That’s what I break down success to in my book, iSucceed.
And while I talk about gratitude laying the foundation for all the others, I have found that one’s ability to manage one’s time is probably the single most powerful key to success.
We all have 24 hours given to us each day to do as we please, right?
If you’re like me then you have to work. So that’s 8 hours right there.
Then there’s sleep. So that’s another 8, give or take 2.
So we’re up to about 16 already.
Then there’s commuting, meals, prep and other household duties. Say, another 4.
Add that up and you’re sitting on 4 hours a day that any working person has at their discretion.
Not 24. 4!
And we haven’t even included entertainment (books or DVDs).
Now I don’t know about you, but I personally like watching TV and I admit there were times when I spent 3 to 4 hours watching TV a day. Yep, you guessed it. I wasn’t always the most serious student of life.
But that changed a few years back. I decided that it was time for me to grow up.
I started studying business because I needed to. But I started studying finance because I thought I should.
I made the conscious choice to study, to think, and to prepare for my future.
Then after I have enough knowledge under my belt, I wrote out a plan and have stuck to it.
What did that plan include?
To study 2 hours a day on the topics of self-development, management and finance. Slowly I started expanding my field of study and added time management and marketing. But 2 hours just wasn’t enough so I started studying during my lunch break, which gave me another hour of study.
Then I went to bed an hour later, add in another hour.
I’m now up to about 4 hours a day, but am still able to work in a 45-min yoga routine and 2 hours of TV.
Which brings me to my post today – the single most powerful time management tip.
Now, before I get to it, keep in mind that in life it’s often the simplest solutions that are the most powerful.
Think of it like magic.
We see magicians perform incredible feats. We are dazzled by them making airplanes disappear, seeing them cut people in two and even flying.
Many people simply enjoy the show, but some people actually try and figure out how it’s done.
And that’s where the magic really comes in. Magicians often provide us with “proof” of their magic which then causes our mind to remove various possibilities from the ones we have formulated.
Clever angles are used, sleight-of-hand and even psychology is employed to enhance their act. And it works.
I studied magic for over 2 years intensively and I’m still blown away by some magic.
Take a look at the video below to see what I mean about the simplest solutions and how we were tricked. It’s really very clever.
Anyway, back to the most powerful time management tip. You ready?
Here goes…I already gave you a hint.
(I can already hear the groans)
To be more specific, before you go to bed each night, write up a list of everything you want to accomplish the next day. Then attach values to these, take a look at my example for today:
- Laundry (7)
- Yoga (5)
- Son (1)
- Finance (2)
- Blog (3)
- Shopping Cart (4)
- Twitter (8)
- Presentations (6)
- Study (9)
Notice work was broken down into the projects that I’m working on and each given a value.
Then the goal is to work on each in order of importance.
Don’t be tempted to start the next job till the previous job is done.
Point in case: I woke up and got my son ready for school – done. Then I sat down and read financial reports for an hour – done. What’s number 3? That’s right…this. So here I am.
The key about this technique is that it gives your mind focus and prevents you from procrastinating.
Simple. No fancy charts. No high-tech solution. Nothing special to be honest, but it’s tried and true. And believe me when I tell you, it’s powerful.
Will many people do it? Heck no.
Most people think there’s no need to. I was one of them. But when I started reading about some of the most successful men in business stating the power of doing this, I figured, “What the heck?!”
And believe me when I say, it’s quite simply the single most powerful time management tip.
Still not convinced. No problem – prove me wrong.
Try it (and I mean really try it) and see.
Me, I’m off to do #4.