Why Time Management Is The Foundation Of A Successful Life.

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Over the last two years or so, I’ve been reading a lot of books and articles on building a successful life. Books and articles about people like Elon Musk, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy and Oprah Winfrey. Each one of these people has walked a different path to achieve success, but one of the common traits they all have is their time management skills.

These people achieve in one year, what many fail to achieve in their lifetime. They learnt the ability to focus on the important things in their life and either ignore or delegate the non-important. This is not a difficult skill to learn, but it is a skill many think is not important when held up against all the other skills that are important. Skills such as being able to communicate your ideas, negotiate deals and collaborate with others.

Time management is about identifying what is important and allocating enough time each day to working on those important things. Something most people don’t do. Instead, most people allow the loudest to get their attention. Often the loudest is not the most important, but because it is loud, it deceives us into thinking it is the most important thing.

Robin Sharma talks about the 5%. The five-percent of people who become hugely successful in life. These five percent know what is important and they make sure that 95% of their waking hours are spent working on those important things. The rest, spend 95% of their waking hours on trivialities such as checking social media feeds, complaining about Donald Trump, getting involved in gossip and trying to be more outraged than the last person who was outraged by some non-PC act by a celebrity or politician.

Time management is about allocating your twenty-four hours in the right place so you achieve the right results. It is the foundation of all successful lives. When you put your focus and attention on the work that will bring you the rewards you want, then you are taking the right steps towards achieving success.

One of the great things about time management is that where you decide to put your attention is entirely your choice. How you spend your days is up to you. Your boss may ask you to complete a project by Friday, but whether you decide to complain about the tight deadline with your colleagues all day or not is your decision. You could decide to sit down and begin work on the project and figure out how you will allocate your time so the project is completed on time. Or you could decide to spend all morning complaining about it on Twitter or Facebook. It’s always your choice.

Time management is also about focusing your resources in the right places. Pretty much like all management skills, managing a sports team is about using your players in a way that will get the best out of them. A good team manager does not ask a great defender to become an attacker. A good team manager puts their best defender in the best place for them to be, defending. Time management is the same thing. Good time management is not leaving your latest class assignment until the night before it is due, good time management is starting the assignment as soon as the assignment is given so you know exactly what research needs doing and how much time you are going to need to write the best assignment you can write.

To become good at time management is where you create a plan for the day and make sure it happens. At the top of your plan you put the one or two things you really want to achieve that day and before you do anything else, you focus all your time and attention to getting them done. I always recommend you do the next day’s planning the night before. That way when you wake up you know exactly what it is you want to achieve and you can start the moment you wake up going about achieving it. Quite often you will find that by lunchtime you have completed the tasks you wanted to achieve, you can then spend the rest of the day getting on with the next important things.

Time management does not mean you spend every minute of the day doing work. Time management means you are managing what you are doing with your time. If you enjoy social media, playing computer games and hanging out with your friends, then great, allow yourself time to do those things. Just don’t allow those activities to take over the whole twenty-four hours in your day.

We are given the same amount of time each day — twenty-four hours — what we do during those twenty-four hours is entirely up to us. Use your calendar to schedule time for the important things, the things that will take your life forward towards achieving the things you want to achieve in life, and make it a priority every day to make that happen. When you start doing this, very soon you will start to see some tangible results in what you are achieving. That’s good time management.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My goal is to help show you how to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Why I Switched To Todoist 3 Years Ago.

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I read the Getting Things Done book by David Allen in 2009. I’d heard about the book but never considered reading it. I thought I already had the best time management system in my Franklin Planner. But one day, as I was browsing the books in the English books section of the Kyobo Bookstore in Seoul, I came across Getting Things Done and thought, why not? That book changed everything for me. I saw possibilities of creating my own system and the chance to take advantage of the emerging mobile technology that was beginning to emerge.

Reading Getting Things Done, was the start of a journey of discovery. I tried many different kinds of productivity apps, from Franklin Covey’s Task app to Things for Macbefore finally going with the Rolls Royce of Mac productivity apps, OmniFocus. And there I stayed for a number of years.

