta (though that’s been known to work), but a five-minute walk around the block or grabbing a cup of tea every 90–120 minutes or so. 

Have other ideas? Reply if you get this by email or below if you are reading it on the blog. 

To big dreams coming true,