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entrepreneurial time management: how i rock it

There’s so much that I want to do this lifetime: take my boy to India and Morocco; write the next bestseller; hang with people who make me laugh my ass off and make me think. So naturally, I’m interested in being both uber productive and deeply fulfilled.

I’ve tried every day timer. I’ve trained with Covey himself. My Blackberry is synced with my universe. My get-stuff-done-system is a mix of systems. But, by far the greatest booster to my productivity has been the Entrepreneurial Time Management system, created by Dan Sullivan.

I stumbled across an article last year, and it was a Eureka! moment. And now I just do it, almost religiously, simply.

WORKING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL TIME MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

FREE DAYS: LET IT ROLL
Weekends are footloose…play, party, veg, nest. Sullivan suggests taking 100 free days a year, including your holidays and vacations. {How civilized!} I try to hold Sundays as extra sacred, which means no computer, some devotional reading, extra snuggles, phone calls to the oldies.

TWO BUFFER DAYS: NIGGLIES + PURE FUN
Monday is my “niggly buffer day.” (You can make your buffer days any day of the week.) Buffer days are for loose ends, and for preparing for “focus days.” This is when I return emails; deal with tech bugs and social media updating; I make appointments and pay bills. On my Monday buffer day, I do the stuff that feels like it’s getting in the way when I want to do the Important Stuff that makes me happy and makes me money.

On my Monday buffer day, I set myself up to rock out for the following three days. I make sure I have editorial contacts that I need, I sketch out my writing ideas. I even make sure my i-Pod is synced so I can, quite literally rock out for the rest of the week. Mondays feel great. Like the warm up number for a super musical.

Friday is my “play buffer day.” Friday is when I conduct my Fire Starter calls with clients. It’s a great way to end the week … on a total inspirational high. In between clients I do fun research, surf, buy books, go through my pile of magazine tears and wandering sticky notes of what hopefully will be a genius insight.

FOCUS DAYS: LIKE A LASER, BABY
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are my full tilt focus days. This is when I do what I do best … and what I do best generates my livelihood. On focus days, I write and write some more. I jam with fellow thinkers and media folk, and then I write some more. I work on content products for clients or think through speaking gigs. Think. Jam. Write.

If I get an email on a focus day that doesn’t support my focus…it waits ‘til Friday, or Monday. I push away the temptation to be all things to all people. I let the phone ring. Having three consecutive days to focus on what’s most meaningful builds momentum. And by the end of the three days, I feel satiated and assured that I am feeding my soul and my family in every way.

Uber productive. Deeply fulfilled. Highly recommended.

What systems work for you?