Welcome to Leverage Your Spark, the podcast that helps entrepreneurs and business leaders amplify their time, energy and impact. I’m your host, Brandy Lawson and in today’s episode we’re discussing how to make the most of the 24 hours we all have in a day, that is how to amplify time through intentional planning and strategy.
No one gets more than 24 hours in the day. Time is not a renewable resource. But time is tricky, right? It can go slow or fast, depending on our perception. What I do feel is universally true is that no one is interested in spending time on tasks or efforts they don’t enjoy, or working all the time. Sometimes when running a business it seems impossible to make time for process improvement, or even vacation.
Amplifying Time: Using Systems and Processes to Increase Effectiveness
But what if we could amplify our time? That is, seem to make more of it because we are using it to its peak effectiveness? Systems, processes and technologies can help with this, but, and this is a BIG but (Sir Mixalot would approve), they help only when used intentionally and well. Most often, it can feel impossible to slow down so that systems can be implemented. But there is a way to make the right decision easier and faster and know the effort you’re expending is building momentum in the right direction.
How to Make the Most of Your Time Using Strategy and Planning
To amplify time, the key is to think before you do. I know, this isn’t revolutionary, you’ve heard this already. The trick is to turn that knowledge into action.
We all want to jump right into the tactics, but to truly amplify time, we need to understand why we are doing anything. That thought and understanding then allows us to map out how best to accomplish our goals because we know our intention.
The FieryFX framework for success is: strategy, plan, implement & evaluate. Starting with strategy means defining and understanding the what, who, and why behind what we are trying to do. Once the strategy is clear, we can create a plan that includes a clear goal, timeframe, activities, milestones, and metrics. Trying to create the blueprint before figuring out our intentions leads to a lot of second-guessing and agonizing over decisions. It is always obvious when the strategy work has been done first, because then the decisions to create the plan are easy.
With a specific plan built on the strategy, it is straightforward where to put the resources: people, processes, systems, and tools. By applying these assets in the right places, we amplify time. It is glorious to make a 90-day plan and then watch it all come together. But no one starts there. If you are feeling scarcity of time, try starting with a plan for the day.
You might be thinking, how is a plan for a day going to help? I can tell you when I didn’t have a plan for the day, the day ran me. And then at 5:30pm when I wanted to stop working, I hadn’t completed anything I needed to do. By planning intentionally, we gain control over our time and momentum in the right direction.
The FieryFX Framework: A Step-by-Step Approach to Amplify Time and Improve Productivity
By starting small, you can more quickly see evidence of the positive outcomes, which in turn creates the willingness to tolerate the discomfort of change. In a team setting, you can try out the process of strategy, plan, implement & evaluate at a weekly cadence.
Here’s one way you could do it:
- On Monday, get the team together for 20 minutes to do the strategy & planning. Share with the team the priorities for the week, WHY they are priorities and who benefits from the work required. Then have each team member write down their priorities for the week, check for alignment and if everyone has the resources they need to accomplish their priorities.
- Tuesday – Thursday is the implementation phase, everyone is working.
- On Friday, get the team together for another 20 minutes to evaluate how the week went. Were they able to accomplish their priorities? If not, what got in the way?
By creating an environment of intention and building the skill of planning before executing, the value and impact of the time spent in the actual doing gets exponentially amplified. And, when things don’t go according to plan (because they won’t, I think Murphy is credited with that law), the energy that went into the work of planning pays off again because the intention is already understood and gets used to more quickly pivot to adapt to the change.
To be intentional with your time, it can help to get organized and figure out what tools you have to use. If you want some help figuring out the software & apps you already have, grab my tracking template: just go to fieryfx.com/tracker to get a Google Sheets template to help you start maximizing the value of your current software subscriptions.
Thanks for tuning in to Leverage Your Spark, where we help you amplify your time, energy, and impact. Remember, time is a non-renewable resource, but when you put intention before action, you can amplify your time. Join me in the next episode to hear about a few tools I use to amplify my time.
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