I really love Dan Kennedy's Renegade Millionaire Time Management System course.
I've never been a very structured person when it comes to planning the details of my time.
I choose OKRs to focus on every year and quarter, and I lay out the projects that get me there. I also write down the most important 1 to 3 things I want to accomplish every day.
That has been good enough for me up to this point. I have ADHD. This comes with some significant potential barriers if you don't manage for them but it also grants me a few game-changing abilities.
One of the abilities you get from ADHD is an intense focus on things that capture your interest and curiosity. I have to mitigate distractions and manage my environment well, but I can get up to speed really fast, understand complex problems, and come up with a continuous pipeline of creative and valuable solutions.
On the downside, I'm naturally inclined to be bad at:
- Estimating how long something will take (I always overestimate how much I can accomplish in a given time period.)
- Safeguarding my calendar so that others don't sap away my attention and time.
- Seeing all my initiatives through.
I've come to realize that these are all related.
Since I underestimate how much work things will take, I heavily overestimate how much I can bite off.
This happens because I don't chunk down my initiatives into smaller details and really plan out all the todos required to accomplish them ahead of time.
As a result, I don't schedule the required time for all those todos on my calendar, which I leave open. I figure I'll focus on the key projects and the key todos I identify for the day.
But this doesn't work because people have been eating up all that open space on my calendar. Like so much.
Since I'm not estimating the specific details and scheduling what I think I can accomplish in each time block of my day, I also don't have a feedback look to get better at estimating.
I'm pretty damn productive during the time I carve out. But I just haven't had enough time for a number of months now. All the above issues have led me to compensate for my lack of time during the day by working WAY too many hours at night and over the weekends.
So I listened to a course from Dan Kennedy about time management. I've read a TON of books and taken a lot of courses on productivity. The topic fascinates me. I'm really good at being effective with the time I have.
But as I mentioned earlier, I'm bad at safeguarding that time and really planning out the details.
This course was great. Dan Kennedy is a conversion and marketing copy genius, but he's also one of the most productive people on the planet.
I've only been using his advice for a few days but I'm already feeling so much more in control of my life.
These are the key takeaways from Renegade Millionaire Time Management System:
🗓️ Plan your day the day before
If you plan your day the night before you get to work on it with your subconscious the night before.
Blocking out time in advance also helps to keep people from scheduling things over you. You know how important that specific thing is you’ve got planned, and now you have a reason to protect it.
⏳ Set 15-minute meetings
When people get on your calendar, tell them you have 15 minutes and train them to be super effective with you.
When you book 15-minute appointments people won’t "get it" the first time. They’ll still be talking at the 15-minute mark and you will have to shut it down. It might take 2 or 3 times but eventually, they will come to meetings prepared and get right to the point.
In Dan Kennedy’s case, when someone has to reschedule, they have to wait another three weeks for availability.
In every single meeting, Dan reminds people that he has a hard stop at the start of the call. If they’re 5 minutes late, he will reiterate that the meeting was a 10:00 appointment and there are only 10 minutes left.
When someone tries to stampede on your day they are trying to replace your script with theirs.
He treats the appointments he makes with himself the same way he does with other people. Every block of time he schedules with himself has end times and he sticks to them. It’s not an appointment if it doesn’t have an end time.
When you force yourself to end your meeting with yourself, you get better at time management. If you haven't finished your task, you learn that you either need to focus better, change what you assign yourself, or give yourself more time.
📝 Plan the details of your day
You need to get better at knowing how long something takes to plan or accomplish everything by the end of the day.
If I want to accomplish what I need and want to accomplish, I need to get better at planning and sticking to the plan.
The amount of infringing on your time people do is inversely correlated with how much you tolerate vs. how much of an SOB you are about saying no.
The demand for your time will stay constant but if you’re fully booked, there will be no time supply to abuse.
Kennedy’s days are scripted. He knows the 14 things he will do with the number of minutes assigned to each before they happen. Because every minute is allocated, any interruption will cause one of those things not to happen. There’s always a direct and clear trade-off.
When giving a presentation, you know precisely how many minutes into it you should be for each slide, and you are constantly making adjustments to keep on track. Kennedy does the exact same thing in his day. He is always making small adjustments based on where his scheduled tasks are against the clock.