But there was always a slight problem in the background. I loved OmniFocus, it got me in the habit of using digital tools to manage my daily tasks, I ate up every article and listened to every podcast I could find on using OmniFocus, I played and played around with the perspectives attempting to find that ‘perfect’ one that would meet all my needs, then I would read another article and change all my perspectives again. It was a cycle I repeated almost every week. I was continually searching for the ‘perfect setup’ and I loved it!

Then, one day, I came across Todoist. I was immediately drawn to its beauty and simplicity (I am quite an aesthetic person) and I downloaded it to test it out. For about one year I played around with Todoist. By then, I was a hardcore OmniFocus user and because of the financial investment, the start and due dates, the perspectives and different setups I could have in OmniFocus I was reluctant to switch completely.

What finally moved me over to Todoist was when I asked myself exactly what I wanted from a to-do list manager. OmniFocus is brilliant. It has every conceivable feature a productivity and time management geek like myself could ever wish for, and I took complete advantage of that. I was always tweaking my perspectives and playing around with start dates and due dates. It was procrastination heaven.

Then it hit me. OmniFocus is a procrastinator’s heaven. There was always an excuse for playing with the settings and set up, and I found I never needed much of an excuse to play around with it either. The amount of actual work I was doing was being limited by the amount of time I was playing around with the features in OmniFocus.

I should point out, this is not the fault of OmniFocus. This is my fault. I can’t help myself. That inner productivity geek is a strong voice and was always tempting me to try just another perspective or to switch to using only start dates, and then a few days later suggesting I switch back to due dates. Oh did I love it.

The trouble was, I wasn’t getting much real work done. I had a beautifully organised OmniFocus, but I didn’t have that much completed work to show for it. That’s when I decided to go all in with Todoist. Todoist’s feature set is much simpler. At its core, it is just lists for different projects or labels. But, for my inner geek, I have filters. I can play around with the filters as much as I like, but as there are fewer options than in OmniFocus I am not spending complete afternoons playing around. Just a few minutes instead.

At the core of my productivity system, today is GTD. So when I made the decision to move over to Todoist completely I re-read the GTD book and set up my Todoist as close to a pure GTD system as I could. Over a period of a few months, I came up with a system inside Todoist that worked far better than anything I created in OmniFocus and apart from a few minor tweaks, my system has remained pretty consistent over the last three years.

In those three years, I have written 4 books, created over 300 YouTube videos, 8 online courses and still maintain my communications consultancy. My productivity has increased ten times, and this was because I dropped an app that was feature rich and moved over to Todoist. Todoist has focussed me on the work and not the feature set and for that, I am so grateful to Todoist.

And that brings me to the point of this article. There are thousands of to-do list managers out there today with new ones appearing every week. Each one promises a better feature set than the others. But a great to-do list manager is not one with hundreds of features. A great to-do list manager is one that focuses you on the work. One that puts the work you need to do right in front of you from the moment you open it. In simple terms, a great to-do list manager is just an app with lists. If the app presents those lists in a beautiful way, then all the better, but really all we need is a list of the tasks we need to accomplish today and a way to check them off. For me, Todoist does this brilliantly.

So thank you to all the amazing people at Todoist. You’ve made an incredible product and I for one will not be changing apps anytime soon.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit those clapping hands below many times👏 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My goal is to help show you how to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

The Working With... Podcast | Ep 13 | GTD, Explained

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In this week's episode of The Working With... Podcast, I give a complete explanation (with examples) of the Getting Things Done system.

Don't forget, if you would like me to answer a question on productivity, time management, GTD or goal planning, then just leave a message below, email me, or DM me on Twitter or Facebook.  

What "Love What You Do" Really Means

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We often hear the phrase “you’ve got to love what you do” and it is advice given by many self-help gurus and books. But what exactly does it mean?

The mistake is to take this phrase at face value, as in, love being a doctor or love being a lawyer. It does not mean anything like that at all.

I work with a lot of doctors, and I can promise you there is a lot about their work they really do not enjoy. Doing Friday/Saturday night shifts in the Emergency Room for example or lawyers being on call and being called up at 3 am in the morning to deal with a car thief who has just been arrested by the police. You would be hard-pressed to find a doctor or lawyer who would tell you they love that part of their work.

