How to manage your time
Do you ever stop to think about how much more you could accomplish if you only had a few more hours in the day? Doesn’t it seem like if you had more time, you could achieve more every day and reach larger goals even sooner?
The truth is no one gets more time – and no one really needs it. You just need to know how to manage your time. Think about great innovators like Richard Branson, Bill Gates or Arianna Huffington – these people don’t have access to a cache of extra hours. They have the same number of minutes in a day as you do, but they seem to accomplish a great deal more. How is that possible?
You might rightly point out that these individuals have plenty of additional resources at their disposal, but that wasn’t always the case. Many of the world’s top innovators started out with the same amount of resources you currently have. That’s because achieving your goals comes down to how resourceful you can be with the time management tips that are available to you.
The most limited resource we have is time. But when you learn how to manage your time, you’ll not only accomplish more, but also develop a greater sense of fulfillment in your life.
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Top time management tips
Mastering these basic time management tips will help you to accomplish your daily tasks more efficiently and recover time you may not have realized you were missing.
1. Use the Rapid Planning Method
Tony Robbins’ Rapid Planning Method (RPM) is more than just an efficient time management system – it’s a whole new way of thinking. This is a powerful way for you to identify what’s most important to you and distill the steps you need to take to get there. RPM asks you to define what it is you want, identify why you want it and then list the steps needed to achieve the goal. By connecting your tasks to your ultimate goals, RPM helps you maximize your sense of fulfillment while helping you achieve the results you actually want.
When you determine what you want and have a clear purpose in mind, you can focus on that purpose so energy flows toward it. Then it’s time to come up with specific objectives or metrics as to how you’ll measure your results. For example, don’t make “I want to get a promotion at work” your goal. Instead, give yourself specific parameters that will propel you to achieve your goal. For example: “I want to be managing four employees and receive a 10 percent increase in salary by the third quarter of the year” is a much more specific objective and much easier to break into the steps necessary to achieve it.
RPM planning lets you ditch your to-do list and prompts you to create a plan of action. Your plan keeps you focused on what truly matters to you and how to manage your time effectively – not on checking items off of a list.
2. Practice chunking
Looking for the best time management tips? Feeling overwhelmed by too many tasks? Practice chunking. Chunking is the process of grouping together information into manageable chunks so you can use them to effectively achieve the outcome you desire without stress. These three steps will help you rethink the way you tackle tasks:
- Get your ideas down in writing – this is called capturing. Document each task that must be completed, along with each goal and the situations and ideas that demand your attention. Write it all down; you can weed things out and sort them later. Do this for your entire week.
- Look for common threads among your tasks. Chunk the items based on different areas of your life such as fitness, family and money.
- Finally, decide which tasks and action items are the most important within each chunk or category based on urgency and setting. The end result is a master plan with prioritized sub-categories that keeps all spheres of your life up to date and balanced.
You’ve eliminated an endless list of to-dos in favor of creating chunks of tasks that are directly linked to your desired outcomes. This change in focus leads to massive, meaningful changes in your life and allows you to naturally incorporate some of these time management tips into your regular routine.
3. Focus your energy
Work/life balance is important, but so is your time. By focusing on what’s most important to you instead of giving in to what you feel is expected of you, you’ll free up more of your time to work on what’s truly providing value to your life. Time targets are designated into four zones of productivity and fulfillment that will help you decide where you need to focus your energy in order to best know how to manage your time.
Zone 1: Things that matter most in life. You want to be operating in this zone whenever possible. In Zone 1, you’re spending time doing things that fulfill you and working toward your goals. Ideally, you could spend 100% of your time here, but realistically you’ll have other demands on your time. Aim to spend at least 65% of your time in Zone 1 to create fulfilling relationships and find meaning in your work.
Zone 2: Things in life that can’t be planned for. You can only schedule out so much of your time before something unexpected occurs. Whether you have a family or work emergency, your train is late or you suffer an injury, spend no more than 20% of your time here.
