AuthorConnect Chat: David Finkel’s Tips on Intelligent Time Management

A new way to manage time according to David Finkel

Think about your first activities when you wake up in the morning. You get up, and then look at your phone, check your email, etc. As David Finkel, CEO of one of the world’s premier business coaching companies states, “We’re blatantly doing work all the time”—and it’s hurting our success. How do the most successful business people create results but still have an amazing life? How do you operationalize working smarter in the real business world? David discusses this and more in his latest book, The Freedom Formula: How to Succeed in Business Without Sacrificing Your Family, Health, or Life. We had the opportunity to chat with David about a couple methods to balance work and life in this AuthorConnect Chat:

Managing time intelligently with the time value matrix

You may have heard of the 80/20 rule: 80% of your workday creates 20% value and 20% of your workday creates 80% value. If you apply this principle further, the math works out to 4% of your time creating over 60% value (this, David calls B-Level work) and a meager 1% of your time creating 50% value (or A-Level work). Consequently, most of our time is allocated toward C and D-Level activities.

“To do our best work, we need to reclaim blocks of our best time.”

When thinking of what tasks to allocate your time, David suggests looking at it like a buffet: if you fill your first plate with junk food, you’re going to overeat and not get enough nutrition. Try filling your “first plate” (your best hours/most productive time) with A and B-Level activities.

To do that, simply map out on paper what your A and B-Level activities are, and what your C and D-Level activities are. Then, carve out time to focus on those A and B-Level activities. You can do this through what David coins as focus days and push days. Set up a focus day once a week by allocating a 2-4 hour block of time on your calendar where you aren’t disturbed or distracted. During this time, turn off your phone, disable notifications, and—if you can—exit out of your email application. To make it easier, consider prepping for your focus day the day before by mapping out what tasks/activities you want to tackle. On the other days, your push days, only set aside hour blocks for focus time.

How do you find the A and B-Level activities?

Often times, people are afraid to bring up this question to their supervisors, for fear of not knowing or not looking professional. In truth, this question not only opens up a positive line of communication, but it also shows your superior you have the initiative. Additionally, no one initially knows the difference between A and B-Level activities, they just know they are better and/or different than C and D-Level activities. Over time, you will start to see a difference. Think of D-Level activities as those which someone could easily do for $15 – $25 an hour. If you don’t get it done, there is no real consequence. C-Level activities are what you tend to think about as your job. For example, if you are a CPA, accounting is your C-Level activity. Don’t focus on differentiating A and B-Level activities, they are both high-level, productive activities that make other team members more efficient or drive high value to the organization. An easy step to take is to focus on those D-Level activities and delete, differ, delegate, or design them out.


Discover more productivity tips by watching the full AuthorConnect Chat below, and order The Freedom Formula in bulk for your team or organization today.

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This post was written by Megan Habel, Brand Strategist at BookPal. She is currently reading The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff.

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