The “Do Not” List for Time Management

Time is one of our few non-renewable assets so it’s critical to set rules for time management to be able to experience more of what you love and less of what you don’t.

Here are six easy-to-implement time saving strategies to consider…

1) Do not answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers

Feel free to surprise others, but don’t be surprised. It just results in unwanted interruption and poor negotiating position. Let it go to voicemail and respond when you are ready.

2) Do not email first thing in the morning or last thing at night

The former scrambles your priorities for the day and the latter just gives you insomnia. Email can easily wait until after you’ve completed at least one of your critical to-do items.

3) Do not agree to meetings or calls with no clear agenda or end time

If the desired outcome is defined clearly with a stated objective and agenda listing topics/questions to cover, then your meeting or call will more likely achieve the desired results. Request an agenda in advance so you can prepare and make good use of the time together.

4) Do not let people ramble

Forget “how’s it going?” when someone calls you. Stick with “what’s up?” or “I’m in the middle of getting something out, but what can I help you with?”

5) Do not check e-mail constantly – “batch” and check at set times only

Focus on the execution of your top to-do’s instead of responding to manufactured emergencies. Set up appointments with yourself to check emails during the day. Two or three times a day is often enough.

6) Do not work more to fix overwhelm, prioritize instead

If you don’t prioritize, everything seems urgent and important. If you define the single most important task for each day, very little else will feel urgent or important. Oftentimes, it’s just a matter of letting a few small bad things happen (return a phone call late and apologize, pay a small late fee, lose an unreasonable customer etc.) to get the big important things done. The answer to overwhelm is not spinning more plates – doing more – it’s defining the few things that can really fundamentally change your business and life.

It’s hip to focus on getting things done but it’s only possible once we remove the constant distractions. If you have trouble deciding what to do, just focus on eliminating or minimizing things you should not be doing. Different means, same end.




“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

– Christopher Columbus