Would you like to be able to reach your goals in half the time? Would you like to have a greater sense of control over your life?
People that have a sense of control over their lives are happier and more confident than people who feel out of control.
A big part of achieving that sense of control is to learn how to manage your time. Time management is a skill. It can be learned. But like everything else in the game of success, it comes down to a decision.
You have to make a decision that you will do what it takes to take control of your time.
Once you have a clear goal you are working towards, you must decide two things; number one, to start doing the things that will get you closer to your goal and stop doing the things that will keep you from your goal, and two, to work on the most important tasks first.
In actuality, you will not be managing time. You will be managing yourself so you can take maximum advantage of your time. Because you really can’t manage time. Time keeps on moving forward and there’s nothing we can do about it. What you will be doing is setting priorities and focusing on YOUR priorities.
The first step in time management is to make a list of the tasks you’ll need to complete in order to achieve each of your goals and to prioritize your list.
The second step in in managing your time is to start planning your weeks and your days in advance. Sunday evening is a great time to plan your week. And the end of your workday is a great time to plan your next day.
Remember… plans change but the act of planning gets you to think about the road ahead and saves you time in the long run.
Why plan the night before? Because if you do, your subconscious mind will work on your task list all night long. Many times you’ll wake up in the morning with ideas and insights that will help you during the day. Once your subconscious mind is working for you, you will start attracting people and resources you’ll need to help you achieve your goals.
Prioritize your task list. Determine which tasks are urgent and which are truly important. Most people spend their days working on urgent tasks that are not important. People that are constantly reacting to outside pressures (pressures like answering the phone, interruptions, putting out fires, etc.) are stressed and out of control.
The most effective people focus on important tasks and put the urgent tasks on the back burner.
Important tasks are those that will have the biggest impact on your long term goals.
Less than 20% of your tasks are important and will determine your future. Focus on those. Over 80% of your tasks are time wasters that will not contribute greatly to your future. Procrastinate on those, delegate those, or eliminate them altogether. Focus on the key tasks.
Prioritizing your tasks is critical because whenever you work on a particular task, you are choosing not to work on all of the other tasks. That is why your choice of which tasks you work on, will determine your future. Do you want to leave your future to chance, or is your future worth planning for?
Once you start working on a task, work on it until it is completed. Focus on only one task at a time. Thomas Edison, arguably the greatest inventor in American history, said that his success was due to his ability to work continuously on one task until he was finished. If it’s good enough for Edison, don’t you think it’s good enough for you and me?
The best way to complete your tasks quickly is to plan your day in a way that it will give you long, uninterrupted chunks of work time. Sixty to ninety minute chunks of time.
When your mind is focused on a single task for long periods of time, you will accomplish many times more work than if you are working on several tasks simultaneously.
Finally, learn to say “NO” to anything that will keep you from achieving your goals. Focus single-mindedly on your desired end result, and you will be amazed at how much you achieve in your life.