Time Management (How the elite dominate every minute.)
We all get the same 24 hours every day.
However, it often seems as if the elite pull an extra couple of hours every day. Seemingly stretching time in their favor, while others barely find time to get by.
That is the magic of time management. Once you truly take control of your every waking minute, you will find everything flowing seamlessly.
You will find yourself achieving more results, with less exhaustion.
Today I will walk you through some of the keys that helped me achieve more in the last 3 years than I have in most of my life. Keys that allowed some of the most successful people to walk the Earth get the greatest ROI from every waking minute of their time.
Before we talk about Time management specifically, we have to define our targets.
Visualize the end goal and PRIORITIZE accordingly
There are many aspects to our life, each requiring their respective time commitments and steps:
We all have different goals and expectations for each area.
Let's use finance and social life as an example:
The person who wants to be a multimillionaire by 30 will probably have to sacrifice a SIGNIFICANT amount of time with friends to meet those goals.
The person who only wants to have enough to live will probably find a lot of free time.
However, there is a lot of room to work with in between:
Maybe you are money-focused and don't need to party every day of the week, but you want to at least have 2 days where you can at least grab a few beers or go to a basketball game with some friends.
That can be INCORPORATED into your stride. You could plan ahead and work ahead on Sunday afternoon to leave Monday afternoon open and catch that basketball game with your friends that are visiting you.
That is a VERY tailored scenario, and that's a recurring theme across this article:
YOUR TIME MANAGEMENT APPROACH HAS TO BE TAILORED ACROSS YOUR SPECIFIC GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS.
Once you figure out your goals, let's get to the ACTUAL fundamentals to execute your time management strategy:
1. Dedicate AT LEAST 1 hour every day to self-development
This is the FOUNDATION for the following steps.
Once you figure out your goals, you have to make time to ACT.
Not plan, not contemplate, but take actionable steps.
It could be as simple as:
-Work out an hour a day If your goal is to be in better shape.
-Dedicate an hour, without interruptions, to your family If you want to bond with them.
-Spend an hour a day working to make extra income If you want to fix your finances.
Over time, that simple hour will stack up and help you grow exponentially.
An hour a day means 365 hours/yr, or roughly 9 work weeks (based on a 40 hour work week.), yet at the same time, it's not invasive.
Most of us HAVE THE TIME. We can afford to cut down a bit on social media time, Netflix time, laying around time, etc.
Most importantly though, taking that initial step will shift your mindset from a passive mindset to an active mindset, allowing you to see the results you want. Once you begin seeing the results you want, you will not be going back.
2. Eliminate or contain distractions to a TIGHT limit.
I am sure you have seen the quadrant above, courtesy of Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (strongly recommended read.)
Time wasters and zero productivity activities are some of the biggest culprits for poor time management:
“I don’t have time to help my son with his homework”
-You might If you stopped scrolling Facebook for hours at work and got your work done early to make it home on time.
“I don’t have time to go to the gym”
-You might have time If rather than watch 3 hours of Netflix a night, you cut it down to 2 and used that extra hour to work out.
I used to make those mistakes.
As a college Sophomore, I took 12 credit hours, had a 3.2ish GPA (Substandard to my potential.) and spent time goofing off with friends and playing video games.
Towards the end of the spring semester, a friend told me he could hook me up
with a part-time job (15-20 hrs/week.) I was initially resistant.
I was “too busy”.
“My grades might drop”, “I won’t have time to have fun”, “I won’t get any sleep”, “it will get in the way of the gym”
Fast forward to the end of my Junior semester:
I finished the next fall with straight A’s and bumped up my GPA, I continued progressing in the gym, I had more money to travel out of town with friends and stop leeching off my parent’s money, I met new people to go out with after work.
Simple, I REDUCED WASTEFUL ACTIVITIES:
-3hr daily Netflix binges turned into just one episode while eating dinner.
-Social media scrolling time was replaced with extra work shifts.
