time management tip # 42 don’t let the little things sidetrack you

Time management isn’t what most people think it is.

It consists of easy to master, simple, concepts that anyone can, and should, use.

After all, who wouldn’t want a little more time?

If you’re anything like the man I was 10 years ago, I never had enough time to get everything done that I wanted to. Today, I’m glad to say that’s changed.

Back in those days, I was working 60-hour weeks.

I was earning a decent living, but only had the nights and Sunday afternoons to relax. I told myself I was young, so why not?

A few years later, I came to the realization that it wasn’t worth it. My time was worth more than I realized.

So I made a change. Methodically, but ruthlessly, I ripped apart my schedule.

I did lose a little income, but in the process freed up more than 40 hours.

It was surprisingly easy, and now, over the next few weeks, I’m going to share with you how I did it.

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned a few of the tricks I’ve learned and applied, so I won’t go over those. You’ll find them here, here, here and here.

I go into the value of time, chunking, and Ivy Lee’s secret that works as well today as it did then, so be sure to check them out if you haven’t already. They’re worth their weight in gold.

Before I get to time management tip # 42, I would like to remind everyone that there is no such things as a lack of time, but there are people who simply use their time poorly. Take me, right now as I write this post, I am watching an episode of the classic, Firefly (a show well worth watching if you haven’t had the chance). In other words, two birds with one stone.

Thanks to the Internet it’s never been easier to leverage other people’s time, which is partly why I’ve been MIA for the past month.

I hired a guy to go through my site and fix all its errors, no small feat considering I had over 500 articles. In doing so, he suggested I go back and redo certain areas, which I decided to get done before moving forward. So while I’ve been pretty much nonexistent for the past few weeks, I assure you I was busy working.

With that done, now I can get back to doing what I love and I plan to have quite a busy 2015 what with my new house being built by April.

The point is this, when it comes to managing your time, your time is limited, but your imagination isn’t. Use it!

Anyway, as for time management tip #42: think in term of objectives, not activities.

Just what does that mean?

Unfortunately, too many of us focus on small activities to get us to our goals. If we’re busy, then it must be good, right?

Wrong, not all work is good work. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that more than 30% of work done, is actually busy work.

The objective is everything. Too many people let things like emails and phone calls sidetrack them. Even meetings can suck time away from achieving your goals.

Objectives are just as important at home as they are at work. We must learn to create objectives for our dreams, our health, our relationships, our money and yes, our time.

It’s too easy to drift off course, don’t let the winds of life push you where they want you to go. We must guard our time and our objectives like Fort Knox, as they are just as valuable to us.

My advice is this: sit down tomorrow for an hour and simply figure out what you really want to achieve, both short-term and long. Once you have finished, read them over and simply think about them. Really think about them. Cross off any you can get someone else to do, or isn’t as important as you first thought.

Doing this one task alone, if done correctly, will set you apart from most of the people around you.

Good luck.

Adrian Shepherd