12 Top Strategies for Time Management and Success
We have 25 days left of 2022. Imagine yourself a year, five or ten years from now – where and who would you be if you start using your time wisely and setting goals today?
My struggles and experiences have taught me many lessons. One important lesson upon which all the other depends is time management. Maximizing your productivity, happiness, and health can best be accomplished by managing time wisely.
To help you achieve your goals and enjoy your time here are 12 time management strategies:
1. Have goals
Many people spend energy trying to be more efficient without first doing what’s important: setting SMART goals. Driving faster doesn’t help if you are going in the wrong direction.Once you’ve prepared it, your list of goals will reveal what is important to you.
2. Analyze how you spend your time
To become effective and efficient it is critical that you know where the time goes. You can track this by setting a timer to go off every 15 minutes; whenever it sounds, write down exactly what you are doing. Alternatively, divide your day into 15-minute blocks and record each activity you do.Once you have your time logs, examine them. How do they compare to your goals? Are you spending time where your priorities are?
3. Keep a to-do list
This rule sounds too simple, but it really is the basis of all time-management systems. Your to-do list can be electronic, on fancy paper, bound in a notebook or loose-leaf. The key is to have everything you want to accomplish on one list.
4. Prioritize your list – I call it MIT- ROT ( Most Important Things – Return on Time)
Once you have the list, determine which are the essential items. Mark these with a highlighter, a red pen, or in any other way that makes them stand out. I sometimes find my to-do list is too big. Every item on the list wants my attention, even though most of them weren’t highlighted as important. In these cases, I readjust my list and only leave the most important ones on it. Those are the ones to focus on.
“What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?” – Robert Schuller
5. Say goodbye to procrastination
The truth is we all procrastinate. However, the trick to overcome procrastination is to prioritize what must be done and use motivational strategies to keep you on track. People often say I have great self-discipline and self-control. Yes, but the truth is it would not work unless I control my environment. I control my environment to eliminate things (sometimes people) that negatively affect who I want to become and getting things done to get there. You can do the same. For example, sell your TV, control distractions, get rid of the busywork, spend time with driven and self-disciplined people and distance yourself from those who are “busy” doing nothing.My life consists of a set of habits, which I discuss in greater detail in my new book, Why Not You? One of the habits helps me understand and plan my priorities (MIT): I always use SMART Goal strategy, which I am sure you’ve heard me talk about it. “Do the most difficult things first.” Always have a SMART goal planned out and an MIT – ROT – as I mentioned in my first four rules of time email. After all, you do not want to waste your time so, you need to plan in terms of ROT – return on my time.
6. Clear up your desk
Organization and time management are imperative to a productive day. I find that I am most efficient and get important things done when I have all the tools I need to perform the job. Once you are clear on your goals and daily priorities, get rid of distractions, and your work area is organized it becomes much easier to stay focused on the task and get it done.
One way to expand your time is to get others to help. The key to delegation is to hand off any tasks that someone else can do significantly faster than you can. You don’t want to spend a day learning a trick that you only need one time or that it takes too long to do it. Instead, outsource it and use your time on something that you know how to do.
8. Efficiency hacks
How do you spend your time while driving, working out or cleaning the house? For instance, while driving, I often listen to lifestyle audiobooks about success, happiness, productivity, time management and such. When I workout I listen to motivational and inspirational video or stories so I can get better, faster and stronger. When I watch TV is about learning something new to push my mind out of the comfort zone because that’s when we grow. After all, there is no limit to what we can do if we believe it.To become empowered, you need to be in control of your life and it begins with what you do every day. Setting goals and managing your time are imperative to achieving your goals.
Remember that “We achieve what we believe.”
9. It’s OK to say NO
Saying “NO” can be the most powerful time tool you can master. When someone asks you to do something, ask yourself how important it is and why should you do it. Always be strategic about doing things for yourself and other people.
Be polite and tactful when asked to help out and determined that you cannot do it. Most people understand if you are considerate in your approach. Better yet suggest someone else do it. Remember, it’s all about how you say it – how you make people feel.
Committing 100% focus and concentration on one task at a time can be very powerful.
Eliminate distractions. No phone. No TV. No social media. When working.
Choose to be educated not entertained.
Live with intention and purpose.
Focus on the task. When you are organized and prepared, and your energy is high you can complete a job in 20% of the time it would take when you’re distracted or open to interruption. In my book Why Not You? I discuss the Pareto Principle – 80/20 Rule – Focus 20% on doing activities (work) that accounts for 80% your success.
11. Keep your body healthy and strong
High efficiency is not possible if you don’t look after yourself. Eat right, exercise, and sleep well.
I also believe in the power of meditation, which helps you become efficient. Successful people begin their day with meditation.
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12. Take care of yourself – Mind-Body- Soul
Take the time you need to look after your whole self — mind-body and soul — so that you can reach peak efficiency without getting tired or annoyed. Do the things you like to do. Find out what activities energize you, and spend more time doing them.
Time management is about doing the things you need to do – MIT (most important things) with the ROT in mind – return on your time. Once you understand this process and apply it in your life, you’ll realize that to achieve personal and professional success and happiness you need to learn how to manage time and control your life and acquire the skills and knowledge you need. That’s it. Just as the great Abe said- learn from those who achieved it.
“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” – Abraham Lincoln
Recap: 12 Time Management Strategies
Analyze how you spend your time
Keep a to-do list
No more procrastination
Clear up your office
Learn to say NO
Healthy – Strong Body
Care for your Whole Self
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