4 surprising strategies of a top exec for managing your time
Are you running from project to project, and task to task, without a defined game plan? Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the many hats you wear as a busy mom? I know I do!
I am reading a book right now by Lee Cockerell who is a retired A-lister from Disney. As in he was the guy in charge of all the operations over at Disney. This is a company that prides itself on spotless maintenance and giving visitors the “best” experience of your life.
Not just “come visit us and have a good time” they literally coined the phrase – and daily live up to it- that they are THE happiest place on earth. You would think that someone like that had multiple executive assistants and used all the latest technologies to keep his calendar and schedule running smoothly, right??
He has written a whole book chronicling how his humble little Day Timer is the #1 tool he used every day and every year to keep himself on time and on point to accomplish all his many projects. I mean this guy was literally moved over to Paris for three years by Disney to help build and start a brand new theme park – and he manages his life, and many projects, with pen and paper!
So what can we take away from this book? That maybe when running our own little lives we can take a page from his book in order to accomplish the many tasks and projects we have on our plate.
I discovered Cockerell, and his book “Time Management Magic,” on a webinar featuring many top business people and in this webinar each speaker gave their top “life hack” or tool that helps them to accomplish all their goals. And, for Cockerell, his Day Timer was his top tool and life hack, amazing!
In his video for the seminar, Cockerell explained about how nobody in our society just sits quietly and thinks about their daily lives anymore. We tend to instead hit the snooze too many times and then rush out the door and drive through Starbucks for our fuel to get through our mornings.
Cockerell instead likes to get to Starbucks at 6:30 every morning to sit and read the paper and then look at his Day Timer to see which projects he is working on that day based on his priorities list.
Wow! If a top executive at a top company makes it a priority to sit, and think about his goals and priorities each day, then maybe I should too!
4 Secrets to Success
Here are some take away points I got from Lee Cockerell and the Magic of Time Management:
- Schedule time in our calendar (and get up extra early if you have to) to just sit and think about our daily lives – instead of the alternative of just reacting to life each day and then wondering where all our time went.
- While we are contemplating our lives, write out all the different responsibilities we have in our lives. What hats do I wear each day? Stephen Covey called these our “roles” in life in his book “Seven Habits of highly effective people.”
- Once we have our many different responsibilities written out then we write out all the many tasks and projects associated with each role (ie: as a mom I have to make sure my oldest son gets to baseball practice on time this afternoon and that we have some sort of a plan for what is for dinner. Then as an employee I have to make sure I have my work hours scheduled on my calendar so I am not late to work. As a blogger I need to schedule time to sit and write my next post for next week. Etc.)
- Finally the last step – and critical inch – is to look at our entire list of all our many tasks and projects for the day and figure out the one most important, top priority that needs to happen today – even if nothing else gets done. Then put a little (1) next to it. Next, figure out our second top priority and put at (2) next to it…and so on and so forth for the top five or six only. Anything after that can probably be delegated, moved to a different day, or even eliminated.
Analog or Digital
So, are you still an analog girl, or have you gone fully digital? I tend to need both! I like to brainstorm on pen and paper; but for big projects I need to have them online, in an app like Trello, or else I will lose everything!
What do you think about using old fashioned pen and paper to organize your life like Cockerell in Time Management Magic? Or have you ever tried a bullet journal? Do you buy a journal or make your own? Whenever I can’t find just the perfect planner for me, I tend to prefer to make my own and really tailor it to my specific needs. How about you? Comment below, thanks!