The biggest struggle we all face in life is learning to manage our time wisely. That is why today I am reviewing the book “15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management” by Kevin Kruse.
Tip #1 What is Your Most Valuable Time Management Asset?
What is your most valuable asset? Is it money? Your Family? No, it is not either of these things. Your most valuable assets is your “time”. Time is one thing that you cannot get more. In fact, you only have 1,440 minutes available to use each day. That is it. You cannot increase the time that you have available so you need to make the most out of it each and everyday. Why use minutes? Because one minute is enough time to complete a task, like respond to an email, complete 30 push ups or water a plant.
Once you appreciate how valuable your time is, then you can prioritize it to make those most from each day. You need to determine and prioritize the “Most Important Task” or MIT for short that needs to get done. Now this task needs to be one that will have the biggest impact on your life or work. This is a critical step. Your need to prioritize your most important task is central to your success.
For instance, you are a senior executive that needs to develop a new application. You may determine that your “Most Important Task” is to hire a programmer to write the app. As this single task, will have the biggest impact on your work goal.
Tip #2. Use a Calendar Instead of a To-do List
Do me a favor and pull out your to-do list? How long is it? How many items on your to-do list have been there for weeks or even worse, months? Does looking at your to-do list just stress you out? Instead of using a to-do list pull out your calendar instead. This technique will help with your stress levels. Researchers have determined that 41% of what is on your to-do will never get accomplished. Why is this? Well, most of the items on the list do not contain the length of time needed to complete the task. Since they are not defined with a time frame it generally is easier to leave those tasks and do the tasks that you know can easily be accomplished based on the time you have available.
Tip #3. Consider Using Time blocks For Time Management
You may want to consider using time blocks or time boxing. What is time blocks or time boxing? Time blocks or time boxing is a time management strategy where you schedule time to complete your goals. You do this by using your calendar to block out the time needed to work on a task or sub tasks. What happens when you need to schedule a task and there just is not room on the calendar? You simply reschedule the task by rearranging your schedule to fit in the new tasking. An example would be that you work out everyday at noon but cannot do that due to having to catch an airplane at noon. You could move the workout to earlier in the day to ensure that it got completed.
Many people including myself will reserve blocks of times for tasks. You work diligently for 25 minutes and take a short 5 minute break then repeat this cycle. This really helps me make the most out of my day.
Tip #4. Overcome Procrastination
We all have experienced the following. We have an important deadline due and we scroll Facebook, looking at posts, text a friend, or just sit down and catchup on our favorite TV series instead of completing that important task. I will be honest with you and tell you I did this exact same thing two weeks ago. I could not get motivated to edit the video that was due to be released on Wednesday. Procrastination is a hard to overcome but it can be done.
Imagine Yourself in The Future If you Did Not Complete the Task
Have faith, and imagine your future self. After all, you don’t procrastinate because you are lazy. You just are not sufficiently motivated. When confronted in the future with procrastination consider asking yourself one of the following two questions. What pleasure will I get from doing this thing? And What pain will I feel if I don’t do it? For instance, you want to workout each day but cannot seem to get motivated. Imagine yourself in the future if you do not get on that treadmill. You are totally sluggish ad have an enormous beer belly. Will that image of yourself motivated you to complete your exercise?
Tip #5. There is always more to do; You cannot do everything and that is fine.
You may find it more valuable to prioritize and scheduling the tasks that you want to do than cross off as many completed task as possible. President George W. Bush knew that there would always be more to do so instead of trying to do everything, he made it his priority to read tons of books, since he found it therapeutic and educational. As a result, he read over 95 titles during his presidency.
Tip #6 Write Down You Ideas
Wouldn’t it be ideal if every time you had a great thought or idea that you were able to remember it? I have noticed that as I am getting older that my memory does not remember things as well as it used too. Wouldn’t it be ideal to be able to just stop and jot down that idea? That is why you should always carry around a notebook and pen with you. That way you can capture your ideas for later.
Tip 7. Do NOT Check Your Inbox too often.
Writing down your thoughts is crucial – as is maintaining control over your schedule, which is where the seventh secret comes into play. It says that you should avoid checking your email too often. Why? Because then you are letting others dictate how you spend your time.,
In fact, continually checking your emails is unproductive. Why? Because the anticipation felt when checking your inbox is comparable to pulling the handle of a slot machine. Often, I have checked my messages and there’s nothing new but sometimes there is a new message. The unpredictability is addictive and causes me to check my inbox more often. The result, is that I lose my focus on the task that needs to be completed now and a waste of my time.
