Monday, January 09, 2017

The #1 Key to Time Management

I should start this with explaining that I think there's no such thing as "time management".  Time is time... it is 24 hours a day, 60 minutes an hour, 60 seconds a minute.  You can't change this, manage this, move it, add to it, delete it... it is what it is!  What you can do is manage the tasks and activity within your timeframe.  I use this term in this title because everyone is familiar with it and it's used universally.  I just don't happen to agree with it.

Almost everyone I speak with says that their biggest challenge is not having enough time.  What they really mean is that they are trying to do too much!  We all have the same amount of time, it's simply a matter of what activity we try to fit into our lives.  There's an epidemic happening.  We're unhealthy, unhappy, disconnected from the things that are most important to us and spend very little time with the people and on the things that bring us the most joy.  It's an epidemic that is accepted by society in general and if you're not "busy, busy, busy", then you are seen as not be ambitious or successful.  We are being assaulted by information and images from our different forms of technology, almost on a 24/7 basis, that is adversely affecting our mental, emotional and physical health.  This information overload is something you can control and it starts with FOCUS.

The #1 key to "time management" is FOCUS.  When you're clear on what you want to achieve and what you need to do to get there, then you know exactly what you need to spend your time on.  When your goals and objectives are part of your everyday focus it's easy to determine what you need to do with your time.  Simply ask yourself if what you're doing is getting you closer to the results you want.  The Pareto Principal says that 20% of our actions get 80% of our results...WOW!!!  Imagine if you got super focused and got rid of the activity that's not getting you the best results!  What would you do with all that extra time???

Following are 13 tips that will help you get and stay focused;

  1. delegate - This alone will save you hundreds of hours this year
  2. say NO! - when you say no to something you're saying yes to something better
  3. have a system of accountability - usually a person that won't let you get away with crap
  4. allot an amount of time to EVERYTHING - everything takes time so be realistic about it
  5. put a timeline to EVERYTHING - assign a timeline to everything you ask for from someone, as well as to everything you promise someone
  6. QUIT!!! - know when it's time to call it quits on something.  Not everything is worth labouring over
  7. Create and/or participate in a Mastermind Group - there's nothing like the motivation, inspiration, and accountability that a Mastermind Group of trusted colleagues provides
  8. Understand that multitasking is a myth - plain and simple
  9. Schedule disconnect time in order to be more productive - disconnect from technology, work and people.  Disconnect from technology especially...start controlling IT instead of being a slave to it.
  10. Write it down - focus increases with "brain to hand" activity
  11. Create a plan to deal with procrastination - get whatever help you need to do this.  One of the worst consequences of procrastination is the way it affects your self-esteem....  no one can beat you up like you can! 
  12. Do whatever you need to deal with "perfection paralysis"... even if that means therapy.
  13. Plan your activity around your energy - AND... spend time building your energy..  get enough sleep, nutrition, exercise physically and mentally and seek emotional and spiritual inspiration.

I'll look at other aspects of "time management" in my upcoming blogs.  Let me know if you have any tips, tools, techniques or habits you'd like to share regarding this subject.  I'd love to hear from you!