What are the 2 things
companies are fighting for in their marketing efforts,
co-workers are longing for to conduct effective meetings
and your family are desperate for after hours.
…your time and attention.
In Be More Human (well worth a read by the way), Caspar Craven shares a simple analogy he has used for many years.
He thinks of his use of time like a traffic light – green, yellow and red.
Green time is where I am 100% focused on my work with zero distractions.
Red time is where I am focused 100% on non-work activities – play time, relationships with friends and family and so on.
And yellow time is somewhere in between. Yellow time is a mishmash of doing neither thing particularly well. For me, it is ineffective and unproductive time but unfortunately far too much time is spent here.
David Allen, in Get Things Done, promotes a similar strategy that I use daily by planning my time in to blocks-
The strategic block — three hours of uninterrupted for pre-planned, strategic and money making activities.
The buffer block — emails, finances, making calls and the ‘stuff’ required in running a business.
Breakout block — three hours interrupted time doing anything other than work. This is your thinking, reflection and play time. And it’s not the same as your weekend.
An idea I am playing with at the moment is to optimise the yellow buffer block is to create a virtual co-working. You feel like you are present with someone, helping combat loneliness and giving you the opportunity to ask ad hoc questions whilst working or simply share a cuppa. It does not quite have the time pressure of a meeting but working live on shared tasks together can help you both keep more focused by holding one another accountable.
I am not sure if this will work but one thing is for sure- if you are watching this video during your red strategic block or your green breakout block…stop it now and get on with what you ought to be focusing on!
Plan and manage your time…it is your most precious resource.