These days it appears to be fashionable for young kids to call themselves entrepreneurs or founders. They have fallen in love with the idea of starting and running their own businesses. Yet as Gary Vaynerchuk points out unless you are making money, instead of raising money, you are not being very entrepreneurial. What these people are is in love with the title of ‘entrepreneur’. But to be a true entrepreneur involves hours and hours developing a product or service. It means spending days and weeks sat in front of a computer writing boring lines of code or prototyping package designs and UI experiences. If you are not in love with that part of the work, you are not in love with what you do.

And that is what “love what you do” really means. It means you love the work of doing what you do every day. It means you love waking up at 6 am every morning and writing your book. It means you love pushing through the pain barrier every day in the gym to achieve the body you want. What it really means is you love the process of doing what you do.

If your love is the title, or the money or the position, you will never find happiness or fulfilment in your work. That only comes from the process. It is the love you have for the doing that ultimately leads to happiness and fulfilment. That’s where the long-term wins are. There is no winning strategy in handing out small pieces of card with the title “founder” on it only for you to spend your days running around seeking money for a, as yet, untested idea. That’s being in love with the name and not the process.

 

My writing view.

My writing view.

One of my favourite times of the week is Monday morning. That is the time I sit down at my desk and write my weekly blog post. I love that time. My email and to-do list manager are closed. It is just me, the words and my writing app. Those two hours of getting my thoughts and ideas out of my head and into a written form are such joy to me. The same goes for Saturday evening. Saturday evening is when I sit down in my little studio and record my YouTube videos. Once again, it is just me, my camera, lights and microphone and a head full of ideas I want to get out. It is a pure love of the process and it is a part of my work I look forward to every week.

While I am writing or recording, my only thought is that if I can help just one person then I have succeeded. I am not interested in getting hundreds of thousands of likes or reads, that does not interest me. I write and produce videos on subjects that I wish I could have learnt ten years ago.

That really is the truth; I don’t care how many people read my blog posts or watch my videos. If just one person reads or watches what I produce and achieves something special, then I will be very happy. When I am writing or recording, in my mind I am hoping that what I am creating will help someone. That is where the source of my inspiration and enjoyment in writing these blog posts or recording my videos come from — that what I am producing might just help someone.

So, my advice is instead of seeking a job you think you might enjoy, or a title you think will impress other people, search for something you love doing. Whether that is selling door to door, or brewing coffee. If you love selling or you love making coffee, then that is what you love doing. Do that. You will be a lot happier and the opportunities for creating a successful life will open up for you because your love and your passion will shine through and impress others.

 

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit the like button below  It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My goal is to help show you how to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Supercharge Your Email is February's Online Course Offer!

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Email is one of biggest time sucks and sources of stress in a persons’ life these days. Many of you are probably receiving hundreds of emails each day and they just add more and more things to do on top of all the other things you have to do. 

That’s why I created the Supercharge Your Email Productivity. I wanted to teach people that with just a few simple strategies, your email could be brought under control for good. 

The Supercharge Your Email Productivity course is one of my favourite courses. I really enjoyed putting this course together because I knew the system and the tips I shared in this course, although simple, would have a huge impact on a person’s productivity. 

This course teaches you to build your own email processing system that makes dealing with email a real pleasure, it also helps you develop the decision-making skills required to become more productive in other areas of your life too. 

So, in February, I am offering the Supercharge Your Email Productivity course for $19.99. That’s a saving of over 60%! 

This course is divided into 6 parts:

  1. Let’s begin
  2. The Overview
  3. The setup
  4. Using the system
  5. Some dos and don’ts
  6. And finally…

Included in this special offer, You will receive:

  • 20 lectures (1 hour in total)
  • Lifetime access to the course and its updates
  • A free copy of the 2018 Time And Life Mastery Workbook
  • Free download of the InBox Zero System PDF

Email does not have to be a cause of stress in your life, it can be a great way to maintain relationships, demonstrate your professionalism and lead you towards greater and better things. 

So go on and invest in yourself this February and get yourself enrolled in the Supercharge Your Email Productivity course and turn email into one of your favourite tools for getting stuff done.

