The three components of performance time
There are three primary components of Performance Time: strategic blocks, buffer blocks, and breakout blocks.
STRATEGIC BLOCK - A Strategic Block is a 3-hour block of uninterrupted time that is scheduled in advance. During these blocks you accept no phone calls, no faxes, no e-mails, no visitors - no mental interruptions. You focus all your energies on the preplanned items - the strategic and money-making activities. Doing so concentrates your intellect and creativity and produces breakthrough results. You will be astounded by the quantity and quality of the work you produce. For most people, one strategic block per week is sufficient.
BUFFER BLOCK – Buffer Blocks are created to deal with all of the unplanned and low-value activities—like most email and voicemail—that arise throughout a typical day. Almost nothing is more unproductive and frustrating than dealing with constant interruptions, yet we’ve all had days when unplanned items dominated our time.
A Buffer Block allows you to take what would otherwise be inefficient activity and make it more productive by grouping it together. In this way you can handle each item expeditiously and move through the list with some momentum. This allows you to stay focused throughout the day on the important activities.
For some, one 30-minute buffer block a day is sufficient, while for others, two separate one-hour blocks may be necessary. The power of buffer blocks comes from grouping together activities that tend to be unproductive so that you can increase your efficiency in dealing with them and take greater control over the rest of your day.
BREAK-OUT BLOCK - One of the key factors contributing to performance plateaus is the absence of free time. So often, entrepreneurs and professionals get caught up in working longer and harder. This approach is an energy and enthusiasm killer. To achieve greater results what’s necessary is not more hours. On the contrary, often it is more free time.
A Break-out Block is a minimum 3 hour block of scheduled time that is devoid of any work related activities and thoughts. It is time set aside to rejuvenate and replenish. Use this time for fun. Enjoy the hobbies in your life. Spend time with family and friends. Play golf. Go shopping. Get some exercise. Go fishing, or sailing…whatever you like to do that is non-work related. You need this time to rebuild your reserves and to open yourself up to fresh ideas and perspectives.
Benjamin Franklin said, “If we take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves.”