I am still in the process of putting this aspect of time mastery in to practice every day. It is so easy to say “yes” to anything and everything that comes your way because you always want to be friendly and helpful. The unfortunate reality of saying yes to everything is we then have to spend valuable time getting out of things we shouldn’t have got ourselves into from the start. The best technique I have found is to say “to be totally honest and up front with you, I can’t right now but if anything changes I’ll let you know straight away”. This allows you to focus on the things that are most important to you and stops you from adding to an already carefully balanced list of activities.
2. DO THE SAME AMOUNT IN HALF THE TIME
There are many situations when you could be successfully doing two things at once. You can get really creative with this and it actually becomes quite fun. I know that exercise will always be on my action plan for the day and I also know that listening to some educational material will be as well. All I do is listen to the audios whilst I‘m exercising, easy. You may be committed to playing with your children every day and also want to find time to do some light exercise. Why not go play with a ball game with your children in a nearby park? Have a think about where you can make this technique work in your life and the results can be wonderfully time saving.
How many times have you allotted an hour for an activity and it has taken two? Whenever you are planning your days, weeks or months make sure to realise that things often take longer than you would think. Adopting this mindset ultimately saves you time and any unnecessary stress. Your productivity will start to plummet as you notice the clock ticking on and on and you realise that you are going to have to be ‘playing catch up’ with your to do list. When you overestimate the time it will take to do every task on your to do list then the worst that can happen is that it will take as long as you have predicted but most likely you will be so relaxed in the knowledge that you have enough time that you will find yourself in the wonderful position of being ‘ahead of schedule’.
4. LEARN FROM THE BEST AND SAVE TIME
I had no idea how to write to book, how to market a book, how to structure a book, how to speak about a book…you get the idea. I now have a book coming out in less than 2 weeks, that would have probably taken 3 years longer to create if I hadn’t sought out the people at the top of my field, purchased their books and attended their seminars that explained how to execute the whole process. In effect, I would have ‘wasted time’. It is absolutely crucial that you find a role model and find out what they did to create their success. Whatever career or endeavour you are in there is someone who either got to the level that you want to get to or managed to find a way to leave that job and do what you ultimately want to do. Find these people, interview them, buy their books, and attend their courses because this investment of time and money in the short term will pay dividends in the rest of your life. You will save yourself, literally, years.