A great way to stop yourself from checking your email is by unsubscribing from newsletters by using a program like unroll.me. Another strategy you can use is called 321-Zero system. You limit yourself to three email checks per day, while trying to get your inbox to zero in 21 minutes.
Tip 8. Avoiding Meetings – Time Management
If you have an office job, you know how boring meetings can be. But that is not the only problem with meetings. Meetings should only be scheduled if absolutely necessary. Most people believe that weekly status meetings are a waste of time for two reasons:
In fact, a 2015 survey found that 35 percent of respondents considered weekly status meetings to be a waste of time, for these two primary reasons:
- Meeting participants tend to waste lots of time on insignificant issues.
- Extroverts using dominate the meetings, making others less like to participate.
As a result, participants may not share valuable information during these meetings. If you absolutely must have a meeting then consider a stand up meeting instead of a sit down meeting. Now, this might seem odd but by making participants stand tend to result in better collaboration, less attachment to ideas, higher levels of engagement and more effective problem-solving.
Lastly, consider scheduling meetings based on increments of five or ten minutes. This stops others from wasting your time.
Tip 9. Learn To Say NO – Time Management
Learn to say no. This is a hard technique to learn but one that you will thank me for later. After all, every time you say yes to something you must say no to something else. The result, is that you will be happier and have more energy once you learn this technique.
Tip 10. Pareto Principle or 80/20 Rule
So far you have learned that it is absolutely necessary to limit the time to the tasks that will have the greatest impact on achieving your goals. In the 1890s, the Italian philosopher and economist Vilfredo Pareto found that 20% of the pea plants in his garden produced 80% of his healthy pea pods. He created this 80/20 rule into a general principle that now bears his name. This versatile rule can apply to a number of areas.
For instance, by applying the 80/20 rule to your employees, you might decide that the majority of your salespeople should be let go since they are your lowest performers. From there, you could focus your energy on the remaining 20%, when already generate 80% of your sales, by giving them rewards and greater levels of support. The result, will likely to an overall improvement in sales.
You could apply the 80/20 rule in your personal life by analyzing the tasks that you do on a weekly basis and identifying which of them has the greatest impact.
Tip 11. Leveraging your Skills and delegating work – Time Management
You can also accomplish more by critically assessing the tasks that need to be accomplished. By slowing down and training not only yourself but your employees to ask a few questions, you can identify important tasks, that freed up an extra eight hours per week. How do you do this? You simply ask yourself “How important is this task to the company?”
Tip12. Delegate the Tasks If Possible.
When reviewing the tasks always ask yourself “Is there anyone else who can complete it?” And finally, “How could this task be accomplished if I had half as much time?” You might find that some of the tasks that your employees are doing are not necessary and result in eliminating the task. Another advantage is discovering that you have the wrong person completing the task. It might be better to have the task sent to someone else who is better suited for the task.
Tip 13. Group Your Work Into Recurring Themes – Time Management
Do you ever have difficulty focusing at work? You are not alone, most people do. You may want to consider having a them for each day. For instance, on Mondays, you focus on Management; Wednesdays you dedicated to marking; and Sunday would be reserved for reflection, feedback and strategy for the next week.
Tip 14. Tackling Small Tasks.
You can also boost your efficiency by tackling small tasks. How? By immediately tackling small tasks that take fewer than five. Minutes to complete and avoid returning to the same task over and over. Or if you receive an email instead of remembering to to reach back out he scheduled book an appointment time to call the person instead.
Tip 15. Establish a morning routine.
Dedicating the first hour of each day to a morning routine will not only enhance your health but also your mind. There is nothing like getting up in the morning and working out, then whipping together a high-protein breakfast to get your day off to a great start.
Many successful entrepreneurs start their day by meditating or exercising to set the mood for the day. In order to keep their minds positive. They will not watch the news or listen to anything negative to keep their minds focused on being positive.
Time Management Summary
If you are struggling with time management, now is the time to adopt a few of these time management tips. Give it a try for a month and watch your productivity skyrocket. If you enjoyed this article please click here.