We hear a lot about Time Management. I talk about it sometimes, but in reality Time Management is the wrong term. If you think you can manage time, good luck.
The fact is you can’t manage time. An hour is 60 minutes. You can’t manage 60 minutes to become 90 minutes. An hour is an hour no matter how much ‘managing’ you do. And, all of us have the same 1,440 minutes in our day. You will never get more. Give up trying to manage time.
We don’t manage time: we manage ourselves within the time we have available.
I prefer the term, ‘Self-Management’ to ‘Time Management’ because this slight change in terminology helps us to see the real reason why we may not always be as productive as we’d like. If we manage ourselves effectively, we’ll accomplish more in the time we have available.
Here are some ideas to help you improve your self-management:
You don’t have to be disciplined at everything, only in the areas that are important.
Discipline is like a muscle; it can be exercised. Think about one area where you’d like to be more disciplined – prospecting for example.
Decide on the number of people you will speak with daily. Now get to work. Don’t take excuses from yourself; if you say you will speak to 40 people per day, don’t leave it too late in the day to get started. Get to work first thing and get as much done as you can before your first appointment.
If you fall short on day one, don’t beat yourself up. Do better tomorrow. Once you’ve hit the number on one day, resolve to achieve the same number tomorrow. Gradually prospecting will become habit and then you’re on your way!
You can then choose another discipline and master that – for example, you might choose to become disciplined at reading for one hour per day.
I talk a lot about goals because I know that they are the key to focus and to managing ourselves better within the time we have available.
If you want to focus and use your time more effectively, set goals and work on tasks that lead toward achievement of your goals.
Plans are another critical element. If you don’t know where your business will come from, you are more susceptible to wasting time. You will drift through your days without a plan.
- Learn to say ‘no’
If you can’t say ‘no’ occasionally, you’ll get drawn into other people’s priorities. Be careful what you agree to. You can waste a lot of time on unproductive pursuits.
- Work only with the right clients
Work with clients that are ready to list and who want to buy. I’m not suggesting that you don’t help people, but when it comes to working with clients, you should expect them to be realistic and to follow your advice.
People who don’t cooperate, who complain, who don’t follow your advice, chip away at your morale and self-esteem and discourage you. Spend less time with the wrong people, and more time with the right people.
I can’t control time, but I can control myself. The power is in my hands, and it’s in yours too.
The better we manage ourselves, the more goals we’ll achieve.