Customers: replaceable. Money: replaceable. The ONLY thing you can’t replace is the minute you just used.
It’s gone. Gone forever. You cannot ever get it back. It can’t be replenished or replaced.
Time should be a top priority. How are you spending yours? Are you spending it the way you want? Are you getting everything done and able to enjoy doing the things you love to do?
It is not uncommon for a client or GKIC member to express awe at all that I get done in a day. They envy that I can finish so much work and still be at the racetrack by four in the afternoon. They marvel that I am not interrupted during the day. Not even once.
They often say things such as, “I wish I could do that.”
The truth is they can and you can too. You can extinguish interruptions and have absolute control over your time so you can accomplish and do everything you want.
I don’t mess around when it comes to time. And my practices have helped me and my clients how to get a lot more done in a lot less time. Which has meant making more money in less time and, most importantly, having more time to enjoy it.
You need good tools to be productive and spend your time wisely. While this isn’t my entire list, here are a few productivity tips and tools I find useful:
Time Saving Tools: Some people think I’m anti-technology, a Luddite. Actually I’m not. But I’m only interested in tools and technology that genuinely save time with nominal side effects.
For example, the PC qualifies, but each application and use of it has to be judged separately.
The FAX qualifies. It’s my preferred form of communication because while it’s fast, it’s not so easy and instant that it encourages thoughtless communication.
In comparison, the side effects of unrestricted access through cell phones and email creates a lot of pressure and expectation for an instant response. You may be reached at inappropriate times and/or places with no advance notice. This means no time to think which causes hurried responses. It can cause you to agree to things you shouldn’t and wouldn’t if you gave the matter appropriate thought.
Instant, anytime access is not the same as productive and is certainly not the most effective.
The biggest “fly in the ointment” of all the communications technology is the terrible levels of stress it has caused by dramatically accelerating the speed at which everybody can make demands and expect responses from everybody else. When considering time-saving technology, it’s very important to refuse to be stampeded or pressured by this.
Psychological Triggers. Mindset, behaviors, and attitudes are critical when it comes to time management and goals.
You need visual and environmental devices to remind your subconscious of what it’s supposed to be doing to motivate and keep it interested and engaged. Or it can easily be distracted away from what you are supposed to be doing.
For instance, the subconscious mind works in pictures, so if you can create your target in visual terms, you get much better, faster results.
A plan. The orderly organization of work conserves both mental and physical energy, so “working a plan” is important.
I notice that many people in corporate environments go into their offices every day and “react” to each person and thing brought to them—this is no way to be productive.
There’s an old rule: a minute of planning is worth an hour of work. (Tweet this!) That has validity. On the other hand, planning can be carried too far; excess planning is paralyzing. I tend to plan my day the evening before.
For long range planning, at the risk of stating the obvious, I believe it’s smart to have a truthful and accurate view. I develop a complete list of known and potential obstacles between day one and the goal achievement and then develop strategies to counter them. Always plan for the best, but think through and try to safeguard against the worst so you don’t end up in a mess, stalled because you didn’t plan for it.