CoatingsPro Magazine

JUL 2013

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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to block out regular time each week dedicated to the strategically important tasks. We call this performance time and find that it is the best approach to effectively allocating time for all events that we encounter. Performance time is an easyto-use system that allows you to operate like the chief executive officer (CEO) of your business and life by spending your most valuable asset — your time — with intention. It utilizes a simple time-blocking system to regain control of your day and maximize your effectiveness. There are three primary components of performance time: strategic blocks, buffer blocks, and breakout blocks. A strategic block, the first component to performance time, is a three-hour block of uninterrupted time that is scheduled in advance. During these blocks you accept no phone calls, no faxes, no e-mails, no visitors, in essence, no mental interruptions. You focus all of your energies on the preplanned items, which should include the strategic and money-making activities. Doing so concentrates your intellect and creativity and produces breakthrough results. You will be astounded by the quantity and quality of the work you produce during a strategic block, which, for most people, can be one per week. The second component to performance time is buffer blocks. These are created to deal with all of the unplanned and low-value activities that arise throughout a typical day. They have to be dealt with eventually, but they should be dealt with in a more structured manner. Most emails and voicemails can be considered this type of activity. Almost nothing is more unproductive and frustrating than dealing with constant interruptions, yet we've all had days when unplanned items dominated our time. A buffer block allows you to take what would otherwise be inefficient activity and make it more productive by grouping it together. In this way, you can handle each item expeditiously and move through the list with some momentum. This allows you to stay focused throughout the day on the more important activities rather than the little, distracting ones. The key to successful time use is not necessarily in eliminating unplanned interruptions but in regularly blocking out time for the important activities. For some, one 30-minute buffer block a day is sufficient, while for others two separate one-hour blocks may be necessary. The power of buffer blocks comes from grouping together activities that tend to be unproductive so that you can increase your efficiency in dealing with them and take greater control over the rest of your day. One of the key factors contributing to performance plateaus is the absence of free time. So often, entrepreneurs and professionals get caught up in working longer and harder. This approach is an energy and enthusiasm killer and a recipe for burning out. To achieve greater results, what's necessary is not more hours at work. On the contrary, often it is more free time. This is where the breakout block comes into play. A breakout block is the third component of the performance time system. It is a minimum three-hour block of scheduled time that is devoid of any work-related activities and thoughts. It is time set aside to rejuvenate and replenish. Use this time for fun. Enjoy the hobbies in your life. Spend time with family and friends. Play golf. Go shopping. Get some exercise. Go fishing or sailing or…whatever you like to do that is not work related. You need this time to rebuild your reserves and to open yourself up to fresh ideas and perspectives. Benjamin Franklin said, "If we take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves." our results are created by our actions. It stands to reason, then, that the actions that we choose to take throughout our day ultimately determine our destiny. To realize your potential, you must learn to be more mindful about how you spend your time. Living with clear intention goes against the powerful natural tendency to be reactive because it requires you to organize your life around your priorities and consciously choose those activities that align with your goals and vision. Working with performance time, including the strategic, buffer, and breakout blocks, will help you perform at your best. When you use your time intentionally, you waste less of it and spend more of it on your high-value actions. Intentionality is your secret weapon in your war on mediocrity. The key to successful time use is not necessarily in eliminating unplanned interruptions but in regularly blocking out time for the important activities. Just gaining control over a few hours each week often has a dramatic effect. Learn to use your time with greater intention, and you will not only be more effective, but you may also feel a greater sense of control, less stress, and increased confidence. Try time blocking the next time you're overwhelmed with your to-do list. It just might work! CP Brian Moran has amassed over 30 years of expertise as an executive, coach, and consultant. Brian realized that most people don't lack ideas The Bigger Picture Everything that we achieve in life happens in the context of time. The reality is that if you are not purposeful about how you spend your time, then you leave your results to chance. While it's true that we control our actions and not our outcomes, but struggle with their effective implementation. His new book, The 12 Week Year, is a powerful guide to creating results through focus, commitment, and accountability! Brian is a recognized expert and speaker in the field of leadership and execution. To learn more about Brian Moran, please visit: July 2013 g 33

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