Take my time. I don’t need it.

by Jul 21, 2016Productivity

Are you a morning person, but spend the entire time in meetings?
Do you allow people to schedule early morning meetings, sometimes before you even go to work?

Stop letting people control your agenda. Give them your best self.

In a recent walking meeting, a business coach said that she started scheduling her calls at 7am because she is a morning person. I told her that I'm a morning person too, which is why I don't schedule mine until 10:00. The way we look at our ‘best time' was an interesting comparison.

Because morning is my most productive time and when I can be the most routine to set myself up for success, I'm not willing to give that up. I spend my morning meditating, working out, eating breakfast and working on at least one Top Task before I start giving my time up. As a coach, that time with my client is how I get paid, yet if I don't spend my morning on self-care and doing the important things for myself or my business, they aren't going to get the best part of me in their session and my business isn’t going to grow. My brain would feel lost, incomplete or be waiting to finish those things before it could settle down and get focused.

People tend to schedule meetings backward and do them in the morning. This robs people of focus time and makes them either start in the wee hours before other people do, just to get a few things done before they get derailed, or they just end up not being able to get things done at all and moving them forward day after day. Meetings should start at 10 or 11 or in the afternoon, when people are starting to feel tired and make excuses not to work on tasks.

My new Toastmasters group for Professional Speakers starts at 8:30 on Friday mornings. I have even considered finding another group to join because I lost my morning on a day that I want to try to get as much done as possible, to free myself up for the weekend. I try to find the value I get on this one morning a week and make the pros outweigh the cons.

If you say that your health is your top priority, how can you not put it on the calendar to exercise at a time you know you will do it? Why relegate it to the evening if your current routine is to skip it due to being tired or having things deemed ‘more important’ to do.

If you say you want to eat healthy, why would you not delay your meetings by 30 minutes, in order to eat breakfast and pack a lunch?

If you want to grow your business or be seen as a top producer or innovator where you work, why would you spend your time picking low-hanging, over-ripe fruit in your inbox instead of completing your top deliverable?

Taking your best time to work on yourself, your projects, and your Top Tasks is not selfish, nor is it a sacrifice. It is a must if you want to work and perform at your peak.

What's your best, most productive time and how do you protect it?

Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects