Today I will do something that my future self will thank me for!
Do you ever find yourself at the end of the day realizing that you’ve done everything that was expected of you (OK maybe not everything) but you haven’t done anything for yourself?
I recently heard Elizabeth Gilbert say, “we are either moving toward or away from our destiny”.
52 weeks forward is about moving toward our destiny. This week I thought I’d kick us off with how to organize our time and highlight a few of my favorite time management tools
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Making Time to Follow Your Dream
How can I create more time in my day?
I’m not saying it’s easy but it is doable. Here are a few ideas to help you find a few more minutes in your day.
Wasted Time – According to a BLS American Time Use Survey, A.C. Nielsen Co. the average American will watch 9 years of television in their lifetime – that’s more than 5 hours a day! Think you can carve out an hour a day to follow your dream?
Follow through – This is a great productivity hack. Simply focusing on a task through completion is a great practice. How many times do we throw a jacket over a chair instead of hanging it up, or set a stack of newly folded t-shirts inside the bedroom door instead of putting them in the drawer? The time it takes to go back and follow through on these tasks is time that can be spent doing something just for you.
Obsessions – Obsessions, addictions, and general dependencies such as checking social media accounts every 5 minutes can eat up a lot of time. If you can’t have lunch with a friend without checking your phone you may be creating opportunities to get caught up in a massive time suck. If you’re looking for more time in a day, try to reduce the amount of time you spend surfing the web.
Commute – Do you commute to work? How do you spend your time? My car is a rolling university. Sure, I can crank the tunes, but I also listen to a lot of Podcasts.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- The Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn
- Lady Business Radio Podcast with Jessica Kupferman
- WTF Podcast with Marc Maron (adult content)
Make Your Time Count
We are all working at a different pace on different goals. I’m all about time management and efficiency but one of my favorite Warren Buffet quotes is, “You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant“. The truth is some things need time to grow and mature. It’s all a journey and though it may challenge us it should also be fun.
Everyday there are actions we need to accomplish and good habits we need to cultivate.
One of my favorite tools is the TO DO list. I’m a list freak and I love making a game of it. I’ll even add a task I’ve just completed just so I can experience the rewarding feeling of crossing it off. Some might call that obsessive, but I don’t live and die by the list, instead I let it guide me and help me stay focused on where I want to be a year from now.
There are many ways to organize your to do lists. Every day I see a new smart phone app but I have to say I’m still a sucker for the good ole pen and paper. I often have a variety of notebooks on the go and like to set a side time on Friday to plan out the following week. I manage my to do lists by organizing them with Insightly. Mainly I use it to manage my daily and long term action items. It has a great feature for reoccurring activities and is a great customer manager tool as well.
Break Down Bigger Projects
Sometimes we can become overwhelmed with projects. I like to reverse engineer a project, meaning I start with the end in mind and work backward from there. Often we haven’t fully thought through why we are doing something or what we want the end result to be. By fully comprehending what you’d like to accomplish you can organize it into manageable pieces.
Basically, creating all this time to work on our goals doesn’t mean anything if we’re not doing the right things. Knowing what we want to accomplish helps us know the best way to go about accomplishing it. For this my favorite go to tool is Asuna. Not only can you breakdown your project, you can assign takes and manage communication within your teams.
How to breakdown a project into action items: The idea is to take a project and break it into components to help you create the hierarchy of the project structure.
- Take the whole and break it into deliverables. These could be defined goals. For example if you were hosting an event that included various speakers, you might breakdown how many speakers you’ll need.
- Take those deliverables and goals and break them into categories. These categories will help you identify priorities. If we look again at the event above you can put your speakers into actual topics and categories, you could define them as local or national or international, you could categorize them according to fee structure, etc. The idea is to help further organize and structure the event so the decisions you are making are based on the best outcome for your project.
- Use the categories and break down the deliverables into actions. These are real world activities that are going to get you there. Make x number of phone calls today to potential sponsors for your event, sign off on all contracts for the speakers, finalize speaking schedule, etc.
The goal is to start today. What ever today is and do that one thing that gets you started, inspired,and motivated to do it again tomorrow!
The possibilities and YOU are limitless!
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