My young friend and personal trainer is a budding entrepreneur. Between gasps for breath we’ve been discussing his business plan, which he is struggling to finish. His problem, like many business people I know, is finding the time.
The truth is we all have the same amount of time, but have you noticed that really busy people always seem to have the time they need? Let’s talk about high performance time secrets.
The first common time use trait I see is a keen awareness of what matters. Highly effective people set goals that are time limited and they always seem to have so many that ordinary people scratch their heads and wonder how they get them all accomplished.
The second trait is what makes the first work: urgency. Above average performers have a strong sense of urgency to achieve their goals and have an internal drive to get them done as fast as possible. When they set time limited goals they often underestimate the time required to achieve them but work with urgency to finish. This can lead to a disconnect with ordinary people for whom manana is always possible – but they accomplish a lot.
The third thing I’ve noticed seems a bit paradoxical. People who continually accomplish more than others have an unusual degree of patience. By this I don’t mean that they are laid back or are at war with themselves internally, (after all they are urgent) but they put their plans in perspective. They tend to understand that some things take time to accomplish and so their daily urgency is balanced by long term thinking. They plan their business, their personal lives and what they intend to get done in one year, three years, and even further in advance.
People who really accomplish a lot use all their time. They know that when they are eating, engaged in recreation, driving, brushing their teeth, sleeping and other normally nonproductive times that their subconscious mind can be employed to continue working on creative solutions. They engage neuro linguistic techniques to ask themselves questions like, “how can I …?” and are tuned in to the answers their sub conscious provides, even when they come at odd times.
World class time maximizers automatically use “chunking” to make the most of the time they have available. They have learned, somehow, what science has demonstrated conclusively, which is that when we do a series of similar or related tasks at the same time, we do them faster and more effectively. Dan Sullivan of The Strategic Coach employs this in his “Entrepreneurial Time System” which I’ve been using for the last eleven years to leverage myself. Other highly effective business management coaching systems like, The Entrepreneurial Operating System, teach similar techniques.
Successful time managers also make sure they get plenty of rest. Unlike workaholics they understand that the mind and body need to take a break. They provide for complete mental downtime regularly knowing this is what fuels creativity and accomplishment.
How about you? Do you wish you had more time? Try some of these proven techniques and discover how much more you can accomplish and how much fuller your life becomes.