One of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned was to understand the value of time.
I was lucky. I learned this lesson in my late teens. My church offered a productivity class and I was intrigued. It turned out one of the elders was a big believer in a calendar and schedule book called The Franklin Planner.
The company that produced the planner, Franklin Quest, eventually merged with Stephen Covey’s company and it was re-named FranklinCovey.
I tried a few of their planners and fell in love. It made perfect sense to use a daily calendar as a tool to reach my goals.
How about you? Do you use a planner?
Now we have an abundance of productivity planners, journals, and calendars.
Over the course of four years, I’ve used the Best Self Journal, the Elephant Planner, the Bullet Journal, the Full Focus Planner, and currently – the Panda Planner.
Each has its pros and cons. And really, each planner works only as well as you invest the time and effort into keeping it current. The important thing is to find one that works for you.
So why is keeping a planner so important?
Check out this video clip:
Bill Gates is talking to Charlie Rose about Warren Buffet’s schedule. He was surprised to see that Buffet didn’t have every minute of his day scheduled with an activity.
Then Bill Gates says this:
“You control your time… and sitting and thinking may be a much higher priority than a normal CEO, who is running around attending all sorts of meetings. It is not a proxy of your seriousness that you’ve filled every minute of your schedule.”
Then Warren Buffet brought home the gold: “I can buy anything I want but I can’t buy time.”
“You control your time… and sitting and thinking may be a much higher priority than a normal CEO, who is running around attending all sorts of meetings. It is not a proxy of your seriousness that you’ve filled every minute of your schedule.” – Bill Gates
That’s why keeping a planner can be helpful. It’s not necessarily to fill it to the brim with meetings. But it’s a great way to track what is important to you and progress steps toward your goals.
And when it comes to protecting your time, you definitely need to be vigilant.
Social media, texting, unscheduled phone calls, entertainment, and more… all can de-rail your best intentions for being productive.
One of the best books I’ve read on guarding your time is No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Guide to Time Productivity and Sanity by Dan Kennedy.
I also learned from sales professionals the importance of requiring an agenda before scheduling a meeting.
The book, and the sales pro practice, have allowed me to avoid the “time vampires.”
When you’re productive, people notice. Many will pursue you, asking for your time. It’s up to you to determine if it will be worth it to give them your time or not.
Nothing is wrong with being generous and helping those who could use your expertise and gifts. However, some will take advantage of your generosity, if you let them.
Kennedy’s book focuses on how to avoid interruptions and time-wasting activities. He also shares 10 techniques to make your days even more efficient and productive. It’s a great book full of inspiration and tips on how to protect the only asset you really have—time.