This is usually the time when I say, “Hit the ground running!” My New Year’s resolution for 2013 is all about time: the Strong 500. The typical eight-hour work day is equal to 480 minutes. Since most of us work well beyond 8 hours I’ve taken the liberty of adding twenty minutes to get to 500.
Let’s start with the often used question, “Can I have 10 minutes of your time?” Right off the bat, with just 10 of the 500 minutes, you are asking for 2% of the work day. Now, if you utilize this time efficiently and conduct your business in 10 minutes or less that is defined as good time management. But if a follow-up meeting or phone call is required to clarify or correct information discussed in the first meeting, you are eating into effectiveness on both ends.
The time spent revisiting to revise adds up because it usually goes something like this: let me stop what I’m doing and save it. Now let me find the file you’re talking about and what was the question? That’s another ten, maybe even twenty minutes spent back-tracking. Then 6% of the day has gone out the window. And that’s before you get back to where you were before the interruption! Think of it the same way as if you discovered a 6% overcharge on your lunch check. You would certainly call them out on it.
The focal point for 2013 is all about making every minute count. It’s a percentage game because no one can afford to lose 2% of anything every ten minutes. Focus on being relentless in pursuit of accurate information, in planning every meeting, in sticking to the subject at hand and making sure everyone is clear before you close the subject. One of my favorite riddles is, “Do you know what you have in common with the richest, the smartest and the most creative person in the world? 24 hours in a day!” Make every minute count and have a great New Year!