What people have been saying:

“Great course by Carl. Putting this knowledge to use immediately. I get well over 250 emails per day so it's imperative that I get the best strategies for processing mail fully and Carl delivers.” Scott S

“Great course, I will implement it to my email processing habits.” - Przemyslaw W

“I like the way the course is organized and the constructive but tough love approach!” - Anne K

If we really want our skills expanded to get our email inbox to zero Then this course is really having value for money. - Sumitha B

Carl is always worth to listen. Good course. Simple but really effective if you want to master your email productivity. - Jose L

5 Tell-tale Signs Of A Productive, Organised person.

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Because of the work I do on a daily basis, I get the opportunity to observe many people in their work environment. I see highly efficient people getting on with their work with seemingly little to no effort at all. I also see highly inefficient people complaining about how much work they have to do, how they never get home at a reasonable hour and why all the things that go wrong in their lives are always somebody or something else’s fault.

There are many things I have noticed that indicates to me whether someone is productive or not. One of them is how often they cancel their classes with me. Of course, this could be because I am a terrible teacher and my students do not think they are learning anything useful from me, but the more likely reason is that they are not on top of their game and allow themselves to get distracted by the tiniest of things.

So, here are the five things I have noticed about productive and unproductive people:

1. They write everything down

This one is a classic sign of an organised person. When I am with a student or a client and they make a commitment such as “Okay I will send that to you later today”, if they write it down, I know it will arrive later that day. If they do not write it down, I can be reasonably sure I will have to remind them tomorrow. Organised, productive people write all their commitments down.

2. They use their calendar

This is another tell-tale sign of an organised person. They make full use of their calendar. Before making a commitment, they will check their calendar to make sure they do not have any prior commitment. The less organised person never does this and they end up having to rearrange an appointment and let other people down.

3. They are never late.

This is another classic tell. Organised people understand the importance of being on-time when meeting friends, attending a meeting or arriving at work. Largely because they know what their commitments are and have organised their day around their commitments if they are late for anything it is usually because of outside, unforeseen occurrences such as a traffic accident or mechanical failure of some kind.

4. Their work environment is clean and tidy

Whenever I walk into an office with row upon row of desks, I can instantly tell the organised productive people in that office. The people with clean tidy desks with only the files and work they are currently working on open on their desks are on top of their work. The people with papers, devices, coffee cups and all sorts of other things strewn across their desks are the stressed out unproductive ones who are unable to find what it is they need to do the work.

5. They never complain about how busy they are

Classic sign number 5 and the biggest give away for me, are the people who are always complaining how busy they are. When you are not organised, are not writing down all your commitments and not utilising your calendar, then you are going to spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about what you have to do and when. All this thinking about what to do next gives the illusion you are busy. On the other hand, if you know exactly what it is you need to do and when, you know where you need to be at any particular time and everything important has been written down in a safe, trusted place, you are not going to feel busy at all.

6. Bonus: Organised productive people are less stressed

This one’s a classic. People who are organised, know where everything is and know what they need to be working on are observably less stressed than their disorganised co-workers. Despite having roughly the same amount of work to do as everyone else, the disorganised easily distracted worker is going be going around telling everyone who will listen how stressed they are because of all the work they have to do. In the meantime, the organised, productive person, is getting on with the work.

So, if you find yourself feeling busy, stressed out and always late for meetings, maybe you could learn a few things from these observances and change some of your behaviours. You might just be surprised how less busy and stressed you start to feel and receive a new lease of life.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that like button below 👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My goal is to help show you how to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Books On Sale & Bundles

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Over the last few days I’ve been reviewing the books I have on my website (as well as Amazon and iBookstore) and I have placed some of my books and bundles on sale. 

Here’s what you can find:

On Amazon and iBookstore I have reduced the price of Your Digital Life (edition 1) to $4.99. 

And over on my website, where I have much more control, here’s what you can find: 

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Your Digital Life (Edition 1) is now on sale at $4.50 direct from my website. You can buy either the ePub or Kindle versions at this price. 

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Your Digital Life (Edition 1) + Working With Todoist: The Book, can now be bought as a bundle for $12.50 (reduced from $17.00) ePub or Kindle versions

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The Time And Life Mastery 2018 Workbook is now at an incredibly low price of $5.00. This is an investment I belief everyone should make. This is an investment in your future. (PDF)

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The Your Digital Life 2.0 and Working With Todoist: The book  bundle is now available to purchase at the reduced price of $15.00 (saving $4.50) ePub or Kindle versions