#07 How to Free up 2 Hours per Day for Your Own Work

The 360 Leadhership Podcast, Episode 07, 09 February 2022 by Lucy Gernon

Time Management is one of the most basic, yet challenging concepts that most leaders have to master. Why is it that there never seems to be enough time to get your own work done? You have your to-do list, you feel like you have a plan and then poof, something happens and it all goes to pot.

Where does that leave you? Working long hours trying to catch up, feeling burnt out, and counting down the days to your next holiday.

But what if it doesn’t have to be this way?

In this episode, I’m walking you through:

  • Some staggering facts on burn out and interruptions in the workplace

  • 5 Steps to free up 2 hours per day for your own work

  • 5 Affirmations to strengthen your mindset around owning your time

It’s more important than ever that you set your boundaries and manage your time, especially since the return to the office is imminent. If you’ve been working at home for a prolonged period, you have a chance to go back and teach people how you want to be treated. You don’t have to be burned out.

Step one to preventing burnout is protecting your time and that’s what we will talk about today.

Let’s consider interruptions.

The average person gets 1 interruption every 8 mins. 80% of these are not urgent. There is other data to suggest that the average person gets interrupted every 3 mins but for the purposes of this illustration, we will take the 8 mins.

That’s 7.5 interruptions per hour or 60 per 8 hour day. 5 mins per interruption equals 4 hours per day lost to interruptions or 50% of your workday!

What can you do about that?

5 Steps to Free Up 2 Hours Per Day for your Own Work

 1. Schedule time in your calendar for your lunch breaks for the year & give yourself permission to take breaks to restore (eat, move and think)

 2. Schedule recurring time in your calendar for strategy every week (Set min 1-2 hours to focus on improvement, networking, and forward planning to anticipate problems)

 3.  Set your rules around your availability. Do not allow interruptions. Turn off your IM if you are focusing. Schedule recurring time each day/week for them to ask questions. You are not available outside this time unless for business-critical emergencies

 4. Set your rules around attendance at meetings e.g. You want 24 hours notice and a clear agenda. If you don’t have a clear agenda, ask for one. Do not attend for the full hour unless it’s absolutely necessary. Tell the organizer how long you’ll be available; 20 mins is usually sufficient.

5. Delegate meetings and tasks to your team that don’t require your specific expertise & let go of some of that control

The only thing that will get in the way of freeing up 2 hours per day for your own work is your mindset. But the good news is, you can re-wire your brain to begin to do this. Positive affirmations are extremely powerful when said repeatedly and with emotion.

Repeat these affirmations daily to strengthen your mindset around managing your time. You have rights!

To recap:

Follow the 5 steps to free up 2 hours per day for your own work.

1- Schedule time in your calendar for your lunch breaks
2: Schedule recurring time in your calendar for strategy
3. Set your rules around your availability
4.  Set your rules around attendance at meetings
5: Delegate

To strengthen your mindset, repeat the above affirmations daily.

Want to learn more? Join my Facebook group The Corporate Women Leaders Tribe. I go live each week and answer any questions or comments you have on the podcast topic of the week. I’d love you to join and interact.

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