Many people talk about the importance of time management. That’s of little use. What matters is that you are action oriented and focused on execution.
The best laid plans, the most powerful information, the greatest advice – all would be worthless unless backed by focussed, progressive, goal-directed action. Become known as someone who is action-oriented, who does things, who makes stuff happen.
Once you make the transition from ‘planner’ to ‘do-er’, you’ll be amazed to see how your level of effectiveness, influence and networking grows. Successful people don’t like to waste time. They understand the importance of time management. Associating with negative, ponderous, slow-moving folks often counts as wasting time.
When you make the shift from ‘talking about plans’ towards ‘doing things’, you’ll notice more successful folks gravitating towards you, offering advice, help, support. That’s because YOU are now recognized as someone who understands and appreciates the importance of time management!
Here’s a case in point.
For many years, I planned the details of a non-profit project. Thought about various scenarios. Budgeted for different situations. Dreamed out elaborate programs. And did practically nothing.
The reason is because I was caught up in analysis-paralysis. Not realizing the importance of time, I kept dilly-dallying until everything was ‘perfect’.
But until I took the first step, nothing happened. Today, 9 years later, I’m well on the way towards my goals for the non-profit work – but it couldn’t have happened without that first, inspired, faith-driven action step!
That’s the really important element of time management. Not efficiency alone. Not goal setting alone. Not prioritizing alone. All those are necessary, even critical. But without that essential step of being able to take concrete action towards your goals, everything else becomes irrelevant.
So, knowing the importance of time management, what can you do to become more action oriented? Here are a few time management tips and secrets that the most productive and effective people follow:
1. Avoid emails in the morning.
Nothing is more wasteful of your productive time and destructive to the tone and theme of your work day than indulging in email early in the morning. Set aside time to deal with correspondence, but make sure it’s after the time you assign for your important tasks.
2. Avoid blogging and forums.
Unless you are a professional blogger or coach clients through a forum, these activities should come low down on your priority list for daily tasks. The reason is simple. Chatting, publishing a random thought stream or arguing/debating a point isn’t the best use of your time. That’s what happens when you hang out on forums or keep blog hopping.
3. Have a day-plan – and make it the night before.
That helps set the tone for your day and makes sure that you get started on your work first thing in the morning, without any wasteful delays spent wondering what you should work on and when.
4. Stick to your plan even when you are tempted to deviate.
This is the hardest thing for procrastinators to do, but everyone who understands the importance of time management knows it is vital to success. In fact, that’s the reason you even draw up a plan in the first place. Having done that, deviating from the plan is sheer madness, don’t you agree?
5. Move your office out of the house.
Working from home has become a popular fad. But there’s no doubt that it interferes with the optimum use of your time. Unless you can treat your work with the seriousness it deserves, you should consider moving your work to an assigned space (even if it’s a small office, or a neighborhood coffee shop!)
6. Evaluate your work effectiveness by paying yourself per hour.
Many successful entrepreneurs who understand the value of their time and know how important it is to follow good time management principles will set a dollar value on their time. It helps prioritize tasks and turn down distractions that are of lesser value than their time merits.
By incorporating these important time management principles into your daily routine, you’ll find yourself easily boosting your effectiveness and becoming more productive. To learn more time managing secrets, be sure to sign up to the “Time Taozine” below and check out the line of Ming Vase Time Management guides.