5 Ways to Managing your Time More Effectively Right Now

Time management is a hot topic in today’s fast-paced world, and everyone is always looking for ways to be more productive and to save more time. However, there is no such thing as time management, as you cannot manage time. Also, you can never use lack of time as an excuse, because everyone gets the same amount. It is all about how you Focus your Time that enables you to manage your time in more effective ways.

First, you have to define what effective means, and a great definition could be what takes you faster to the life you want. In other words, achieving what you want and enjoying the trip.

Here are 5 Ways to Manage your Time More Effectively, a sort of the arithmetic of time management for leaders (or should I say FOCUS management).

1. Add
Put the Important First

You have probably heard the rocks, pebbles, sand and water in a jar story; where it is very difficult to get the big rocks in a glass jar if you were to fill it with the sand and water first. Life is really the same…if you don’t get the most important into your day first, then you often waste time on other activities and other people will often steal your time too.

Invest the time to determine the important for you, and make it your FOCUS. Then plan your days and weeks based on your focus, and Add the important into each day before anything else and before the other pressures around you begin to take steal your time. Put the important first into every day.

2. Subtract
Keep the Important Important

Once you have determined the important for you, then your goal is to maintain that FOCUS, and eliminate as much as you can the unimportant. There is a great story about this…a sculptor’s assistant brings in a big block of an ugly marble into the studio and ask the sculptor “how are you going to make anything beautiful from this?”. The sculptor looks at it from all sides and says he sees a magnificent stallion (a horse) with flowing mane, flared nostrils, and very muscular. The assistant asks “…but how are you going to make it?” The sculptor says, “I am going to take my chisel and my hammer, and I’m going to chip away everything that is not a horse, and what’s left over will be a masterpiece”.

You have to stop (chip away) everything that is not important so that you can focus on that important will your full attention. You manage time by managing your attention, by keeping the important important.  Are you chipping away…?

3. Multiply
Influence Others to Action

What you achieve is not just based on what you do, but also on what the people around you do too. However, what enables action around you is your ability to influence others to want to help you and show how helping you also helps them. You own time is limited and you only have 24 hours in a day. It’s how you engage others and gaining their help that enables you achieve more with the time you have. If you are leading others, you could define your role as My How is WHO, because influencing the focus and energy of the people around you is what will drive the success of the team you lead.

If influence is this important, whenever you have something you need to accomplish, you should be thinking WHO before How.

The right WHO will often provide you with a better How, as thinking How by yourself is limited (because you are using only your own knowledge and experience). You multiply your impact by influencing others to action.

4. Divide
Leverage Strengths (yours/others)

You have your unique strengths and so do others. When you are using your strengths, you always doing better work and often enjoy that work more too. So do the people around you when they get to use their strengths. Being productive and managing your time well is often about focusing your work on using your strengths to their fullest and finding others around you to help with the rest. Also, think of this…the time of day when you focus your most difficult work is a strength too. You know your best times, so focus your most difficult work in times when you both feel the best and perform your best.

You get to manage your time more effectively when you are leveraging your strengths and the strengths of those around you.

5. Equals
Live = Experiences and Achievements

Think about it…what you remember most in your life are the memorable experiences and the feeling of the achievements you have made. Therefore, you could really define your life (really living!) by how you embrace the opportunities to expand your experiences and by the goals you set for yourself that will drive you to use your potential. As said earlier, a great life (and an effective one too) is all about achieving what you want and enjoying the trip.

How do you define your life?…by your experiences and your achievements?

Remember, time management is only gained through FOCUS management, and the arithmetic of time management for leaders is…

1. Add
Put the Important First

2. Subtract
Keep the Important Important

3. Multiply
Influence Others to Action

4. Divide
Leverage Strengths (yours/others)

5. Equals
Live = Experiences and Achievements

 

Mark Fritz is an internationally recognized leadership speaker, mentor, and professor, and has spoken in more than 50 countries worldwide. He is the author of the new Daily Thoughts Collections (Volume 1), The Truth about Getting Things Done, and Lead & Influence: Get More Ownership, Commitment, and Achievement from Your Team.

Connect with Mark on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

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