In this post I reveal some truths that may just help you get back to the reason that drives you, your “why”.
Myth: You can save time.
There is no way you can bank unused hours. Each hour gets spent. Time is the most democratic of resources. Everyone is given the same amount every day. Since every minute is nonrenewable, all that matters is how you are using your time this minute.
You might recognize these two colleagues who started work in the same department at the same time.
He can take days to respond to messages.
He surrounds himself with stacks of papers on every available surface.
His family has not had dinner with him in the last month.
He complains about the amount of work he is expected to get done.
He is too tired to do anything extra on weekends, so ends up watching TV.
He is bitter about not being given a job with more responsibility.
He has never missed a deadline.
He leaves his desk cleared at the end of each day.
He holds board positions on 3 community associations.
He coaches his son’s baseball team
He takes his full allotment of vacations each year.
He has been promoted several times within the company.
Truth: You can manage time.
If you are acting like John but want to live like Tom, start by deciding what your priorities are, both long-term and short-term. Every activity you perform should be measured against those priorities to ensure that the most important ones get done first.
Once you know where you are headed, create daily systems to deal with all the incoming items. The proverbial “Handle a piece of paper one time only” does not work. However the underlying meaning for that has validity. You need to make a decision the first time on every item coming into your office and into your life.
To make the decision, use my RAFT method to navigate through the stacks and keep you from getting swamped: READ, ACT, FILE, TOSS. Every item and every task will fit into one of those categories. The most difficult one for most people is the ACT section.
To determine where to place an action file, ask yourself two questions:
What is my next step?
When will I have a reasonable chance of doing this?
With your priorities defined and your daily actions set up, you are free to focus on one thing at a time. You are now managing your time instead of letting others manage it for you.
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I was listening to Johnny Cash the other day and heard the words “Get Rhythm, When You Get The Blues” in a song. While you may quarrel with my choice of music, the message is key to success in life and in business. Rhythm may be defined here as a system or flow of the things that you do in different areas (work or play) or the overall organization of your life. Or you could define rhythm as something that goes on inside of you to give you the bounce in your step, or a certain swagger. It could even mean that you play or listen to some great music to replace the woes in your mind.
Robert Kiyosaki, in his Rich Dad series, stresses the importance of having a business system to create wealth. A business system is something that can pretty much run on autopilot for much of the time. The business system removes you, as the owner, from the day to day tasks that must be done to make money. This frees up your time for longer range planning, pursuing new ideas, networking, and even family & recreation activities. Without a business system, you would have to be working the business to make money which is more like having a job than a business.
Many stay at home internet marketing business' are great systems. Starting at about an hour per day, the business can be on-line and making money for the whole 24 hours of the day. Choices have to be made on how to spend your time on the business.
For example, I could hire someone else to do article writing for me but it is something I enjoy so I do it. However the ten dollars and more that it costs to buy an article that someone else writes for you is a great time saving option and critical for those who can't or don't want to write articles.
The bottom line is to make the most productive use of your time possible by leveraging other peoples time or business systems to help you make money.
Once these things are set up, then we spend out time fine tuning them and pursuing new initiatives. Whatever business we choose, we need to set it up as a system, or series of systems, so that we do not have to be physically present in order that it generates income.
Bob Proctor also strongly advocates the use of business systems such as Network Marketing. He tells us that they provide the fairest form of compensation that there is for our efforts. Additionally, he states that 96% of people will never be wealthy because they trade their limited time for money either as wage earners or professionals. To be wealthy we need to invest our money or have a business system. And generally, the way we get our money to invest is from our business systems. So set up your business system for wealth creation.
In the movie “The Secret” Proctor recommends that we put on a piece of great music when we are feeling down and that we will begin to feel good. As we set up and build our business system, we need to deal with the problems and move on. It is important to acknowledge what went wrong, be it a poor decision or outside influences and learn from it thereby avoiding an encore.
So the focus is to move ahead with our business system. And actually, it you do get rhythm and put on some great music, no matter how you feel, that feeling will improve.