The Time Management Myth & The Real Focus: Setting The Stage For Victory

*Disclaimer: The Following Article Is Designed To Revamp Our Minds From The Hoards Of Misleading Information Available and Vitalize The Right Actions. Please Begin With A Clear and Open Mind. Enjoy!*

The Time Management Myth

  1. Declutter
  2. Plan
  3. Prioritize
  4. Be Effective

And so forth…

These are the kinds of guides we seek out to learn ourselves the best techniques in “managing time”. The referenced guide from the list above in particular, lists “stop procrastinating” as number 7. Which begs me to question; how a habitual procrastinator can look at number seven and suddenly be redeemed of their habitual tendency? It’s nearing “Presto-Chango” Magic, of sorts. For lasting change, I recommend an alternative approach. We will cover that in this article…

However, millions of us seek these helpful “guidelines” in anticipation of conditioning success. How can we be successful, if we start out in error initially? The answer is likely, we will not be, without significant changes. Let’s tackle the myth to better understand where the error exists.

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Myth #1: People Manage Time

This may be the single most deadliest belief to all progress and productivity. Still, this is one of the first elements people are advised to make changes to, in coaching and mentorship. I’m sure you can think back to a time where a professor or supervisor advised you to manage your time better. Me as well.

Time, my friends, is a constant. Thoughtfully, one of the most precious assets and thankfully something we did not create. Attempting to manage time, as if we can move time, is like mapping out what ages we will turn, when we will turn them, on the days that we choose. It’s already done and unchangeable, even for us ladies 😉 . It is a constant.

To raise another anecdotal example:

To manage time would be like assembling our own family tree

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I hope this was humorous to you. I did contemplate being a comedian for a short 8 Seconds. This family tree should look absolutely ridiculous to you. How I (Na-Asia), could give birth to my darling grandmother Tilly, who then gives birth to my uncle Pierre, who came from the same line as my mother Cicely, who weds my younger brother Quentin. This is definitely an ROFL moment. Let’s take that moment, shall we?

R

O

F

L

…Back to the serious topic at hand.

These examples, though outlandish, represent us if whenever we decide we can “manage” time. Time is our friend, but is not such a pushover, my control freaky friends.

So how do I create more time?

Unfortunately, this again, is the wrong question. Time is already created. Time is out of our control. Even if we make a time machine to warp us to any time and place we wanted, we would be free to then manipulate time with the extent of the consequences being returned. If we can revamp our thought process on time, it may become the valuable asset it was designed to be in our lives.

Firstly, when we look at time as a consistent constant that is out of our control, we can decipher its elusive code such as, in algebra, where there are constants and variables. Let’s break it down.

For algebraic example:

2X=20

2 and 20 are our constants. They cannot and will not be changed. We have to figure out and know what we can change in our lives to realistically and effectively make change.

X, Now that is our variable. That is what we are free to manipulate in order to achieve the our goal. The solve of our ultimate life equation.

The goal is to find what X can be in order to arrive at the answer, which is 20. For this example, let’s imagine 20 equals the 20 million dollars you wish to see in your bank account. Now we’re motivated! The trick to solving this isn’t plugging in numbers to see which could represent our variable. The strategy is to use our assets, our constants to identify what our variable should be, what it should represent. 2=Our Time Set (Remember This Is Only An Example)

Continuing the equation:

X=20/2

X=10

In this example only $10 million a year will get you to your goal. You would then, strategize your $10 million in a year.

Feel free to continue working the equation. (For the advanced students see how the variable can actually represent a constant.)

So, what do I need to do to effectively utilize the time I have?

Great question! Here are some steps you can follow to maximize your time utilization.

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The Real Focus: Setting The Stage For Victory

1. Know The Time

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Most of us believe we are “too busy” to fit anything we have to do in our schedules. Where in reality, we all have 24 hours, and some of us just need to recognize the time we do have. Schedule your days’ meals, sleep, exercise, even private hours for married couples, so you can get a feel of your daily and weekly availability. Most of us have an extra hour we are completely oblivious to. Consider reducing 30 minutes to an hour from your sleep schedule (within healthy reason), to allot to a task. If you get 4 hours of sleep per night, 3 hours and 30 minutes is not the remedy I am prescribing.

Then, write out all of your activities and time slots. This will prevent that 10 to 15 minute lag each time you try and figure out what’s next to do.

2. Breathe

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Take a moment and breathe. This is the perfect time. For some of you the first tasks may have been quite cumbersome. For you this is a breath of relief. For others, the task may have been simple, and this is breath of confirmation and elevation. You have figured out some vulnerable areas in your schedule and you now have a clear picture.

