Manage Your Time: Rule of Five

images-1I was reading an article by John C. Maxwell in the latest edition of Success Magazine, and Maxwell shares some great thoughts on time management, and he ends the article by sharing something he does every day called the “Rule of Five”.  Here they are:

#1) READ – I am constantly feeding my mind. I try to read one or two books every week. Some I skim. Others I fully digest. I also listen to podcasts and other audio messages, the best of which I have transcribed.

#2) FILE – It’s not enough just to read. The No. 1 time-waster for most people is searching for lost items. Whenever I find a good quote or idea, I file it. That way I can retrieve it within seconds or minutes.

#3) WRITE – I help others primarily through books and speeches. That means I need to write continually. Look in my briefcase or on my desk and you’ll find files of material I’m working with to create new lessons and ideas.

#4) THINK – Perhaps the most valuable thing I do everyday is stop doing and just think. I evaluate experiences, weigh opportunities, consider how to help my team and ask God for guidance.

#5) QUESTION – Good questions unlock doors and reveal opportunities. I feel so strongly about this that I wrote a book called ‘Good Leaders Ask Great Questions’, which will come out in October.”

I love Maxwell’s thoughts and his ability to focus on things that are important to him.

This makes me think about MY rules…. I feel a little inferior, but there are some things I do that help me manage my time and my purpose.  Here are a couple of them:

Russ’ Four:

#1) CALENDAR – I try to manage my calendar and not let my calendar manage me. I review my day both in the morning and the night before, anticipating what is coming. I look at the week, month and year and try to create balance in the midst of frequent travel.

#2) E-MAIL – When I have a lot of unanswered e-mails, I feel overwhelmed. I work towards managing my e-mail and I try to respond and act on messages quickly, then I move the message out of my inbox. When my inbox is manageable, I don’t have that overwhelmed feeling as often.

#3) BLOCKS & APPOINTMENTS – I schedule appointments with myself to work on key projects. This enables me to set time aside to address priority projects and I make myself unavailable to others during these times. This helps me focus and it helps me prioritize my schedule. If someone needs me, I schedule appointments around the blocks that I have set aside.

#4) WALK – This is really tied to Maxwell’s “think”. When I walk, I am able to think more clearly. Often, I’ll go for a walk in the middle of the day just to get my body moving, and to clear my head and think about new things. Sometimes I go for 3 – 4 walks in a day. These aren’t long, but by the time I get back to my office, I’m ready to continue forward with a little more clarity.

What helps you manage your time?

We’re going to spend some time on this topic over the next few weeks.

Share with us what works and what doesn’t work.


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