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.
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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.