This week's Failsume mistake of The 4 Things that Suck Time is associated with The Gap Band's "Early in the Morning." I used to be up until "early in the morning" doing work for others. How are you valuing your time in your Purposeful Hustle? Are these things sucking time away from your purpose?
A Failsume is a list of all my failures and mistakes throughout my career. The purpose of sharing this information is for you to learn what to avoid when faced with the same situations.
TIME: WE ONLY HAVE SO MUCH
I am really good at time management; well, I should say pretty good.
It's always a place where I feel like people can do better and work harder, but there was one thing I learned early in my career and in a very painful way:
If I didn't take care of and control my time, then somebody else would.
I found this out over and over and over again when I realized I started on my work at midnight, after doing everybody else's work. It wasn't healthy and it definitely wasn't fun, but the mistakes that I made are some of the same I see with people today.
There were four things that led to these late nights. Let's see if any of these fails apply to you.
FAIL #1 - lETTING OTHERS CONTROL MY SCHEDULE
It's important to be accessible and there for your teammates, but there's also a way to put some parameters on what accessibility looks like. I didn't have any parameters and so people would come and go in my office whenever they needed something, had an idea, or had a question. These small events took away my ability to control what was happening during the day.
FAIL #2 - DOING THE WORK OF OTHERS
When people come to you to "brainstorm" sometimes that just means doing the work for them while inhibiting your need to get work done. Sometimes, you may have the wrong person in the wrong seat and, as a result, you have to do their work. You may feel the need to step in and help but in reality, you're just taking away time from yourself.
FAIL #3 - POINTLESS MEETINGS
I spent a lot of time in meetings that were meaningless. They weren't about anything that I could do anything about, support, or help. There were just meetings that were called, I was added to the list, and I went without asking any questions or asking what I might be able to contribute. I didn't even determine if the meeting needed to be called in the first place.
FAIL #4 - AIMLESS WORK
During the first part of my career, I would just get up and start doing stuff -- just working on whatever. I'd work on whatever hot thing or hot item was on my desk, but not necessarily doing things in the order in which I should have been doing them. I never thought of starting my day off doing the things that were most important. I could share all of the nitty-gritty details of what happened on the blog, but it's much easier to learn these mistakes on a course you can download that talks about scheduling your Purposeful Hustle.
Purposeful Planning is designed to show you how I was able to get over all four of these fails and create the number one technique that I use today in order to really build my model schedule.
My model schedule outlines when I take meetings, focus on projects, and check email. It outlines when I'm focused on different kinds of projects and, while I can't stick to it 100% of the time, being able to stick to 80% has given me back control of my schedule.
If you're interested in moving past where you feel like you're constantly not getting your things done in your time then I would highly encourage you to get the full training on how to utilize this Purposeful Planning System and how to create a model schedule.
Even if you don't have the time to do it, I would still suggest for you to spend some time thinking about what your ideal schedule looks like and then build all the other things around it.
I hope that this little tip and my admission of this terrible mistake that I was making around time management helps you to become more effective. Can't wait to share more!
Thank you so much. I'll see you next week!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.