Zone 3: When stressed, you spend time here. Life can be stressful at times, no matter how great of a state you’re in. As you feel yourself getting sucked into busy work or errands that could be handled by someone else, view the situation objectively. Does this task add value to your life? If these tasks don’t bring you closer to your goals or create additional value for you, do what you can to avoid them in the future. You don’t want to spend any more than 10% of your time here.
Zone 4: When exhausted, you operate in Zone 4. Everyone needs down time to reconnect with themselves. This is an important way to de-stress and relax – but only for a short period of time. Withdrawing from the other zones too often will lead to a loss of momentum, and from there you’ll lose your grip on your goals and start feeling unfulfilled. Take breaks when absolutely necessary, but don’t spend any more than 5% of your time in this zone.
4. Utilize N.E.T. time
What you feed your mind on a daily basis shapes the way in which you experience life. But far too many people believe they “don’t have time” to give their minds the kind of information that can help them create real, concrete results and achieve their dreams. By utilizing your N.E.T. time – that is, your No Extra Time time – you can turn moments of “downtime” into moments of productivity that help you discover how to manage your time.
Each day, everyone on the planet completes tasks that occupy our bodies, but not our minds. Instead of “zoning out” and frittering away those precious minutes watching TV or letting your mind wander during a commute, what if you used that time to feed your mind? Listen to a podcast during your drive to and from work or scratch down a few ideas for your latest project while you’re sitting in a waiting room. Scraping together minutes from here and there can add up to hours of time that you can devote to your goals.
If you’re committed to making the most of your time and achieving your dreams, why not fill your N.E.T. time with the best information, the best inspiration, the best coaching available, designed specifically to accelerate your results in a very short time? Beginning with his very first blockbuster Personal Power System, Tony Robbins designed products specifically to utilize the power of N.E.T. time to turn these previously “wasted” moments into short yet powerful lessons in personal achievement. The contents are divided into convenient, accessible “chunks” of time management tips for work and your personal life that anyone can listen to, absorb and take action on in about 25 minutes or less. Best of all, these lessons take No Extra Time in your day.
5. Eliminate time sucks
How often do you start your day feeling great about all you’re planning to accomplish, only to feel that you barely get anything done? That’s the difference between being busy and being productive – and it’s a big difference. Busy people feel like they don’t have enough time in the day to get it all done. People who follow time management tips have a strategy in place to accomplish what they need to, and more. They do it by eliminating common time sucks.
Time sucks are things that in the moment seem like they’ll “only take a second,” but add up throughout the day. Stop unnecessary meetings and don’t spend too much time on social media. Limit the number of times you check your email to three or four times per day. Delegate what you can, if you’re in a position to do so. Is there a task that a staff member could do instead of you? Assign it to them and give them a chance to prove themselves. Your time is better spent doing something that only you can do.
6. Minimize distractions
Part of eliminating time sucks includes minimizing distractions throughout your day. Close your office door and only have certain “open times” where employees or co-workers are encouraged to come in to talk. Put your phone on silent and out of sight unless you need to use it or are waiting for a call. Push checking your email even further by choosing the exact times you check and respond – and stick with it. For many of us, these time management tips seem nearly impossible, but they will make the biggest impact.
Another way to minimize distractions is to use the power of routine to eliminate unimportant decisions. Lay out your clothes the night before so you don’t waste time looking around for a pair of socks. Plan your meals throughout the week and cook them ahead of time. Take the same route to work so you don’t have to think about it. This allows your brain to focus on what matters.
7. Work with a results coach
Feel like you need additional help mastering time management tips? Even the most successful people in the world don’t do it alone; they lean on others for support. Allow a professional to help you reset your priorities and schedule. Working with a Results Coach is the most effective way to hone in on what it is you truly want, devise a plan to achieve your goals and follow through with a timeline. A professional coach will hold you accountable for reaching your end goal and help you master these powerful tips for time management along the way. Schedule your free session with a coach today, and begin working toward achieving a truly extraordinary life.
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