“The way you use your time dictates every other outcome in your life.
Everything is built from how you manage your time.”
Darren Hardy, Success Magazine
There are two best tips I want to share this month to help you gain control of your time.
Do not begin your day by checking email.
OK, I hear you; this is a tough habit to break. (Darren Hardy says resisting checking email and texts is like resisting a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie!) But just give it a try and see for yourself. It will change your work day – and the results you get in life. Here’s how.
Instead of beginning the day with email, you’ll want to do three things:
1) Regularly remind yourself what you need or want to accomplish this year, this quarter, this month, this week, today.
2) Then in order to move toward each of your goals, create clear first steps: “What action will I take next to move toward this goal?”
3) Finally, rather than checking email, begin your day with one of these important tasks that you have identified. This will lead you to accomplishing something important.
We all know how easy it is to spend entire days (or even weeks) not moving toward our most critical goals. And when you open your email you are often responding to other people’s priorities rather than your own. You get side-tracked with low priority requests, or looking at YouTube videos, or reading things that are really not that important to you.
The bottom line is, instead of reacting to other people’s priorities, be clear and strategic with how you spend your time. Which leads to:
Take the last 10 – 15 minutes of your day to put stuff away, get organized, and create your list for the following day. That way you come in each morning to an organized desk and hit the ground running because you know exactly what the first thing you need to do is, and you can begin working on it immediately.
(If you don’t think you have 10-15 minutes at the end of the day to plan and organize, you are missing the whole point of successful time management. This 10 minutes will save you hours of unfocused, non-productive, reactive “work.”)
So, end each work day by taking stock of where you are with your tasks, what goals you need to be focusing on in the coming days, and what you will begin working on first thing the next morning. And then begin each day by not getting distracted by email and less important things – but rather by starting right in on this most important task.
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