The 4 Core Principles of Breakthrough Time Management

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Today, more than ever, you are asked to do much more with less; more work in less time, more success with less money, better results with smaller teams, and more innovation with fewer resources.

The impact on your time doubles or triples when you take on more roles within your company, and at different companies, organizations, boards, and associations.

Some may have the resources to get help, but most, especially lean entrepreneurs, find that they must become masters of time and energy management, especially that it’s getting increasingly difficult to find great dependable people.

 

1. Believe You Can Do Better

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. ~ Napoleon Hill

Belief here is not about faith; it’s about how you see things. While belief by itself won't give you anything unless you take action, however, belief opens up your mind to the possibilities you can create and the new opportunities that can come up as a result.

Belief widens your vision and, as a result, you start noticing things that you haven’t noticed before, you become more open to thinking differently, and you start finding different ways of doing things.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right. ~ Henry Ford

Put simply, if you don’t believe that it’s possible to manage your time and do more with less, then you won’t!

2. Speed - Become Faster:

Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. ~ H. Jackson Brown

The inescapable truth is that, like everyone else, you only have 24 hours in a day. So the number one way to do more in less time is to become faster.

Whatever you are doing there is a faster way of doing it, you just haven’t found it yet.

Here is a list to help you get started:

No PC: No matter how much time you have, all it takes is a PC to put your whole digital life at risk. Don’t argue with this, buy a Mac.

  • It’s faster than a PC, much faster. 

  • It has fewer problems, and it gets out of the way while you get shit done

  • Everything just works, you don’t have to spend forever trying to connect your printer, get the projector to work, or figure out how to turn on the freaking Bluetooth!

  • PCs become slower in time, a Mac always delivers 

PS: buy the latest Mac, older is slower.

While this may seem like an Apple ad, let me assure you it’s not. I was an avid PC user until 2007, and I refused to use Mac. To me, Apple created “better-designed PCs”, until I got to try one, and experienced the points mentioned above and much more. That was it for me; I just couldn’t come back to slower and dumber technology.

The moment there is a better, faster, smarter alternative to Macs and Apple software, I will be the first to move to it.

No Cloud Software: Stop using cloud-based services when you have a desktop alternative. Desktop software is always faster, more reliable, and works anywhere even when there is no internet connection.

No Alpha Software: It may be cool to brag about how tech savvy you are and the plethora of early adopter services you use! You are not a genie pig, and you need to get shit done! Look for a different way to support your fellow entrepreneurs like introducing them to early adopters instead of being the early adopter! You must spend every moment of your time on effectively getting shit done.

No Office: sorry Microsoft, iWork is just BETTER, much faster, clutter free and a HUGE time saver. With Keynote, you can easily cut the time of doing presentations by 80% while making them look worlds apart from those crappy, me too, death by powerpoint presentations. With Pages, you can design brochures, e-books and make documents look like a whole marketing team worked on them while cutting the time to do them by 50%.

With Pages, you can design brochures, e-books and make documents look like a whole marketing team worked on them while cutting the time to do them by 50%.

P.S. I have no idea how much time you can cut from on doing Excel sheets, I just refuse to use it after I started using Numbers.

No Manual Labor - Automat Stuff: if you use certain programs regularly, have them in front of you, and have your computer open them up for you when it opens. Have the browser open up with the websites and pages you regularly use already open, so you don’t even have to open the bookmarks to open them. Use a password tool like LastPass to log you in automatically to websites, so you don’t waste time writing your login details.

If you have multiple identities on certain websites save the time of login in and out by using Chrome People feature.

No Gmail: use Mac mail or a Mac client. Even if the internet is superb, and there is no chance in hell it will ever slow down or go down where you live or work, the experience of using Mac Mail beats the crap out of the online email experience. Plus there will be times when you need to work away from any internet connection, while on the move, or when you need to focus and shut your internet off.

No Mobile! Yeah yeah it’s a mobile world, blah blah blah, but not for you. You are super busy, and you’ve got things to do. You will be spending at least 50% of your time on email and documents. And on the small screen, the use of fingers instead of mouse and keyboard will cost you 50-80% of your productivity.

Yes you are mobile and on your way to get things done, but you are ineffective, get a Macbook air if you are on the move, but never work off of your mobile unless it’s the only choice, it’s a productivity killer.

3. Prioritize First:

If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got. ~ Lee Iacocca

The tendency when you are pressured for time, and you have a lot to do to get right into it, that is the biggest mistake you can make, and it will always cost you a lot of wasted time.

The ultimate key to success is to make sure you are working on the right thing at the right time in the right way for the right reasons. You can’t do that if you jump right into the action without taking time to strategize and prioritize.

The three keys to strategic prioritization are:

A. First check your calendar for the week: open your calendar and get a sense of the landscape of how you will be spending your time today and for the next seven days.

That will almost always give you the main things you need to be working on to be ready for meetings, client delivery, deadlines and so on.

Hint: That is why you need to place everything you want to happen on your calendar, not just meetings, but you need to block time to execute and to get anything else done.

B. Choose the things you will be working on and the thing you will not.

SUPER IMPORTANT: while it’s great to continue to add things to your endless to-do list instead of leaving them swimming in your head, your list must have no control over you, you control it. CHOOSE the things that you will work on and leave the rest.

So the big strategic question is which ones will you work on and how many?

The answer is to choose the things that if not done your day will be a waste, you will be in trouble, and it will cause a disaster or a huge delay. You will know what they are! 

A good indicator that a task should be a priority is that the moment you look at it, you feel the world is on your shoulder, and it sends you into deep and meaningless thought, you procrastinate on it the most, and you find anything to do other than doing it. That is it, that is the task, do it first.

Once you start, touch nothing else until it's done, then and only when it's done take on anything else. That is your answer to how many - one at a time - multitasking is a myth!

C. Go to work and don’t stop until it's done. You should be able to handle anything between 1-3 big tasks a day, that will give you a productivity of 5-15 big tasks a week, and that is huge, you can achieve huge breakthroughs doing that.

 

4. Be Flexible:

The only constant in life is change! Yes, I know, you just looked at your calendar yesterday, and you had your whole week figured out, but that is not real!

You will never “find” time for anything. If you want time, you must make it. ~ Charles Bruxton

The reality is that things change, priorities shift, projects get stuck, and people procrastinate, and that’s why your starting point every day, and sometimes a few times during the day is to check your calendar and see what changed, someone may have approved a meeting request, or you receive a request to meet with someone you have been chasing for the past 3 months, a team member quits and now you have to fill in, or find someone who will… etc

Be flexible, go back to your priorities and reset them, choose and go to work.