Have you ever wondered how to manage time to get all your work done? Do you always feel short on time to complete your daily tasks? If yes, you’re not alone. Most people constantly struggle with getting their work done on time.
All of us have the same 24 hours in a day, to work with. We all want and strive to have enough time for our work, our family, and ourselves. However, successful people seem to have all the time in the world for anything and everything they want. They always seem to accomplish more in less time, right?
Somehow, they are able to squeeze the most out of each and every day. It’s almost as if they have found secret ways to increase their productivity. The interesting thing is that they do this without becoming a slave to their work.
You see, it is not about being more talented or gifted. It is also not about being more intelligent either. It’s all about being smart with your time. In fact, effective time management is one of the most powerful habits of self-made millionaires.
We know it may seem like it’s easier said than done but anyone can learn to manage time better. Yes, it does take some effort to master time management and not allowing time and work to become your master. But it’s entirely doable.
The Mindset to Better Manage Time
You see, we are all creatures of habit. We are what we repeatedly do. Isn’t it? Your present state is the result of your past decisions and habits compounded over time.
Similarly, the decisions you make and the habits you form now are going to determine your future. So, if you want to change your future you will have to change your outlook and habits, in the present.
And if you want to sustain your habits in the long-term, you have to lay a strong mental foundation. You see, every decision and action you take is based on your mindset. Hence, it is very important to have the right mindset first, in order to better manage time.
Time is an Investment
It’s how you view your time, which will make a significant difference in your actions. What do we mean? Well, we believe that there’s a big difference between spending time and investing it.
The word “spending” means that you’re using something up. When you spend time, you’re not really looking to get anything back. On the other hand, when you invest in something you expend resources with an expectation of getting a good ROI. Investing your time means that you engage in activities that are calculated to bring you meaningful rewards.
So, if you want to better manage time, we suggest that you think of time as an investment. Consequently, every decision that you will make will be an investment of your time. Now, we all know that time is a limited resource. If you are cautious about where to invest your time, then you’re likely to make more productive decisions, right?
You see, millionaires consider their time as their most valuable asset. If you want to emulate their success, you will have to emulate their mindset. Essentially, you have to first learn to value your time.
Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. – Jim Rohn
So, you can’t be willing to give away your time to others, freely. Giving away your time prevents you from prioritizing your own wants and needs. It’s like making deposits in everyone else’s bank accounts except your own.
Time Management is Self-Management
If you view time as an investment, you will realize that not all uses of time are equal. The endeavor, where you invest your time will define the quality and magnitude of the outcome. So, to better manage your investment, you will have to learn to better manage yourself. You can’t manage time well if you can’t manage yourself.
That’s why we believe that time management is self-management. It is all about managing your emotions and priorities. It is about knowing what to do at any given moment. You have to develop your mind to only do tasks that help you to achieve your goals. It takes discipline to become better at self-management.
Since you can’t do everything at once, you need to understand how to effectively prioritize day-to-day tasks. Hence, it is imperative that you eliminate all the non-essential items from your to-do list. This way, you just have a few key items to focus on, during your day.
With that said, you can’t be a slave to your to-do list. Self-management is also about deciding the importance of the varied information coming at us. There are new problems and opportunities every day, right? So, instead of looking at what to do, it may serve you better to evaluate why you have to do it.
It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about? – Henry David Thoreau
So, learn to question your to-do list. Remember, more than what you have to do on a given day, you have to evaluate the importance of it. You may realize that a lot of tasks may turn out to be unnecessary obligations or distractions. So, analyze if an action is worth doing and develop the discipline to not do it if need be.
5 Powerful Tips for Effective Time-Management
It’s true that one of the main reasons people are successful is because they are more productive. These 5 tips will help you effectively manage time and enable you to make the most of your day.
1. Plan and Schedule Your Day
This may seem very obvious but effective planning is more than just creating a plan. It also requires the ability to stick to your schedule as well as be flexible enough to reschedule tasks.
At the very least, you need to have a to-do list planned ahead for the day. So that means time blocking on your calendar. Now, depending on your responsibilities and preferences, you could put everything from getting ready for work to client meetings.
However, we suggest keeping your calendar clear and organized. Rather than having hundreds of complicated tasks on there, simplify it to the most important and remove the rest. It’s not quite efficient to stuff your calendar with small or low-priority tasks.
The main point is to block out time slots for the major tasks of your day. Furthermore, you have to treat every time block as a deadline you must meet. That would be your basic schedule for the day. Every single thing you have decided to invest your time in.
However, you need to actively evaluate your schedule during the day. This harkens back to what we talked about earlier with regards to mindset. When you have several tasks coming from all corners, it may not be practical to stick to your original schedule.
So what do you do? Well, you delegate importance to each task. Evaluate if the new task is worth replacing your scheduled task. If you know what your goals are and what you wish to achieve, it is easier to weed out tasks.
Keeping your focus on your main goals ensures you better manage time and stay productive. It prevents you from taking on too much work or too many tasks. It also helps ensure you are not investing time in tasks that don’t align with your goals.
2. Track the Time Invested in Each Task
Remember, effective planning also extends to task execution. Let’s say you decide to have a meeting. If so, you should invite only the required people to the meeting. Set an objective and start a timer to see for how long the meeting goes for. You see, it’s also about not wasting other people’s time.
You could opt for stand-up meetings instead of the traditional sit-down meetings. In 1999, the Journal of Applied Psychology found that sit-down meetings lasted 34% longer than stand-up meetings. In 2014, research at Washington University in St. Louis found that stand-up meetings produced better outcomes than sit-down meetings.
