The first and foremost step you must take to succeed in bettering your time management skills is that you need to take a firm decision. Decisiveness is the most important requirement.
Step 2 of the process is also the key to unlock your way towards success in bettering your time management skills. What’s that key?
The second most important requirement for becoming a better manager of your time is that you should have clarity of purpose and you should have clear goals and objectives. It is said that the 80% of success that people achieve in any area of their life is because of the clarity they have in what exactly they want and when they want it.
If you want to succeed in bettering your time management skills or at anything for that matter, you need to decide exactly what it is that you want. You can have what you want if you are ready to pay the price IN ADVANCE. Any success requires that you pay the price before you can be adorned with success and its perks. If you do that, you will find yourself succeeding and becoming better in anything you want to improve in life.
The following are the few things that you need to do in order to have complete clarity before you begin working for any goal, in this context, time management.
Decide what exactly you want:
First of all, you need to decide what exactly you want in a clear and a specific manner. If all you want is to have a better body, that’s not good enough. You need to have specific achievable measurable goals. So, get specific enough to make your goals measurable and achievable. If your goal is to have a better body, the goal itself is hazy. What do you mean by a better body? Is it to be fitter? Is it to have the body of a bodybuilder? Or is it to lose fat? Is it to reduce 10kgs? You need to be as specific as possible. This is just an example. Take any generic goal that you might have and bring up as much specifics as you can. The more specific the goal, the easier it is to achieve.
Write it down:
Write your specific goals down in a note. A magical thing happens when you start writing things on a paper instead of a word document or a spreadsheet. There seems to be a magical connection between your hand and your mind in a way that just writing things down seems to influence the mind in wanting to accomplish it.
A goal not in writing is nothing but a mere wish. There is no energy in that goal. It doesn’t matter if you think about it twenty times a day. If it is not in writing, it’s merely a wish. When you write things down, and you repeat it in your mind, you give energy to your goal. This will push you forward with respect to working towards your goals.
Set a deadline:
A goal with a deadline is more motivating than a goal without one. What happens when you set a deadline is that your mind starts giving you a sense of urgency to complete the task as you near your deadline. It acts as a forcing system and keeps you accountable for all the time you spend.
If your goal is a big one, break that goal into a lot of sub-goals. If it would take a few years to achieve a goal, you have to break that goal into sub-goals and set a deadline to each and every one of them. The best thing to do is to have the deadlines in terms of weeks or one to two months for every sub-goal. That way, you will work on the right things in the short term, and you also won’t lose sight of the long term goal.
Make a list of everything that you should do:
Once you have decided your goal, sub-goals, written them down with their deadlines, the first thing you need to do is, research and identify all the things you will need to do for every single sub-goal.
With the list of goals and sub-goals, attach this list of every single thing that you need to do to accomplish every one of those sub-goals.
Organize a plan:
Now, you have everything you need to begin. All that is needed now is for you to plan. The surprising thing about planning is that, when you are committed to working hard and smart in order to accomplish what you want, nothing furthers your progress as much as having a clear cut plan does. So, prioritize every sub-goal, put first things first and create a proper plan. Plan for every week, every month and have everything written down on paper. If it is not on paper, it’s not there.
Dive into action:
Once you have done the above steps, dive right into action. Don’t wait for the perfect moment, the perfect day to start, for your situation to be perfect or for everything to fall into place. Do something. Do anything. As long as you do the things that in one or the other way impact your goals, you will progress every single day. Remember that only gradual, constant and consistent effort will get you there and not short spikes of hugely productive days in between complacent days.
Do something everyday:
When you have a goal and you do something every single day, without taking any day off, you can start seeing progress in as little as a month and you will achieve so much in as little as a year. Let’s say you want to learn to play the piano. You go to classes every weekend. If you practice the piano every single day in a proper way, one year down the road, you will find that you have made so much progress than many of your peers did. Consistent and gradual progress every single day by doing something every day will take you farther than anything else will.
Sit down and do the following.
- Define your goal.
- Identify sub-goals, preferably in a manner that they are achievable within 2 months max.
- Prioritize those sub-goals.
- Set deadlines for each sub-goal.
- Organize a plan for each sub-goal.
- Write everything down on paper, in a note preferably.
- Dive into action.
- Do something everyday that will contribute to your immediate sub-goal.
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