A goldfish grows to the size of it’s tank.*
It’s been said over and over, the only scarce resource today is time.
One of the most overlooked and underused tools is time boxing.
Time boxing is the art of providing a time in which you will work on or accomplish something. It’s amazing how much you can get done in 15 or 30 or 45 minutes.
When I plan my day and give myself a set amount of time to accomplish things, I often do. Obviously I can’t build an aircraft carrier in an hour, but for knowledge workers it is amazing how much we can get done by setting deadlines.
Because I am getting much more done in a day, I reward myself with time to learn, or do something I want, which is ok since I’ve gotten much more done than I ever expected.
When calling someone, ask ‘Is now a good time?’
If someone calls, you don’t have to answer.
If you choose to answer, you can say, I have X minutes before my next meeting / appointment / call / massage appointment.
When you need to leave, it’s fine to say I have a desk full of work / feral cats / someone at my door that I need to get to.
As a highly paid consultant I worked alongside often said ‘No is an acceptable answer.’
* I know there are many factors and there is a capped size of goldfish.