Guarding Your Time and Keeping Your Calendar Empty

Aug 11

Guarding Your Time and Keeping Your Calendar Empty

How busy is too busy? How are we really spending our time? Is that time being spent on business growth or our most important work?

There’s a Warren Buffet quote shared in a video from Derek Halpern at Social Triggers:

You can’t let people set your agenda in life – Warren Buffet

While I know that many of us have 9-5 jobs in addition to our side businesses and those jobs tend to be regulated to an extent, we do have control over our side businesses and the other things in our lives – our social life, our family life, etc. How many time do we say yes to something that takes the time away from reaching our goals?

And Steve Jobs said:

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that are there. You have to pick carefully.

Picking my projects carefully is why I use my Planning Guide for Dreamers (free download when you join my email list). It helps me stay focused on only three to four projects at a time and I do have to say no or later to the other ideas that come to me.

How do you decide what to say yes to and what to say no to?

Derek Halpern says to say no to anything that doesn’t have anything to do with what you’re focusing on right now. We’re scared we’ll miss a connection or opportunity, but Richard Branson says, “Opportunities are like buses. There’s always another one coming.”

The second thing is to schedule time for yourself and be strategic with your time. This helps you to focus on one thing and get it done. I write about this doing this using the focus block technique.


The third thing is to have a system in place for meetings and other activities.  Derek Halpern takes Friday as his meetings day. I don’t have meetings, but I do have focus days where I work on various projects. For example, right now Tuesday and Wednesday are my writing days. I like to get all the blog posts written ahead of time. I do my newsletter writing par of the day on Friday or Saturday. That leaves me plenty of time on Thursday and most of Friday and Saturday to work on eBay, the Zazzle stores and my niche websites.

You can watch Derek’s video here  on his site, Social Triggers – Why I Keep My Calendar Empty

It’s hard for me to say no because I want to help people and I want people to like me. But if I want to grow my businesses I have to put the work in, and so do you.

I recently had a customer of ours ask me about doing some freelance office work for him. While part of me wanted to help, I had to say no. We’re leaving one job and going to another that has more responsibility. I’ll have to rework my schedule already to work on my own projects during my down time, as well as plan out time to exercise, cook healthy meals, travel, and spend time with my husband. I stopped doing transcription work in February because I wanted to focus on my own projects, so this request was a no for me.

What makes something an automatic no for you? What are your rules to protect your time? Let me know in the comments or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.


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