Do you use all of your time well?
When it comes to SMART Time Investment it’s not enough to have a great To Do List or a structured Calendar where you Batch your time. I’m talking about making the most of ALL of your time, especially those little bits of Lost Time we all have but which most of us don’t harness.
When I started work as a lawyer, a wise old Partner coached me on how to most effectively bill
clients. Lawyers work on 6 minute units of time, so, for example, if I worked a solid hour for one
client I could record 10 billable units. But the Partner’s advice went beyond this. ‘Anyone who has
a lot of work,’ he said ‘can sit for an hour or two at a time and wrack up 10 to 20 billable units. But
the real skill is to capture all of those little bits of time that you might otherwise miss.’ His advice:
‘Even if you are thinking about a client when you are sitting on the toilet you should record that as a
billable unit, or more, depending on how long you are at the toilet…’
In retrospect, while being gross, it was sage advice. What I am sure he meant to say was that we
should all get into the habit of using ALL of our time well.
We all have small pockets of Lost Time at our disposal which we don’t currently use. Find them
and use them.
My TOP 5 for Lost Time:
Your meeting finishes 10 minutes early: keep a Networking List of key contacts. When you find
yourself with a pocket of Lost Time don’t just ‘kill it’. Get in touch with your network. A simple ‘I had
10 minutes to spare and I’ve been thinking of you – how have you been?’, is perfect.
On a Plane: I am actually sitting in window seat 23A bound for Cairns. My EA sent me a text
message this morning reminding me to write as many blogs as possible while I am my own captive
audience. No access to my phone. No access to the internet. No access to the aisle.
In the car: use your commuting time to listen to your favourite business podcasts.
On the train: make and take calls.
A better use of your time: when you catch yourself procrastinating or taking a sneaky look at
Facebook or checking your emails each time you hear a ‘ping’, ask yourself ‘Is this really the BEST
use of my time?’ . Switch off the distractions and make a better decision.