Learn the time management secrets of billionaires and level up your own time management skills! In this Sales Secrets episode, Chet Holmes International’s Amanda Holmes shares tips to help manage time effectively to increase productivity.
In this article:
- Amanda Holmes: Chairman of Chet Holmes International
- The Story Behind “Time Management Secrets of Billionaires”
- Time Management Tips for Work
- Applying The Time Management Secrets of Billionaires
- Master The Time Management Basics
6 Time Management Secrets That Improve Productivity
Time Management Definition: The skill of managing one’s time effectively to maximize one’s producitivity.
Amanda Holmes: Chairman of Chet Holmes International
Hello, my name is Amanda Holmes. I am the Chairman of Chet Holmes International, and we help businesses improve their customers’ online user experience.
My father, Chet Holmes, started the company over 25 years ago. We based our methodology on 12 core principles, which my father built while working for Charlie Munger. Charlie is the Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s business partner.
With his methodologies, my father managed to double the sales of nine different divisions. He realized that he accomplished a spectacular feat. He also had a repeatable process that can grow business, so he put them all together into his book, The Ultimate Sales Machine.
From The Ultimate Sales Machine, we created 78 training products that sell in 100 countries. We have also assisted over 200,000 businesses worldwide.
The Story Behind “Time Management Secrets of Billionaires”
Now let’s jump into one of the best practices I apply in Chet Holmes International — time management techniques. Effective time management is important for salespeople.
Chet Holmes created the Time Management Secrets of Billionaires. The story behind this is, when he was working for Charlie Munger, who is a billionaire, he was absolutely overworked. He worked through every weekend and holiday. Every time he was in the office, all he did was react to people and situations — he had no time for anything else.
He could only work if he came to the office early, and after he came home in the evening. This is because he spent his whole day handling his staff and their problems. That was when he came to the realization that he really needed a system to be able to get the important things done.
He also observed that if people ever wanted to meet with Charlie Munger, they could not simply call him up. You needed to have an agenda and schedule a meeting with him. Charlie also asks right before every meeting, “What’s our outcome here? What do we want?” If he could just say yes to the question you were going to post him, then the meeting would be over.
The idea for Time Management Secrets of Billionaires really came from Charlie. Chet observed his ways and discovered his effective time management strategies. Then he put them down on paper as a program and a plan.
Time Management Tips for Work
Chet adapted Charlie’s time management secrets and changed it a little bit. He had this epiphany that pushed him to send everyone a memo, which said, “You will no longer ask for “got-a-minute” meetings from me. I will not entertain these anymore. If you absolutely need a “got-a-minute” meeting, I will hold one hour a day when we can have it. Otherwise, everyone will have a specific time every week where they will meet with me so we can discuss whatever you need.”
As a result, each team had a scheduled meeting day and time with Chet. The Sales Team will meet during Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 11AM. The Leadership Team will meet on Thursdays at 2PM, and so on.
When he first implemented this new rule, no one came to his office to ask for a meeting. At first, he didn’t know what to do with himself because he was a reactive person. He had to retrain himself to be proactive in the office.
Applying The Time Management Secrets of Billionaires
Everyone can apply the Time Management Secrets of Billionaires. It all boils down to scheduling. You plan out your day by blocking off time slots for each task you need to do. What I also do is schedule 30 minutes at the beginning and end of each day for answering emails. This is my way of being proactive about answering the things that may come up reactively.
This whole system is very easy. The hardest part is applying pigheaded discipline and determination. Everyone expects to get a response from you right away, which is disrespectful of your time and what you’re doing. That’s why you need to train yourself to allot a certain time each day to respond to emails, text messages, and other urgent requests. You have to set a schedule for yourself and be firm about managing your time.
Master The Time Management Basics
Personally, my days are most productive when I follow the tips from Time Management Secrets of Billionaires. While I do apply this concept of scheduling, I also sometimes waver. When this happens, I remember what my father taught me: “Mastering something is not about doing 4,000 things — it’s about doing 12 things 4,000 times.”
Remember, it shouldn’t be only you who follows your schedule. If you have people who are reporting to you, you have to train them as well. Tell them, “You know that there are specific times each day when I check my messages, so adhere to that.”
Your staff will listen to you for the first three days, but they’re prone to return to old habits. Next thing you know, they’ll be asking for “got-a-minute” meetings again. That’s why you have to continuously train them by reminding them that you don’t have a minute. Ask them if their concern can wait until your scheduled meeting, and if it can, leave it for that.
My father even used to give his staff yellow notepads where they can write all their questions during the week. Then they will discuss those inquiries during their scheduled call.
All these take pigheaded discipline and determination to achieve. You have to manage your own time and not let anybody else do it for you. Remember, great time management shouldn’t take a lot of time. You need to apply consistent pigheaded discipline and determination to stick to your time management plan.
Tip #1: Touch It Once
The first tip from the Time Management Secrets of Billionaires is touch it once. We waste a lot of time rereading emails and documents and not taking action on them. The first tip you need to apply is if you touch it, do something about it.
If you read an email, respond to it right away. Otherwise, at least bookmark it for later action. The important thing is that you do something about it.
The organizational system you will apply is up to you. What I do is ask my assistant to remind me to take action on items, or I leave some emails unread as a reminder. One task may not be in my top six to-do list today, but it could be tomorrow.
Tip #2: Make a To-Do List
The second tip is to create a list of things you need to do each day. You can do this every morning before you start your day, or the night before. Then from that list, figure out which ones are the most important. Being able to prioritize tasks will help you a lot. Pick the top six most important items on your list and concentrate on those for the day.
Tip #3: Plan How Much Time You Will Spend On Each Task
Next, plan how much time you will allocate for each task. You can say, for example, it will take you one hour to finish a report, two hours to follow up on prospects, and one hour to answer emails. Set a time for each item on your to-do list so you can also be more realistic about your list.
Tip #4: Plan When You’re Going To Do Each Task
This means finding time to work on tasks that will take you a lot of time to accomplish.
If you have a big project that will take you five hours to finish, you can break down your time for it into one hour each day. This way, you won’t sacrifice other important tasks just to cross off one item from your list. Keep your big project in your to-do list as long as it’s still ongoing. Work on it one day at a time.
You can have your top six items in your to-do list, and add in an organized and consistent time frame for your larger tasks. You can also leave a certain time in your day open so you can respond to reactive situations. This is a way for you to be proactive about the reactive things coming up.
One of the time management success stories I witnessed is how my father managed to write a book. People pushed him to author a book, but he thought he did not have the time to do it while running 12 companies.
Eventually, he used his own time management methodology. He set himself to write his book every Monday night from 7PM to 8PM. For two years, every Monday night, he wrote his book for one hour. That’s what created the legacy that allowed me to take over and continue to run it.
Tip #5: Prioritize Your Tasks
Prioritizing is key in managing your time effectively. Some people put in six items in their to-do list which they can easily cross off. They only want that euphoric feeling they get when they cross off items from their list. The question is, did they cross off the most important tasks?
Make sure the tasks included in your list are the most important ones for the day.
Tip #6: Throw Away What You Don’t Need
The last tip is to throw away anything you won’t need anymore. This is for the hoarders out there. We file away a lot of things that we never refer to again or revisit. Those only end up becoming a waste of space, so throw away what you can.
When you apply these time management secrets, they can change your life. You only need to have pigheaded discipline and determination to achieve successful time management. We hope this guide has helped you understand more about how to improve your time management skills and maximize its benefits for your organization.
How do you manage your time? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.