1. WAKE UP TO REALITY
Be fully aware of what you are doing and not doing. Keep a journal or time log (pay special attention to interruptions) as one way to raise your awareness. Reflect every morning on the day ahead with anticipation and reflect each evening on the day gone by gratitude.
2. STAY IN THE PRESENT MOMENT The future and the past are the enemies of being a time master. You can meet this challenge by staying present. Past mistakes and regrets must be disregarded. Future hopes and dreams are not yet manifest. The action that you choose to take today is the solution to your problem.
3. KNOW THYSELF
Your time challenge is as unique as you are. Are you a people pleaser that over commits? Are you a bit ADD and easily distracted? Are you an adrenaline junkie that needs high stress to keep you engaged? If you know yourself well, you will also know where to be watchful and what to work on.
4. IDENTIFY AND ASSASSINATE TIME WASTERS
The little foxes spoil the vine. There are little self-sabotage procrastinating practices that you need to seek and destroy. Silly computer/phone games can really suck the life out of a day. Social media and internet surfing can be like crack cocaine. Most television watching would qualify as a time waster. Find these “little” distractions and eliminate them.
5. BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR LIMITATIONS
One of the keys to time mastery is humility. You really cannot do it all. If you will come to grips with that obvious fact, then you can begin prioritizing and choosing. Choice involves both yes and no. Get really skilled at using both words in line with your true priorities.
6. SAY NO OFTEN
A likely reason you don’t say NO is because you have a robust social self that wants to please other people. People pleasing is a dangerous practice that hinders us from truly serving others. Children who never hear “NO” grow into interesting adults that insist on always having their own way. Adults who never use the word NO become liars who over-commit and lose their integrity. If you never say NO, your YES is weak and lacks commitment. No is a beautiful leadership word that is under-utilized and under-appreciated.
7. TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILTY FOR YOUR CHOICES To address time challenges, you must drop all excuses and blame for your problems. You must choose to own your choices, decisions, actions, and schedule. If you are frequently interrupted, you have no one to blame but yourself. And I don’t recommend blaming yourself for too long; all that is required is to no longer allow other people who lack self-control to control your schedule.
8. RECOVER YOUR INTEGRITY The word integrity is interesting. The root of the word is “integer”, which is a whole number. Make clear choices. Take full ownership. Make decisions in line with your values, priorities and purpose. Be single minded versus divided and scattered. Choose to act in congruence with your heart, spirit, purpose and calling. Eliminate contradictions.
9. USE A DAILY TWO-DO LIST Identify and execute two top priority actions each and every day. Define success as a day when your entire TWO DO list is completely executed. Two most important priorities completed every single day. Picture the outcome and results from 730 most important tasks being completed every single year of your life.
10. IMPLEMENT A “NOT TO DO” LIST A key to mastering time is identify and clarify what you choose NOT to do. In doing less, you will achieve far more. The “NOT TO DO” list is more important than any to do list.
11. DEFINE OUTCOMES AND ACTIONS
For each and every project, find and define in writing a clear desired outcome and the specific actions needed to move toward that outcome. Clarity + Action = Results