There is one thing that is a big universal equalizer. The ONE thing that we all have exactly the same of, whether rich or poor and no matter in which culture or religion. This big equalizer is time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. What differentiates a successful person from an unsuccessful one is how they choose to invest those 24 hours.
So where do people get it wrong? They believe that in order to become more productive, they need to become better at Time Management. The problem is, that if you are focusing on time management, you are getting it wrong. You are putting your energy into something that is impossible to do.
Here are the 3 Lies We Tell Ourselves about Time Management:
- We believe we can get more time by organizing our priorities.
- We believe we can save Time.
- We believe time is something that we manage.
No matter how hard you try. No matter how talented you are, you cannot manage time. Time will keep going on at the exact same speed despite your best efforts. It does not speed up or slow down for anyone.
The key to organizing your time more efficiently and increasing your productivity is through self-management. Take a moment right now and think back to those moments or even days where you felt that no matter how busy you were; you still did not accomplish anything. Those days where you set some ambitious goals for yourself, only to realize that you didn’t complete half of what you wanted to do.
What went wrong? Chances are that if you are thinking about time instead of your priorities, you will have more days like the ones above.
I like Chris Brogan’s revision of the word Time Management.
“I work more on time alignment. Is this part of my mission? Does this serve others or strengthen my ability to serve others? Those two questions keep me tight to my map. That’s how I best manage my time and priorities.”
–Chris Brogan is a bestselling author and CEO of Owner Media Group
Be intentional with your time. In order to think about productivity increase, you first need to change your mindset. Start thinking about your values and priorities and work to develop consistent habits that will help you achieve your goals.
So where do you start?
Here are the 7 Steps You Can Take Today to Increase Your Productivity:
Step 1. Determine your philosophy and vision first
What is most important to you? If you had a magic wand making everything simple, what is the one thing you would work to achieve? Your answer is your vision that you need to go after.
Step 2. Determine which 2-3 Actions you need to accomplish first
These are the main sub-goals that will create a domino effect for all your other sub-goals.
Step 3. Break It Down into Monthly Goals, Then Weekly Goals
Make sure it is measurable so you can follow-up on your progress.
Step 4. Which Habits do you need to exhibit that will allow you to consistently achieve your goals?
REMEMBER: The key is not time management but self management. Even more specific, your habits will play an important role in your productivity.
Step 5. Plan your Month, Week and Day based on Step 2
One of the very first things that you should accomplish each morning, is to determine what are the 2-3 MOST IMPORTANT TASKS that if completed, will help you achieve your priorities from the above steps. A best practice is to schedule these tasks early during your day when your energy level is the highest.
Step 6. Your Planning System
There are a variety of systems available to help you with task management. Whether you choose an electronic version or paper version doesn’t matter. What is essential is that it works for you. I have tried several different systems before I found the one that works for me. Find it, adapt it to your needs and use it.
Step 7. Don’t Get Distracted Away From Your Plan
This step is THE hardest because it is extremely easy to get distracted with the mountains of interruptions you most probably get every day.
In order to increase your time alignment, work on your self-management.
Productivity Formula = Right Mindset + Right Habits + Right System
I will be releasing an upcoming free e-book for my subscribers that covers more in-depth how you can increase your productivity.
This guide will cover topics such as; task management, project management, and email management including a mind map to help you be more in alignment with your time.
Don’t miss out! Enter your email address in the widget to be the first to receive your free copy.
What is your best practice when it comes to time alignment?