Stop Trying to Manage Time, Begin Managing Yourself

“I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.” Louis E. Boone

Darren Hardy tells the story when he was in real estate and decided to track his time. He put a stopwatch on to track what he had identified as income producing activities. He would track only the time he was on the phone calling potential clients, pitching a listing or negotiating a contract. The first day he worked feverishly for 12 hours but when he looked at his stopwatch he had worked less than 20 minutes on income producing activities! 20 minutes out of a 12-hour day!

Is that you? Struggling to get it all done, working later and later to do the same job, missing the family activities, etc. And how many times have you committed to improving your time management? How did managing time better work for you?

The “Time Management SECRET” is managing us better not trying to manage time better. You can do this by following these 4 steps:

  1. Identify the most important things. What activities will generate the most productive or most important outcomes? What are the items only you can do? By identifying the most important things, you remove the clutter of what to do and what not to do.
  2. Plan your day, everyday. “Don’t start your day until you have finished your day”. Knowing what you have to accomplish is the only way you have a chance at successfully completing your day. Review tomorrow’s calendar today, plan and outline the items you must complete to move you toward accomplishing your goals. It has to be consistent (everyday) to reach the full potential of success. “Small, smart choices done consistently over time equals dramatic results” The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.
  3. Do the most important things first! By focusing on the important things first, you limit or reduce the chance of other emergencies interrupting your plan.
  4. Identify what you are doing that you shouldn’t be doing. What are your time wasters (Email, unplanned phone calls, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)? Intentionally remove them or at least move them to a time acceptable to your plan. Who are those who will interrupt you? Develop a plan of how to politely discourage or limit their time distracting you. Are there activities you are currently doing that are not the “highest and best” use of your time? Can you delegate these activities?

Time is unstoppable. It moves constantly at the same rate and without concern for anything or anyone. We can’t manage time, but we can manage ourselves and what we do with our time better.

Your days will become more productive when you apply the “SECRET” steps listed above.