Have you struggled with managing your time effectively? Do you have an endless to-do list? Are your to-do list a reminder of how inefficient, ineffective and unproductive you are? Does having so much uncompleted tasks feed negative thoughts in your subconscious mind and makes you feel like you may never accomplish certain important things in your life? Has this impacted your self confidence in anyway? As the new year starts, has this impact your decision-making and made you feel like there is no point making a new year resolution because you don’t have a good track record of following through? Does it cause you stress, anxiety and uncertainty about the future? Do you think you don’t have enough time or resources to get important things done at work or in your personal life? Do you have broader and more important responsibilities at work and in life but can’t seem to stop spending time checking e-mails because they seem important? Do you think you have attention deficit disorder? Why do some people appear to accomplish more than others but we all have the same 24 hours in a day? Lastly, are you mistaken movement for achievement? Are you checking off your to-do list and feeling good about it but, deep down, you know you are not making progress towards your dream or goal?
Many people have struggled and will continue to struggle with managing the best use of their time and live an unfulfilled life of worry, stress and disappointments unless they take action. The truth is that having more time is not the problem. It’s all about one’s psychology of time management; call this self-management.
Before you read the blog for today, here are couple of quotes i find fascinating about time management. Think about them for a minute and let them sync in.
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” Pablo Picasso
” Stop managing your time. Start managing your focus.” Robin Sharma
Make Time For What Matters Most
How would you know what matters most if you haven’t given it enough thought? So why would you waste a second doing anything without thinking, identifying what really matters, why it matters and planning how to accomplish such a task? You can start a new chapter of your life and be a better version of yourself and also achieve a work and life balance by focusing on what matters most, why it matters and how to accomplish anything your heart desires.
In relation to work:
I start with work because a lot of people spend more time at work than in their personal life. If this brings fulfillment at the end of it all, it’s a choice.
Make your day about creating value. If you don’t have a plan for your day, the day will always have plans for you. While this statement might sound like a bumper sticker, it is true. I’ve personally endured countless tactical and day-to-day firefighting and distractions that seem important instead of executing a careful plan on my daily work goals. I have also spent countless of times going through a never ending to-do list of tasks. I decided a while ago to stop reacting and start playing on the offense. My top recommendations regarding managing the best use of time at work are as follows:
- Spend at least half hour at the start of the day identifying what your goals are for that day. Ideally, you do this the night before so you have a productive day ahead.
- Be clear and focused on why you want to achieve the goals and how to accomplish these goals. Follow a result-focused planning system. Let this daily planning be a map of how you’ll execute on your goal(s). Let the goal(s) be aligned with what you’ll get measured on by your business (what matters most to your business). Spend at least 50% of your time during the day on this. This is the hard part because it means you must politely say “No” to a lot of things that come your way. What has worked for me is that i block off my calendar to reflect my plan for that day and i try my best to stick to the plan.
- Reserve at least half hour at the end of the day to reflect on the day and how you did and take notes on what worked and didn’t work. The purpose of note taking is to take any remedial action needed to accomplish the set goals.
- Spend at least one hour to reflect on your accomplishment by the end of each week.
- Spend at least an hour each day outside work reading about a subject that’s of interest to you – something that increases your knowledge or expertise in an interested area or that will help you in your next career move.
In relation to personal life:
I have often found that when I am happy at work, it reflects in my personal life and when I am happy in my personal life it reflects at work. You become what you spend more time doing and focusing on. Hence, why I didn’t mean to be insensitive to those that believe family or personal life should come first. Either way, personal life could come first if one feels more fulfilled in this area. In the end, the goal is to be fulfilled and to live a life with no regrets. My top recommendations regarding managing the best use of time for one’s personal life are as follows:
- Identify what’s most important to your immediate family. Not you. If you are like me, you already spend too much time working hard and getting fulfilled hopefully in that area; a significant portion of the rest of your time needs to be devoted to family. So back to the question. What’s most important to your family [your spouse, children or loved ones]?
- Focus on how to accomplish this “most important” thing with the family. Be focused and do not be distracted about work. This is predicated on the assumption that you’ve worked very hard focusing on work. Now, don’t rob your family of such quality time.
- Let your family know a little bit about your work and what you do. Share positive learning experiences so they feel like they are part of your work-life, which takes up a lot of your time anyways – this is even better if they are interested.
- Spend time on activities that makes you healthy as an individual physically, spiritually, and mentally. For example: Being active regularly, being a part of religious or enlightenment group, feed your mind regularly by reading and learning from people and helping others. Make this a family affair if the family is interested.
Make Time About Productivity, Efficiency and Effectiveness
To be subconsciously wired to regularly plan and control the amount of time and resources spent on tasks will make you laser focused on your goals. You’ll be able to have more time for other important things and it will enhance the quality of your life by making you more happy, more purposeful and fulfilled.
It is not about the actions and activities. It’s about the goal(s). Focus on the goal and how to get there faster, if necessary with less waste and redo of tasks. Model who has done it before so you don’t have to repeat their mistakes. Cultivate the habit of reflecting and asking Is what i am doing helping me move towards my goal(s)? Is there a better or faster way? Do you have to do this all by yourself? Can you delegate certain activities to those that can help move the ball forward much faster? Of course, you have to be able to trust people. Don’t micromanage but owe them accountable and inspire them to be at their best. This is as true for managers to subordinates, co-workers to co-workers, classmates to classmates on a school project, as it is true for parents to children on home chores or other aspects of life.
Finally, always think long term. Does the system depend on you to survive or can the system run without you? This is twofold. This can make you redundant or can free you up for the next big thing. The key is that you don’t have to be the critical path. If you are responsible for a system such as a home or business to function, create an efficient and effective way for the system to run when you are not there. Train or hire people to handle the day to day activities or have the necessary tools to handle the day to day activities when you are unavailable.
Have you ever lost anyone that you wished you’d spent more time with? I have. Anyone you wished you’d been nicer to?
I don’t mean to me dramatic. But imagine you are on your death bed and you have few minutes left to exit this world. Would you look back and be proud of the time you’ve spent on earth?
What will your regrets be? Not spending time with family? Not giving it a good try to accomplish the things you’ve always wanted? Not saying i love you enough to your kids, spouse, family or friends?
Don’t waste your time responding to life or just coasting through like you’ll live forever. Live life like it’ll end for you tomorrow. We will never be here again. Truly enjoy your time. Be wired to be productive to yourself and to those that matter to you.
Make it a goal for the next 30 days to change your psychology on time management. Form a better habit about the use of time. Like any habit, it needs commitment and hard work for it to become part of your subconscious and how you are wired. You really don’t have much to lose compared to a lifetime of regret if you don’t act.
If you are ready to take action, check out the time management tools that Tony Robbins put together or any other time management tools out there that’ll help you achieve your goals.
Don’t confuse movement for achievement. To-do lists can keep you busy. Checking off a series of tasks can provide the illusion of progress. Have you ever completed everything on your to-do list and still felt like you haven’t really accomplished anything? Rapid Planning Method (RPM) is a results-focused life planning system designed to help you envision any goal and take steps to make it real. Tony Robbins’ RPM is an entirely new system of thinking and conditioning.
This 10-day program is designed to help you create more time for what truly matters to you. Using the scientifically-proven Rapid Planning Method (RPM), you will learn the strategies Tony uses to manage dozens of businesses, his personal relationships and his strenuous schedule on the road. The strategies taught in this program will free you from endless to-do lists and instead put your focus on purposeful actions that drive real and consistent results.