Time Management: A Tool for Success
“It is not enough to be busy… The question is: What are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau
Time is a very important- if not THE most important aspect- of business. In many ways, the way you manage your own time can either make or break the flow of your own career. Another important element in your career is your list of priorities. Handling your priorities the right way can greatly impact your growth. The way we manage our time ultimately reflects on our daily successes, and the amount of productivity we can shell out in a given duration.
With that said, someone who manages their time well definitely has a different level of productivity and success in comparison to someone who has a poor sense of time management. They can maximize the amount of activities they’re able to do or goals they can achieve within the day, efficiently and gradually progressing towards success.
On the other hand, a person who doesn’t have a firm grasp over their schedule and has absolutely no control over their time will progress at a much slower pace. Procrastination, unorganized thoughts, and mixed up priorities can really trap you in an overwhelming and stressful loop. Without properly sorting out what you want to accomplish at a time you want to accomplish it on, you’ll be left with a scattered and often disoriented mind. Of course, not everyone is the same. We’re all different kinds of people who have different ways to manage our own time.
If you feel that the way you’re handling your time right now isn’t doing you any good, don’t worry! During mentorship calls, a lot of my students ask me how I personally manage my own time, so I decided to share two very important time management tips that have really, really helped me get through a lot of my time hurdles. These tips could also help you turn things around and hopefully improve how you handle your schedule, as well as your list of priorities.
Tip #1: Plan According to Vision, Values, and Goals
You’d be surprised to find out that the first tip actually has nothing to do with time. That’s right! This first tip isn’t necessarily about time or how you manage it, but focuses more on your vision, values and goals. What are your values? Do you have a clear vision as to what you want to achieve? You have to look inwards and find your own core values. What are YOUR core values? What do YOU value?
Now this varies from person to person, but I personally value family, business, but most importantly my own physical and mental health. But this wasn’t always the case. I didn’t really have my health at the top of my list until after 2020, when I heard Hal Elrod talk about the importance of prioritizing your health over everything else. I run 3 businesses, and with business comes a lot of pressure.
If I don’t watch how I’m doing and keep a close eye on my health, all of the pressure and stress could really take a toll on me. I might get seriously ill, or even worse, I might die. I know that sounds like an overstatement, but trust me, it DOES happen to people! I have 3 wonderful kids and an amazing wife, and if I tap out because I didn’t watch my own health, they won’t have me. I want to make sure it doesn’t happen to me, and surely you probably feel the same way about your own health.
Tip 2: The Rocks and The Sand
What is your agenda? What are your goals? Just a quick glance back at the first tip, this one heavily relies on you knowing your own goals. Without knowing your goals, you won’t be able to know what you have to prioritize. Without a list of priorities, you’ll find yourself absolutely overwhelmed and disoriented. This is most evident when you’re going through a busy week, and you start to lose track of what needs to be done.
Let’s take your weekly time frame and visualize it as a jar. What can you put in this jar? What can you fill your week with? The common mistake that people make is that they fill their jar up with sand first. Once it’s a quarter full, or even half full of sand, they then try to fit in rocks. The sand already filling up the jar barely leaves any space for the rocks to even get in. What is sand in this analogy?
The “sand” in this case would be secondary activities in the week. Activities which aren’t rocks: Your goals. These activities aren’t directly aligned with your agenda and goals. They’re the sand, because they’re minuscule and sometimes even trivial. Always put your rocks down first, make sure that a lot of your time goes primarily into these rocks so that you can achieve your goals and become more productive within your week.
Putting rocks in first will leave a lot of empty pockets of space for you to fill with sand. So once you’ve got your rocks down on your list of priorities and your schedule, you can then ask yourself “What are my sand activities?” Once you figure that out, slip those activities in between goal-related items. After sand comes water! Once you’ve got both rocks and sand into the jar, you can then think of filling it with water.
What this shows is that there might seem to be too little time and too many things to get done at first, especially if they’re unorganized. But once you properly set your activities into place in the correct order and organize them accordingly, you’ll find that you have more than enough time to fit all of these things into your week. You might even surprise yourself if you find out that you have free time to spare!
There you go! I hope you were able to pick up a few things that you find helpful in solving your time management hurdles, and somehow gave you a new perspective on your own list of priorities.
The good news is that this article has its very own two-part YouTube episode!