Do you work hard or work smart? Most of us are proud of how hard we work, how many hours we put in and how tired we are at the end of each day. It seems that people think that their level of exhaustion is a measure of how much they have given to a project. This is backwards thinking.
If you have a vision and you love what you do, you’ll be inspired to complete it. You feel energized and excited about the project and you enjoy working on it. I believe that if you manage your time effectively and work smart, rather than hard, you don’t have to put in long hours to produce amazing results. It’s all about inspiration and organization.
The first step to managing your time is to create a vision. If you have a vision, you immediately can prioritize tasks based on where they fit in to achieving this vision. If a task doesn’t move you closer to the vision being achieved, why would you put it on your to-do list?
What is the structure you use to manage your time? Do you have to-do lists that are categorized and prioritized? To do lists are demoralizing. Most people overestimate the amount of time they have in a day and how many tasks they can get done. Stop making to do lists and take your tasks and schedule them. This system, called time-blocking, allows you to actually see what time you have for available tasks. When you use time-blocking, you’ll begin to see that you don’t have nearly the time you think you have. Schedule in daily routines like getting up, showering, commuting, answering email, eating lunch, etc. and you will see the remaining hours you have to be productive. The truth may shock you… but it will cause you to make REAL choices about your time and adjust your expectations accordingly. The more you fulfill your expectations, the more empowered you become.
Another tip to being effective is to schedule in your down time. Make sure that you are giving yourself enough time to slow down and participate in the hobbies you love. If you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, you aren’t going to be an effective result-producer. Balancing your life is one of the keys to producing amazing results.
Get a coach. Most people have no idea where their time goes, where they are being unproductive and actually in the way of their own dreams. Hiring a coach will allow you to bring on a partner that is as commmitted to your goals as you are. Your coach will be able to see how you are “performing” on the court and help you get rid of habits that are slowing you down, while teaching you techniques that increase your result-production.
Finally, stop trying to do it all. Look at your schedule and identify items that don’t take your talent or personality to accomplish. Delegate these. Hire an assistant to help get the mundane actions done and focus your time on what’s important; those things at the core of your business.
Always remember that the key to success is a vision and the farther removed you get from the vision, the less effective you will be in achieving it.