Are you struggling with time management? People often use the term “time management” when discussing productivity. Yet, is this phrasing correct? Are we genuinely managing time? No, we aren’t. Time passes, one second after another, and you can’t do a thing to stop it. In truth, you can’t manage something that is completely beyond your control.
It is my hope that, after going through these so-called time management tips, you’ll realize that accomplishing things is a matter of managing activities instead of time. Deciding what to do and when is the cornerstone of productivity.
Read on for ten activity management tips that will change your life:
1. Brian Tracy; CEO of Brian Tracy International: Plan your day in advance
“The best exercise is for you to plan your entire next day as the last thing you do before coming home from work. When you plan your day the night before, your subconscious then goes to work on your plans and goals while you are asleep. Very often you will wake up in the morning with ideas and insights that apply to the work of the day.”
2. Jason Goldberg, CEO of Fab.com: Focus on one thing at a time
“Pick one thing and do that one thing – and only that one thing – better than anyon else ever could”.
3. Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project: Prioritize
“Force yourself to prioritize so that you know that you will finish at least that one critical task during the period of the day when you have the most energy and the fewest distractions.”
4. Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook: Pick one day to focus on your individual work
“Pick one day a week that you and your team can focus on getting individual work done without any interruptions like meetings. At Asana, we have No Meeting Wednesdays established to encourage flow and productivity across the company.”
5. Steve Jobs: Delegate
“There’s no excuse for employees to have any confusion after a meeting. An effective Apple meeting will include an “action list,” and next to each action item is a “DRI” — a directly responsible individual who must ensure the task is accomplished.”
6. Warren Buffett: Say no most of the time
“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”
7. Richard Branson: Conduct your meetings standing up
“One of my favorite tricks is to conduct most of my meetings standing up. I find it to be a much quicker way of getting down to business, making a decision, and sealing the deal. When given the opportunity, I often like to take things a step further – literally, with a walking meeting.”
8. Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot: Have time to think
“I try to think a lot and try to increase the amount of time I spend thinking about things versus on the phone or in a meeting… I see people working a lot, and I say what’s your time spent thinking versus working?”
9. Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder of Airbnb: Do the real work in the morning
“I try to fill my calendar in reverse, from the end-of-day to earlier; I try to reserve the morning for doing ‘real work.’ I find I can focus more in the morning, whereas it’s harder to get focused after having been bombarded by meetings, so I try to save meetings for later in the day.”
10. Benjamin Franklin: Build a consistent day-to-day schedule with time for self-reflection
Here is Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule according to his autobiography:
“5: Rise, wash.
6: Powerful goodness! The morning. Morning prayer and plan for the day. [He asks himself], “What good business shall I do today?”
7: Study, and breakfast.
12-2: Read or overlook accounts, and dine.
4-6: Evening rest.
6: Put things in their places, ie: cleaning and organizing
7: Reflect on the day with the question: “What good have I done today?”
8: Supper, music, or diversion, or conversation
9: Examination of the day
Featured photo credit: Nathan Blecharczyk via i.ytimg.com