21st Century Time Management for Busy Managers by Michael Erwin - HTML preview

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1.7. Capacity

Dean realised that his previous style gave him no flexibility and that the weekly structure gave him lots of flexibility. A key part of creating this flexibility is what I call capacity.

Capacity is the amount of hours available to you to do what you want to do. It is the size of your (time) fuel tank.

The weekly structure gets you to think about your weekly capacity. In the weekly structure you include EVERYTHING you want to do that week. I will explain more of the detail in how to do that shortly, but the point I am making is that this structure is about your LIFE not just work.

99% of all the people who have been through this process have AT LEAST 20 MORE HOURS OF TASKS than they can fit in to their ideal weekly structure (or any week for that matter).

Many people have two or three weeks worth of tasks that they think they will get done this week! And this is using their time estimates – which are almost always ill under the real time it takes to complete the task. And this does not allow for interruptions or unforseen events.

Seeing your TIME CAPACITY in a visual weekly structure creates a huge BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious) for most people which is – “I try to fit too much in to my week, and that is why I run out of time and that is why I never get to do X!”

Yes, it seems simple, but when you see it physically, it really sinks in.

Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine your refrigerator for a minute. Your fridge has a certain capacity, a volume of stuff that can fit in to the fridge. Now imagine you go shopping and you buy lots of stuff that needs to be kept in the fridge – you know milk, cheese, drinks, meat, fresh vegetables, juice, cream, butter and so on. You get home and realise that you can’t fit all the food into the fridge.

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This is the same as thinking you will do all your tasks, but your time capacity is not enough to fit them in.


What happens to the food that won’t fit in the fridge? You either give it away or it is wasted!

The major BENEFIT of the weekly structure is being able to easily see when you are at (or near to) your time capacity. When you see this you can now make better choices about how to spend your time.

One of the MAJOR insights that people when they go through this process is that they see that there is much less time available than they imagine. When you apply the weekly structure for a few weeks you will see that there are many tasks that you will never get around to doing.

This is the BIG SHIFT in MINDSET that is a KEY part of 21st Century Time Management.


I want you to be able to see how much you can fit in to your week as easily as you can see how much food will fit in to your refrigerator.

Most people most weeks buy too much – not food – tasks. The tasks you buy-in to doing in your head don’t fit in you time capacity. Just like you wouldn’t keep buying more food than you can fit in to the fridge each, I want to help you make sure you don’t buy-into more tasks than you can do in a week.

There are so many food choices and temptations and advertising pushing you to buy more food, but you know how much capacity you fridge has so you buy what will fit and, although you may like some of the options that are available YOU CHOOSE which ones to buy so you can fit them in.

The same applies with time – acknowledge there are far more tasks that you would like to do than you will ever get done.


So now it is time to create your ideal week structure.

The FULL 21st Century Time Management program has complete instructions and a checklist on how to create your ideal week, including several examples.

Download the blank ideal week worksheet.


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86 Nelson Rd Box Hill Vic 3129 03 9849 1723 fax 03 8640 0535