We all have only 24 hours in the day. So why do some people achieve so much more with their 24 hours than others?
Well, one factor for sure is how well they manage their time.
In fact, I like to think of the day as the perfect unit of time – and that my success ultimately comes down to how many winning days I’m able to string together.
And if I’m winning 80% of my days, I’m happy.
Here’s how I pull it off:
Set clear weekly goals
Every week I choose my top 3 most important tasks. More often than not these tasks relate to my top goals for the quarter (hint: If you haven’t set goals for the quarter what are you waiting for!). Then I drop those goals into the white spaces of my calendar as appointments with myself. My preference is to do this on Sunday, but I know many people who also do this on Friday for the week ahead.
At the end of each day I check in with my weekly goals once again and also look at the following day. I make any adjustments to my calendar and once again schedule everything that I will work on as appointments into my day. I even schedule admin-type work such as email so that I’m not dipping into my inbox throughout the day.
Decide to ‘Turn Pro’
Amateurs believe feeling generates action. End result? They constantly need to “feel” like doing things and are ruled by their emotions. Pros flip the equation and know that action generates feeling. End result? They get on with things whether they feel like it or not, knowing they can generate the feelings they seek through their own action.
Show-up and single-task
I show up for the appointments I made with myself just as I would an appointment with someone else. On-time. And during that appointment, I only work on that task until it’s complete, exactly in the same way that I would sit down with someone I’m meeting and only focus on them until the meeting was finished. Respecting myself in the same way I respect others has been a game-changer.
Choose to start for just five minutes
I can get easily overwhelmed with the thought of finishing a task or project. Finishing something can sometimes feel endless, or hard to quantify, which then triggers procrastination. So instead I focus only on starting, and just for five minutes. I never know when the 5 minutes pass and by continually starting, finishing takes care of itself.
Throughout my day I never stay seated too long (in fact, when I’m working on my own I set a timer to 16:40 – which is 1,000 seconds – and make sure I at least stand up when the timer goes off). About every hour I’ll take a longer 10-minute break. Last but not least I have a static shutdown appointment at the end of my day where I do the check-in mentioned earlier to set up the day to come.
That’s it. It’s actually not very complicated. But it sure makes me productive!
So if you’re not managing your time as well as you would like try the tips above!