Mental health is one of the most important aspects of being effective, timewise. Breathe.

3. Cease The Snooze

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That 10 – 15 – 20 minute snooze routine you have going, is doing nothing for you. That could be a 20-minute jump on that life-changing proposal. Get to it. If you are having trouble letting go of the button, here is a trick I learned that may help. Ready? Write this down. Every time you snooze, you are snoozing your potential. Every time you snooze, you are snoozing your next level. Snoozing your breakthrough, snoozing your best life. How would you feel, if everytime you attempted to speak to someone, they hit a snooze button to your face? They did it three times (minimum)…everyday. How much more are you willing to snooze your existence? If the answer is, you aren’t, add that ceased snooze time to your availability schedule and Let Us Continue!

Now, We’re Rocking!

4. Assign Your Project/Goal

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You have a goal. Hopefully, you have already figured out what it is and you have assigned a date to it. Please Do that Now, If Not!

Now, that we are up to par

Break down that project into respective tasks that build to the completion of that project. Make benchmarks leading up to the completion that will aid you in your progress journey.

For example, if your project is due in 3 months, set a benchmark every month to identify if you are maintaining schedule. Your benchmark should include everything to be completed by that date. If you need a bit more tracking, make 3-week benchmarks or whatever you believe is most helpful to you. Perhaps you can celebrate with a cupcake or cappuccino once you achieve your benchmark leading up to the big celebration!

It is important to discipline yourself. No cupcakes for not snoozing. Do you expect the cupcake for thinking about your life? No cupcakes before your benchmark is reached. If you cheat yourself, you cheat your life.

5. Prioritize

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What? Prioritize? Seems late doesn’t it? I know. It’s late on purpose. Therefore, by definition, being right on time. By now, you should see what you’ve changed, what you still need to change and what has become perpetual. Your initial schedule should have contained the essentials. Baby / family time, sleep, spouse, and health (bathroom included).

Your goals came next. Did you schedule properly? Can you afford to spend your Thursdays with the girls? Will it be a game-changer if you skip Sunday Night Football with the guys? I don’t think so, but this is also your life. Be willing to postpone and delay gratification to obtain that goal. Your girl and guy friends will respect you more when they see you reaching and achieving. Prioritization is an excellent reflection method. Maybe use your social events as your benchmark activities, then you won’t feel like I’ve sentenced you to a life of boring workaholic reclusivity. At least someone will be happy! 😉

6. Breathe

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In deeply, out deeply. It can become overwhelming even when we do not realize it. Making time for everyone and everything, despite time already being made. Whew! Breathe.

7. Set It Up

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Get everything ready for your journey. Organize and prepare to minimize distractions.

  • Call up your friends and let them know the business is on and not to disturb without emergency.
  • Sit the family down and outline what you need from them to complete your goal/s. Give them the schedule. Let them know your benchmarks. You may be surprised how supportive your five year old can be when he or she sees you are going after something.
  • Get your house in order. Set up your workspace, plan your routes, your call list, wardrobe, meal prep schedule, and the dog too.
  • Set yourself up for success, not perfection. The more preparation you make, the more capable you will be to handle challenges that arise. Prepare yourself to be prepared.

8. Reassess As Necessary

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It has happened to the best of us. A challenge, a roadblock, a rejection, or even a perceived failure. Don’t be afraid to take a non-self-deprecating review, or speak to a trustworthy mentor to give you an outside perspective on actions you can make or change to maintain your A-game and finish strong.

9. Breathe & Stretch

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I added a step to the step. Breaking out into tears does nothing but waste time for productivity sake. Maintain your emotional and mental and physical well-being and breathe. In. Out. Stretch. Up. Down. You are capable, you have what it takes, and you are going all the way. Breathe. And continue being great.

10. Be Grateful & Finish Strong

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One of the best maximizers of time and time value is gratitude. When we spend more time being grateful for the blessings and less time complaining about the curses, then magic happens… you win. You achieve. You become great. You maximize the value of your time and the time of others as well. This enables you to focus on the upside of every situation, which navigates you to a strong finish no matter what. You’ll be able to properly make a mark by your name as a victor, even if it happens that you have to set the goal again. With the right preparation and the right mentality, you likely won’t have to!

Let’s achieve our goals together!

“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”
― Napoleon Hill

See You Soon My Enterprising Ambassadors!

This Article Is Brought To You By:

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Mentoring brings us together – across generation, class, and often race – in a manner that forces us to acknowledge our interdependence, to appreciate, in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words, that ‘we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny.’ In this way, mentoring enables us to participate in the essential but unfinished drama of reinventing community, while reaffirming that there is an important role for each of us in it.      

Marc Freedman

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