Time Management With Chet Holmes

I was listening to the audiobook The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes (review coming soon!) and I thought I’d share this insightful article on time management by Chet Holmes.  This was actually in the book, and is in the tell-it-like-it-is style that I like.

From that article:

  1. Step One: Touch it once
  2. Step Two: Make lists, but stick to the six most important things
  3. Step Three: Plan how long you will spend on each item
  4. Step Four: Plan when
  5. Step Five: Ask the results
  6. Step Six: Will it hurt me to throw this away?

You could combine step 2-4 into one step called “plan your day”, but I can see why he might separate them.  They are each critical, so they might get lost in the sauce if you combine them all into one step.

I’ve read lots of time management books, and step 3 (plan how long you will spend on each item of the six steps mentioned in his step one) and step 4 (plan when you’re going to do them) are important and get left out of productivity books.

Let’s say you put that article into practice and create a list of 6 things you plan on getting done the next day “by hook or by crook”.  Well…if you don’t go through step 3 or step 3 is poorly done, then you could end up simply running out of time and leave things off.  Next thing ya know, you’re excusing your way out of a lack of execution by saying “things took longer than I thought”.  Sometimes that actually is true, but seek to become better at making more accurate predictions on how long things on your list will take to complete.  If it’s something big, break it down into smaller, more realistic pieces.

If you don’t do step four, many times the most important things could easily get pushed to the end of the day.

God help you if you don’t include step 3 OR four and your important tasks have gotten pushed to the end of the day AND you ran out of time because things took longer than you thought.  Now you’ve had a day where the important stuff didn’t even get done!

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