Let me tell you a story.

(And if you can relate to this story please be sure to leave a comment below.)

Once upon a time … in a land far, far away (Florida) there lived a focused and diligent entrepreneur.  He had been working with a brilliant time strategy visionary (hmmm wonder who that could be?! LOL!) and was becoming incredibly efficient and effective with his time.  He was able to condense his work week from 6 days to 4 days, while at the same time increasing his income.

One of the big wins he was celebrating was his ability to “chunk” his activities.  On Monday he writes his blog posts and works on his radio show (pre-production, production, and post-production).  On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday he coaches clients and networks with potential clients, referral partners and guests for his show.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday he spends with his beautiful wife.

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Over the course of 6 to 8 weeks, this focused fellow fine-tuned his process to where he felt he was fairly efficient.  He figured out how to simplify many of his activities.  He tweaked how he scheduled appointments.  Overall he was in a great place!

But, like with all great stories – there MUST be a challenge . . .

What happened next?

Well, he had a last minute opportunity to interview a “big name guest” for his show.  So he decided to produce two shows on Monday instead of one.  He worked from 7 am – 10 pm.  (But his goal is to work 8 – 9 hours each day, NOT 15 hours.)

On Tuesday, when we had the opportunity to recap and evaluate his day, he had a realization.

He didn’t need to complete all the tasks on Monday!  Some of those tasks could wait until Tuesday. However, because he was “in the moment” and was used to his “Monday routine,” he felt pressured to finish EVERYTHING.

With a little extra planning (only 10 – 15 minutes!!) he could have looked at his calendar for the week, determined which tasks he needed to finish on Monday and which tasks could be finished throughout the week.   This would have allowed him to work a 9 or 10 hour day instead of a 15 hour day.

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The moral of the story?

Often we get so caught up in the day-to-day that we forget to look at the big picture.  But by scheduling some time to look at the big picture, we are able to move tasks around, stay ahead of our deadlines, and make sure our daily plan lines up with our weekly and monthly plans, which then line up with our goals.

It’s only one part of your time management journey to excel at maximizing your efficiency and effectiveness on a day to day basis.  It’s most important to be effective and efficient in “the big picture.”

And they all lived happily ever after!

It’s your turn!  In what areas are you overlooking the “big picture” for the small tasks? Would you like some support in looking at the “forest” rather than the “trees”?

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(Image credit: Stuart Miles)