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Some people I have worked with, as well as friends, are amazed at a number of things I accomplish in short periods of time. They ask how I do it. Time management is the key ingredient. Every task takes time.
Most people have ideas, but few execute these ideas into reality. That is what I specialize in. More on idea validation in a future post. Taking ideas into reality within a reasonable time frame is time management.
Our time is valuable. The money will come and go. Time does not come back into our lifetime. Use it wisely. Don’t waste it.
Everyone has 168 hours in a week. Whether you are homeless or a billionaire, we all share the same time. You chose what you do with every hour. What do you do with your time is a choice. You chose to focus (or not) on something and spend the time to do something (or not).
You choose where you live, where you work, when you eat, when you sleep, even when you go to the bathroom.
Get rid of time wasters
It amazes me how people waste their time…
Stop standing in lines or waiting
Many people know about Amazon Now beyond books, but now you can order things online, including coffee before getting to the cafe, have groceries delivered and (soon) schedule an Uber to pick you up. There is often a better and faster way to spend more time where you need to spend time instead of wasting it.
I used to spend up to 10% my week researching things like this online and in person.
No excessive entertainment
Everyone has their own priorities. Playing video games to reach a specific goal. Catch up on a specific TV series of TV. Watch hit movies. Doing things that will only slow you down even more and achieve nothing.
List your top 25 goals/priorities. Organize them in priority order.
Stop doing the bottom 20. Cold hard stop. Focus on the top 5 only.
Months later, revisit that list of 25 to see if those other 20 are still important to you. Likely not so much. Refocus as goals/priorities change over time
Use your freedom with purpose
You likely have a lot of freedom in your day to day life. We all have 168 hours every week, not 40. What do you use your freedom for?
What have you achieved with your own freedom? Are these life goals? Checking off bucket list items? Have you improved the world or your world somehow?
Or are you repeating fairly worthless tasks? Being “too busy” is the biggest cop-out robbing yourself of your own time, your own mindset and your own freedom to accomplish, to fulfill and to satisfy what matters to you.
Stop being a sheep
Paraphrasing General Patton, “You can lead, follow or get out of the way”.
You can follow someone else’s dream (like most people) or you can work on your own dream. Pick one.
Lead, don’t follow. Stop worrying about what others think about you or what other people say about what your doing. Other people’s opinions are their own.
Don’t follow the crowds. The other path will be less crowded for a reason.
Follow your goals to your dream, not the paths already taken by others. Your life is not paint by numbers.
If you read Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (Revised and Expanded): The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Lack of Focus, Anger, and Memory Problems, I will paraphrase the author Dr. Daniel G. Amen:
“When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking of you.
When you’re 40, you don’t give a damn what anybody thinks of you
When you’re 60, you realize nobody’s been thinking about you at all.”
Now imagine living your life from age 18 knowing and believing this. What is possible now? Now that you know this start now regardless of your age.
Realize what you are in control of
You do not control everything. Realize what you have control over and what you don’t control.
Don’t waste time with what you have no control over unless you can influence those that can make a difference directly.
Do not participate in any drama. It improves nor solves nothing.
If you have to face drama, walk through any drama through all scenarios to their end states. As you envision them, you will see how pointless and baseless most of these are.
There is always what you’re in control of. If some dies, there is nothing you can do except bury them. If you get fired or laid off from your job, you can focus your energy on finding another position.
Prioritize your intentions with focused action.
Is that higher risk? Sure. You might fail a few times, and in the process, you will learn a lot more as well.
Is it more lonely? Yes, that can be part of the point. Less noise. Less distraction if you are self-aware of the distractions around you. Limit the distractions. Have you read Indistractable?
We can learn more from our failures and learn even more overcoming our challenges.
We do not learn as much from our successes, regardless of the number.
Segment your time
Themed days works for you some people like having Meeting Mondays.
Some have a morning routine or a daily routine, possibly for your own betterment.
Are you a giver, matcher or taker?
Have you read Give and Take? Most people are matchers. Yes, Quid Pro Quo. Some greedy people are simply takers who ask for a lot and give nothing back.
A few people are givers. I am a giver… of my time. Because most people don’t do this and are often matchers, they want to match what I do for them in return, but don’t understand how they could possibly match the value I provide them. This blows their mind because they encounter it so rarely. Matchers wait for an ask or sales pitch from a giver (that does not come). Takers mistaken being a giver as a weakness they can exploit, so takers attempt to take advantage of the giver. However, takers find out later being a giver is a strength that they do not have, takers fail to see the long term purpose of the givers actions and it usually blows up in the face of the greedy taker. There are rarely any short term gains, except for the giver.
Get someone else to do tasks for you 24/7/365
Most of us sleep. Why not have tasks done that are non-critical, (not business drivers, but support tasks) while we sleep or anytime for that matter. Use time zones to your advantage.
You could mow a lawn if you have a lawn or you can pay someone to do it faster and better. Time gained, even if the time is to rest longer/more.
This is why I send audio podcasts to be edited to Upwork at night before I go to sleep and review them by breakfast time. I pay a small fee for this. Well worth it.
This is why I send approved audio to be transcribed into text to Rev within 24 hours for a small fee. Not worth my time to try and transcribe it myself. Someone can do this far better than me. Be self-aware of tasks you do yourself and ask yourself why do you do it yourself. Why not delegate someone else to accomplish it and maybe even do it better. That’s ok too.
I leverage global crowdsourced work forces to do task that can do it better, faster and cheaper than I could ever want to do it. It makes little difference where the work is being done as long as it is being done well enough to save you the time and effort of doing it yourself.
Humans vs. machines saving you time
Many of us are using more artificial intelligence (AI) to augment or simply do our tasks for us. Eventually, these will be good enough to do the tasks for us. These are tasks we don’t need humans to be doing so we could focus on more important things. The tipping point for AI to be ubiquitous is not there yet due to quality concerns and luddites. As I interviewed people on Tagging.tech, many of the AI technologies are focusing on user experience and speed. Since we have no patience, speed for the results are important. However, the accuracy of results still matter, even though humans are not getting any more accurate. Some AI experts claim another 10 to 15 years of development before these can be that good.
Then, what are we going to do with our time? Imagine not being burdened with tasks you don’t want to do and imagine what you could accomplish with that freedom.
One thought on “How do I: manage time”
Great to see that you find opportunities in the emergence of AI instead of a threat. True, we as humans “just” have to move up the value-chain and work on higher-level tasks and let machines do the routine, low-level work. I also liked your description of the giver’s attitude. I think for some, giving comes naturally (including myself, as I’m also a podcaster) and even though giving is described in many books, the ones who should actually learn it from such sources, do not put that into practice. Giving or giving to get (because of something called reciprocity) is more powerful than many can even imagine.