The first couple of weeks, IT WAS A GRIND. However, once I was forced to rearrange my time, I realized how much time I wasted and became more organized and disciplined in the money (not to mention made some money in the process.)
Try it. We are not White House advisors or ICU doctors, WE HAVE TIME.
3. Don’t let distant tasks become emergencies
One of the biggest things I notice with successful people is their ability to handle things BEFORE they become problems.
Going back to Covey’s quadrant, they spend the majority of their time handling Quadrant II items:
Things that are important but NOT YET urgent.
This is where the majority of people mess up.
Many people dismiss those items as “not urgent” and let them sneak up on them. As a result, they turn into quadrant I items (Important AND urgent.), where they have to go into emergency protocol mode, leaving more room for error.
On the other hand, the successful always find ways to work ahead BEFORE any potential problem materializes.
THEY CONTROL THEIR ENVIRONMENT, RATHER THAN LETTING THEIR ENVIRONMENT CONTROL THEM.
Does that mean they never have emergencies or things getting out of hand? NO.
However, it means that they have fewer fires to put out and can stick to the plan.
It doesn’t have to be complex:
-If your goal is to save for retirement, begin saving what you can since your early 20’s or even your teens so that you don’t have to scramble from 0 in your 40’s.
-If your goal is to be 30lbs lighter by the summer, begin working out since the fall to create the habits to achieve AND MAINTAIN the results you want, as opposed to going on crazy diets in March.
You get the idea. Why scramble putting out a fire If you can prevent the fire from happening in the first place?
4. Multitask where applicable
DISCLAIMER: This advice applies in activities that don’t require FULL concentration (ex. Don’t try to listen to a complex podcast while working out, one will get filtered out.)
Multitasking, when done right, can LITERALLY, make time appear. We often have little PASSIVE tasks that we have to do which build up over time and take up our day:
-Commuting to work, gym, etc.
You get the day, they are things you NEED to do but don’t require your full attention. Those are the best things to multitask to buy yourself some time.
It could be as simple as some things I started doing in college:
-Packed my gym clothes and post-workout snacks in the car so I could go straight to the gym after class/work rather than drive home and get my stuff.
(Time saved: 20 mins/day)
-Throw my laundry in the washer/dryer while I go on a jog. Pulling it out when I come back.
(Time saved: 30 mins/week)
-I started listening to podcasts/audiobooks on my drive to work.
(1 hour of knowledge per day adds up.)
-Sometimes I look at brief sales/tech videos to learn new things during breakfast.
(10 mins of extra education per day.)
Obviously, this routine is going to look VERY different per person, but you can see how little changes begin stacking up and stretching your free time to do more productive things, WITHOUT REQUIRING ADDITIONAL EFFORT.
That’s the kicker with these habits, they don’t require you to wear yourself out unnecessarily, rather they allow you to work more efficiently and DO MORE WITH LESS.
Time management is an amazing part of success and one you can incorporate TODAY. Unlike building up your skills and experience (which take years.), TIME MANAGEMENT HABITS CAN BE APPLIED AND BEGIN PAYING DIVIDENDS TODAY.
Many people with elite talent aren’t milking their full potential, EVEN WITH TALENT AND DRIVE, because their efforts are HARDCORE BUT INEFFICIENT. The results after you adopt those habits are like night and day.
I encourage you to incorporate the simple steps listed here:
-Define what you want to achieve and what NEEDS to get done for that to happen.
-Eliminate or reduce wasteful time traps.
-Address seemingly distant issues BEFORE they become emergencies.
-Multitask small tasks to free up as much time as possible.
It may not seem like much, but you will be surprised at the exponential results you will see.
THAT WAS IT FOR THIS WEEK. BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NEWSLETTER! WE HAVE SOME ANNOUNCEMENTS COMING UP THIS WEEKEND REGARDING COLLABORATIONS AND NEW UPCOMING EVENTS!