Isn’t it amazing how focused their guests get when they hear that magical phrase?
You don’t have to be a media star to use this technique in your life. You can keep yourself on schedule by keeping yourself up against the clock.
Keep your conversations up against the clock
Don’t be rude. But why not set a time parameter at the beginning of a conversation?
When you both know you have five to ten minutes (or however long you decide), you will keep the conversation from wandering.
There are times when you shouldn’t do this. For example, when you’re looking for a solution to a difficult problem, you don’t want to impair the creativity with an artificial deadline.
However, most conversations will be more productive by establishing an end time upfront.
Keep your meetings up against the clock
We won’t elaborate much on this one since it’s so obvious. Well, at least it should be.
Let every one on your team know the designated end time. When the conversation starts to stray, remind them.
It’s a great way to keep every on track without seeming like a tyrant.
Keep your projects up against the clock
Before you pull out a project to start working on it, determine how long you can work on it.
This works best for small projects. For example, we do this now when we write a blog post or prepare for a podcast. We find that we get them done much faster without sacrificing quality.
You’ll also do better carving up your bigger projects into sub-projects. Then you can treat them like a small project.
Keep your day up against the clock
Think of yourself as a show host. You have the whole day to do your show.
Now carve it up into segments. Work with different amounts to find one that works for you.
For example, we use 30 minutes. We pound it out for a half an hour. Then we take a five-minute break.
Get away from your desk. Stretch a little. Walk around. Breathe.
Three, two, one…you’re back at the desk. The show must go on!
We have to go now because we’re up against the clock.
How do you keep yourself up against the clock?
Image in this post from molpole