Using a default diary – a great time investment tool

Author: Russell Smith
June 21, 2012

We all know that time can’t be managed.  Time just goes on whether we like it or not.  All we can do is to choose which activity to invest time in.  Once time has gone, it’s gone.

With this in mind, it is obviously critical that as business owners we invest our time in the right things.  This is way easier said than done.  You can get carried from pillar to post, run around like a headless chicken whilst flapping from one ‘crisis’ to the next like some kind of busy fool.  Being a busy fool is slightly underrated though, being busy is fun and it makes you feel important.  However, it doesn’t last.  After a while, you realise that you have been busy doing the wrong things (like answering cold calls – why do people do this?).

So here’s a great tool to assess to improve your time investing.

Ladies and gentlemen, the default diary.

Like all time investment tools, it is just a tool.  If you don’t have the discipline to follow it, it won’t work – guaranteed, but if you do, then it could make a real difference to how you spend your time.

In short, the default diary is exactly what you had at school although they called it a ‘timetable’.  Divide up your hours in the week and assign certain categories to the blocks of time.  It’s entirely up to you to how many categories you have depending on your roles.  So you end up with most of your week blocked out with important activity.  That’s the easy bit.  The hardest bit is to follow it.  The way to do this is just to pretend you are still at school.  You probably wouldn’t dream of missing a science lesson because you felt like doing something else (although if you are an entrepreneur, the chances are you hated school!), well that’s the attitude that we need here for the default diary.  Write it then follow it.

But ‘no’, I hear you cry.  Your business life needs to be much more flexible than this; you need the space to respond to all the things that come up every day.  Yeah right, whatever!  Your life is out of control, get it sorted!  If you are reactively running around to each and every situation then either you are a control freak or haven’t got a good team.  You’ll need to deal with both to make the default diary (and your business) work.

A good tip is to start with only blocking parts of the week, say 50%.  Leave some flexibility in there but the 50% that you do block out – make sure you do what’s on the plan – no excuses!

 

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