Organize your MITs

I’m too busy.

How many times have you caught yourself saying that?

The age-old challenge seems to raise it’s head more and more in my world. In reality however, “I am too busy” is not a good excuse for poor time management.

Many years ago, I realized that I could get a higher volume of important tasks done in a day if I were organized and had a plan.

It led to the ability to be able to take on more tasks and also focus on what is important in my life. We have to juggle many priorities, business, marriage, parenthood, etc. Knowing the plan within each of those contexts allows us to say “no” a lot more than we traditionally would do.

That is exactly what has saved my bacon a few times.

Local motivational speaker Hugh Culver, in his book Give Me A Break, talks about how much time we waste in a given day.

Hugh talks about the Big three time killers being:

  • email
  • distractions (social media perhaps)
  • meetings (many of which are not necessary or too long at best!).

His calculations might surprise you. On a 250 day working year (normal), if we spend 1.75 hours per day on email, one hour per day with interruptions, and one hour per day in meetings, then we have used 23 weeks of our year, largely unnecessarily.

At best we can be more efficient.

How many of you work with lists?

My dad was a list guru. He would give me lists for everything. As soon as I looked at one, another one would arrive and so I am not a big fan of lists.

However, one of my mentors used the concept of MIT — Most Important Tasks.

What do you really want to get done by the end of the month perhaps?

You should never have more than two or three MITs and 80 per cent of your focus should be on achieving those critical tasks. Everything else plays second fiddle to your critical tasks. 

So what do you do with the rest? Don't do it, outsource it or find some time from somewhere else to make it happen.

The best filing cabinet I have is the trash can. Saying no to a task can be challenging but wisely used, it can park most of the “urgent” jobs in the bin where they belong so that you can focus on the “important” jobs — the MITs.


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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