Some changes to how I’m managing my time

by jeffhilimire on May 29, 2014

I’m starting to become slightly obsessed with how I manage my time. I have to be as I’m pulled in a lot of directions and if I’m not careful, I’ll end up spending too much time on the less important critical things and not enough time on the things that are the most important to me: family, friends, Dragon Army, and “Doing Good”.

With those four areas of focus as the driving force, I’m tightening down on how much of my time goes elsewhere. Areas of my life that will be affected the most:

Calendar. I have a color coding system with my calendar to help me see where I’m spending my time. I’m going to share this in a blog post soon, but essentially this helps me make sure I’m spending my time in the right places. When I see too many things that aren’t essential on my calendar, I start to cut back.

Blogging. I’ve been on fairly solid 6-7 posts a week for a while now. I’m going to take that back down to 3-4 posts a week. I love blogging and it helps me personally and professionally, but slowing the cadence down will help with my time challenges.

Meeting with people that don’t check one of those four boxes. I get a lot of requests to talk to people. About their startups, innovation in general, advice, etc. And I love doing that. I enjoy meeting new people and hearing what they’re up to. But I created Advice For Good in order to help make sure that if I’m going to spend time with someone then I’d like them to do some good in the process. And that’s working, but I’m also going to limit the # of times I have these meetings to three times a week (and I’m going to have those be a certain color on my calendar to keep myself in check).

Email. I’m getting better about pushing non-essential email to a period where I can sit and crank out responses for a few hours. I currently use a combination of Boomerang and Mailbox to help get emails out of my inbox and have them return at a later date. The trick is weeding through emails to find the ones you need to respond to quickly and the ones that you can wait on. I get somewhere between 100-200 emails a day in my Priority Inbox on Gmail (everything else goes into Archive and I never see them), which means 95% of those are important enough to read. So, yeah, that’s a lot.

What’s your process for time management?

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