Top 10 Time Management Tips from Noble CEO
“Time is the only currency you really have”
There’s busy, and then there’s Jarrod Lopiccolo busy. Take one look at the Noble Studios CEO’s daily agenda and you’ll get a case of vertigo. Meetings, calls, travel and other appointments all coexist – albeit very tightly – on his color-coded Outlook calendar.
Nothing in Lopiccolo’s life goes unplanned. Everything from reading industry articles to picking up the kids from school is meticulously plotted. His seize the day approach to life has led him to pull together these top 10 time management tips – some his, some cribbed from top time management gurus – that you can put into action today.
1. Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week.
It doesn’t matter whether you carry a smartphone, a sketchbook or just a simple notebook ( is always a great choice). Carry all three if you need – just use them. Keep a notepad by the bed for those late-night Eureka moments. Check out Moleskine products to get you started.
2. Any activity or conversation that’s important to your success should have a time assigned to it.
Business activities aren’t the only keys to personal success. Quality family and alone time is crucial to a person’s well-being and should be scheduled like any other meeting.
3. Plan 20 percent of your time to engage in the thoughts, activities and conversations that produce 80 percent of your results.
This is the definition of leverage. Invest a little time in your most important assets and you’ll see big returns.
4. Schedule time for interruptions.
Don’t apologize for needing to get things done. A state of “flow” takes time and concentration to attain. Interruptions can disrupt flow, turning a 10-minute task into a two-hour debacle. If someone interrupts you, acknowledge the importance of their request and ask them to schedule time with you later in the day.
5. Take the first 20 minutes of every day to plan your day.
Taking as little as half an hour every day ensures you keep your eye on the goals you should be chasing. Doing this early in the day is crucial. Either you dictate your day or it’ll dictate you.
“He that rises late must trot all day.“
– Benjamin Franklin
6. Take five minutes before every call and task to decide what results you’re looking for.
Preparation isn’t just about being polite and respectful; it’s a sign of true character. Trying to “fake it” when you’re not prepared won’t cut it. Doing your homework is an absolute necessity.
7. Put up a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get work done.
Whether you use subtle or overt tactics, train others to respect your time. See also #4.
“Time stays long enough for those who use it.“
– Leonardo Da Vinci
8. Practice not answering your e-mails just because they show up.
Resist the urge to click on everything that pops up. Configure your Outlook so messages don’t pop up with every new email. Another downside: answering emails immediately trains others that you’re constantly available, leading to an endless chain of interruptions.
9. Block out other distractions like Facebook and other forms of social media.
We live in a quick hit culture of Facebook likes, retweets and instant messaging. These things are designed to provide a rush of dopamine to the brain. The problem is that it can spill over into your work, making for a seriously disjointed day. (See also #4 and “flow.”)
10. Remember that it’s impossible to get everything done.
If you start with a list of 10 daily to-do items and only complete eight, you’ve still accomplished a lot. Recognize and be at peace with the fact that some things will carry over to the next day. Rome, as they say, wasn’t built in a day.