Time-blocking- Increase Your Productivity

Time-blocking- Increase Your Productivity

Sam Mustafa, CEO of Charleston Hospitality Group shares his advice on time management.

If there is one concept and mindset that all CEO’s share, it is that, “Time is money.” Time is precious and once it’s gone, it is gone forever. Utilizing your time wisely as a business leader is incredibly important. Everyday in this position, CEOs and business leaders are jumping from task to task and responding to endless emails, phone calls and personal obligations; 40 hour weeks quickly become 80 hours weeks in this position. Burnout is inevitable. This is something that I can attest to daily, and I would also like to mention that it never gets any easier! However, understanding, utilizing and managing your time makes a big difference in your overall efficiency and success of your business.

Let’s Talk About Time-Blocking
Time- blocking, as it reads, is the concept of segmenting your day into well-defined chunks of time. This approach also includes organizing tasks that need to be completed by a certain deadline and creating a timeframe where you can set aside time to only focus on that specific task.

In addition to time-blocking, another method of time management that I use daily is the, “Ivy Lee Method”. This approach involves writing down your most important tasks that must be completed and prioritizing them in order of the most important. The order one writes these tasks down, is the order that one must complete them. I understand it can be tempting to go out of order, but the feeling of power you will have once you complete the highest priority task will keep you on path and ready for the next task.

In conjunction with the Ivy Lee Method, another time management process I use to keep me on track is the Parkinson’s Law theory.

Great Things Happen To Those Who Utilize Their Time Effectively
Time blocking is just the beginning to increased productivity. Honing these habits reap great rewards such as effectively creating boundaries and promoting deep focused work to combat procrastination. In addition, utilizing proven theories for productivity such as Parkinson’s Law that requires you to finish a job in a certain amount of time makes you realize how much work you get done once you realize there is a deadline to meet. Work and productivity are directly related to mindset.

Where Do I Start?
Time management is like a chore, you hate starting it, but once you’re in the groove, the magic begins! A few key tips that have helped in getting the most out of this process includes:

Prioritize the Most-Urgent Tasks
We are all faced with multiple tasks we must complete on a daily basis and often, these tasks seem to pile up quickly! Ask yourself, what needs to be completed immediately and what can wait? This is where the Ivy Lee Method mentioned in the beginning of the article comes in handy.

Make Time For Mental Breaks
Working without giving yourself a mental break is a recipe for disaster. Studies show that frequent breaks boost productivity and reduce stress and prevent the need for a long recovery at the end of the day.

Use Technology or A Calendar To Assist With Your Time Management
I am a visual person and need to see my tasks at hand for months at a time. In addition to utilizing digital calendars, I also use an oversized paper calendar to keep me organized. For me, the action of mechanically writing my tasks allows my brain’s muscle memory to keep all my projects organized.

What Are Some Helpful Apps and Technologies To Keep Me On Track?
Some helpful technologies and apps that have helped me stay on track include the following:
1) Slack– for internal communication with all my executives
2) TimeBloc-Daily Planner– for a visual representation of my time-blocking activities and tasks
3) StayFocusd– Chrome extension that puts time limits on my social media usage

Sam Mustafa is the the CEO of Charleston Hospitality Group and Toast! All Day Franchise. Named one of the nation’s 100 most influential CEOs by Nation’s Restaurant News and frequent speaker on Joe Pardavila’s Podcast on ForbesBooks Radio. He has also been featured on Medium, Authority Magazine, describing his version of the American Dream. Sam is one of the leading voices in the Restaurant Industry.

1) Abadi, Mark. A CEO and Dad Uses a 100-Year-Old Strategy to Get Control of His Schedule in Just 15 Minutes Each Night, Business Insider, 8 Sept. 2018, www.businessinsider.com/ivy-lee-method-productivity-2018-9.2) Rampton, John. “Time Blocking Tips Top Experts and Scientists Use to Increase Productivity.” Time Blocking Tips Top Experts and Scientists Use to Increase Productivity, Entrepreneur , 16 Apr. 2019, www.entrepreneur.com/article/332290.3) “The Importance of Taking Breaks.” The Wellbeing Thesis, 14 Jan. 2020, thewellbeingthesis.org.uk/foundations-for-success/importance-of-taking-breaks-and-having-other-interests/#:~:text=Studies%20have%20found%20that%20breaks,%5B1%5D%3B%20%5B2%5D.&text=Taking%20breaks%20has%20been%20shown,in%20turn%2C%20improve%20your%20performance.