In fact, Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, prefers walking meetings as he feels it makes him much more efficient. Whatever you choose to do, the main idea is to do it in the most productive manner, suitable for you.
When you have a task scheduled for a particular time slot, then strive to stay within the time limit. We know it’s a challenge but that’s where your mindset shift of thinking of time as an investment, will help.
Let’s take the example of that meeting once again. If you were paying by the minute for it, would you let it extend beyond the required time? Or would you be okay with participants coming late? If you are like most people, you wouldn’t be.
Hence, if you have a meeting scheduled for 30 minutes, strive to keep it that way. What happens if you go over the scheduled time? Your next activity will get delayed and you will fail to effectively manage time for the rest of the day.
3. Learn to Say “No”
It’s pertinent that you let others know that you want them to respect your time. When others disrespect your time, you lose time to work on your goals. Research shows the average person is interrupted once every 8 minutes.
In a study from the University of California Irvine, researchers shadowed workers on the job, studying their productivity. They found that it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back to a task, after being interrupted.
It goes without saying that the more successful you become, the more likely for you to get interrupted. In fact, as a manager or as a business owner, you may have experienced people always want your time.
The real challenge is that in the current time of technology, everybody is expected to be instantly accessible, right? Thanks to smartphones, it’s expected that we answer an email or text as soon as it’s received.
You may have experienced this many times. You’re in the middle of serious work when you receive a call, an email or a knock on your door. What do you do? You immediately stop what you’re doing, right?
However, you have to realize that’s just unacceptable if you want to manage time in an optimal way. We all need time to disconnect. We can’t be available all the time without losing our edge. Hence, it is important to establish boundaries.
Hence, we suggest you start saying “no” more often. It’s the simplest way to start accomplishing your goals. If you accept every request that comes your way, you’re putting other people’s priorities ahead of your own. Unless it’s of immense importance, all that will happen is that you will get distracted from the task at hand.
4. Refresh and Recharge With Breaks
Planned breaks are key to staying productive and being able to effectively manage time throughout the day. Everyone needs time to recharge their minds and find a sense of peace and quiet in their day. Just taking a small break clears your mind and when you come back to work it helps you focus.
Yes, focusing on your tasks is important but productive people know when to give themselves a break. It could be a 15-minute break every hour or a 2-hour break during lunch. The point is you know when it’s time to walk away. If you are feeling stressed, you’re not working as effectively and productively as you could be, right?You’ll succeed when you have your time, resources, and mind working together for a better output. Click To Tweet
So give yourself time and space to decompress. These breaks are crucial to achieving maximum productivity and bringing a laser focus to your work. You should engage in an activity that relaxes you. It could be taking a small nap or listening to music. Whatever you choose to do, the main goal is spending time on your own, in a relaxed state.
5. Create a Peak Productivity Environment
You are a product of your environment. In fact, we believe that your environment is more powerful than your willpower. Your environment is your work desk, your clothes, and the people you surround yourself with. You see, as humans, we can’t help but be affected by our surroundings.
Imagine you sign up for a business seminar. The speaker is a highly-acclaimed entrepreneur who always delivers great content. You are invited to a luxury hotel to attend it. The speaker and everyone in the audience is well dressed and so are you. The entire aura of the event would boost your morale for the next day, right?
Now imagine the exact same amazing content being delivered in a parking lot. Imagine everyone being dressed in beach shorts. Do you see the difference? The speaker, the content, the audience are all the same. The only thing that has changed is the environment. The impact of the content won’t be the same now, would it?
That’s why your work desk, your office space, and how you dress makes a lot of difference to your productivity. When you want to manage time like millionaires, you have to create the right environment around you. An environment that helps you achieve your goals and does not work against you.
Also, you may have heard that a person is known by the company he keeps. Successful people live by those words. It’s quite true that we become like the people we associate with. People who are more successful than you, can expand your thinking and catapult your income.
So, consider who you spend your time with. Do they waste your time? Are they causing a delay in achieving your goals or completing your tasks? You see, the right people can enable you to be more productive.
Extreme Control Equals Extreme Freedom
It’s important to understand that millionaires aren’t the only ones aware of ways to better manage time. It’s because they have been effective at time-management that they are successful. If you inculcate the right habits, so will you.
Dan Lok runs a global organization and yet he is able to find time for himself. Waking up early is just the first step. The art is in structuring and scripting your day for everyday victories without sacrificing time for yourself.
Here’s a snippet of his daily well-being rituals:
Emotional Well-being: 30 minutes a day on morning rituals (Visualizations, Attitude of Gratitude, Deep Breathing Exercise).
Financial Well-being: 30 minutes a day looking at financials, investments, reviewing of numbers.
Business Well-being: 60 minutes a day on marketing self-promotions (YouTube, FB Group, Instagram, Interviews).
Growth: 60 minutes a day learning (Reading, listening to a podcast or audio program).
Physical Well-being: Goal 60 minutes a day exercising (Currently at 3 times a week).
Goal: Minimize email management to 60 minutes a day (Currently is 80 to 90 minutes a day).
You see, it’s all about establishing complete control over your day. If you can learn to script your day you will never feel like you don’t have enough time.
If you also want to script your day, Dan Lok has put together a powerful Millionaire Productivity Secrets Training program. This video training gives out the productivity secrets of the wealthy. It also teaches 3 powerful ways to operate like a millionaire.
These productivity habits will enable you to take control of everything happening around you. Once you develop these powerful habits, you will never feel like you don’t have enough time to complete tasks. In fact, you will realize that you have more time to invest with your family and in yourself.