1. Successful people use their time well
In my business life I’ve enjoyed times of incredible focus and productivity allowing me to achieve my goals. There is a difference between being busy and being productive. It’s never a question of “will your calendar fill up?”, its a question of “who will fill it up?”. Make sure only you control your calendar. Looking back I have observed that I make the best use of my time when I focus on the following four areas:
A. I make the best use of my time when I plan ahead and work on my priorities. This increases my productivity. The system we use to create focus and produce results includes the following 6 components:
- Vision – This can either be a short one-paragraph vision statement, or a more detailed and elaborate document that we call a painted picture.
- Strategies – Your four or five main strategies to help you realize your vision. Everything you spend your time on should be aligned with one of these strategies.
- Projects – The projects you will need to complete in order to achieve your strategies. Each project needs to be attached to a strategy and owned by a project leader.
- Tasks – The tasks that need to be done in order to complete a project. Each task must be attached to a project and have an owner and due date .
- WPR – This is our weekly project review meeting where a team leader will spend 30 minutes discussing progress.
Your individual tasks will come out of the other components and therefore visionary and strategic thinking must occur first, but, remember that the “tasks” are the most important part of this equation because they are all you can do today. If you prioritize your tasks daily and go to work on those priorities, the projects will eventually be completed. You can’t live in the future and you shouldn’t live in the past. All you have is today.
B. I make the best use of my time when I work on the things I’m passionate about. Someone once said, there are two really great days in your life, the day you were born and the day you find out why. When you get a sense of what you were put on this earth to do and you spend your time on that, it brings you fulfillment and happiness.
C. I make the best use of my time when I work within my strength zone. You can waste a lot of time trying to be something or someone you are not. The sooner you learn what your strengths are and then go to work in those areas the more effective you will be.
2. Successful people have put in the time. It is important to understand that success takes time. Actions based on good habits repeated over an extended period of time produce the best results. We all know someone fit and healthy looking. You can be sure that somewhere in their daily routines they have developed the habit of being active. You can’t plant a crop two weeks before winter and hope to have a harvest, and in the same way you shouldn’t expect to master something in a very short period of time. Develop good habits and systems and use them consistently and the compounding effect over time will be success.
3. Finally, The best time to get started is right now! You can’t afford to wait. You’ve been planning to start an exercise program, or to stop smoking, or to read that book you bought but haven’t started yet, or to finish that book you started. Now is the time! Today is the day! Don’t wait till the kids get out of school for holidays, or till they get back to school after the holidays, or till the boss gives you a raise, or you get that big contract, or you finish your education, or until things slow down a bit, or till the New Year, or next week, or even tomorrow. Begin now.
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