Reading time; about 3 to 4 minutes, and; this could be the most powerful 4 minutes you could invest in reading.

Recently I did an online training on the topic of habits, and that led me to thinking about how I was super productive with my time when I was younger.

And that led me to thinking about the current conversations around time:

  • You can’t manage time, you can only manage yourself
  • Don’t manage time, transform it
  • Manage tasks, not time
  • Manage your decisions, not your time
  • Prioritize correctly and it will all work out

You can go to Google and see page after page on tips and techniques on how to manage time, or whatever the term of the day is for time management.

Here’s the bottom line: You don’t manage time, you manage yourself.

Please read that again.

Time Management

You choose what you will do, when you will do it, how you will do it, and what priority it has in your life.

If you do this on a conscious level, it works out. When you let tasks have the priority of choosing what is important, the task is running you.

For many years I planned the actions for the following day in the evening before. I would prioritize them based on an A, B or C scale. I would then give, as accurate as I could, a time frame for completion and I usually erred on the side of more time than less time.

I looked at the actions or tasks based on the 80/20 rule. What action is most likely to produce the greatest result?

This is similar to evaluating the items on the list as:

  • Important and urgent: This has to be done right away.
  • Important but not urgent: Determine when I will work on this.
  • Urgent but not important: These are tasks you delegate where possible and follow up.
  • Not urgent or important: These can be set aside for later, or be placed on a “never to-do” list.

This process was back-in-the-day before smartphones and other computer programs in the 1990s. It started with a reminder of who I was committed to being and what I committed to do. I made up the form and it was half of an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper printed on both sides.

Here is a sample of what it looked like:

Rennie Gabriel, The Financial Coach, Inc.  (818) 990-8086

Daily Action Plan for  _______________________   Date: ____-____-____

1.     I live in a world of joy, prosperity & relationships. We empower
people to create and maintain financial prosperity easily and effortlessly.
2.     This week I will…
Time               Task                            Notes                           Delegate to:
                                                                                    New Appointments
3.     Update income and expenses             _______________________
4.     Complete the day                                _______________________
5.     Prepare next day action plan              _______________________

Here is the actual form:Either in conjunction with the Daily Action Plan or separately once per year, I would do a time study writing down what I did or accomplished every 15 minutes. While this might seem to consume too much time to write something every 15 minutes to document how you spend your time, it only takes 5-10 seconds to document.

And the information it provides is invaluable: It lets you know if you are spending the time you need for marketing. It allows you to see if you are wasting your time on paperwork and what you could delegate or how much time you’re wasting driving. It’s all based on what you are willing to measure and document, and no one else but you needs to see it.

The next form is from a time study I did in 1998. You will see the columns across the top for the areas I wanted to measure; driving, phone calls, client meetings, personal time, office paperwork, office other, prospecting, publishing, reading, EAPA (networking), writing, other, networking (other).

The time span covers from 7:00 AM to Midnight, which would cover the working day for most people. And you can adjust the form to meet your hours; I had to tack on the time from 7:00 PM to Midnight because that was missing on the original.

From a time study I did in March of 2020, just prior to the pandemic and sheltering at home, I spent only 4.5 hours in client or prospect meetings. Unfortunately, that wasn’t per day; that was over 16 days! That would be a sure-fire way to go broke if I didn’t already achieve Complete Financial Choice®.

Like another wealthy man said when asked about his working hours, he commented, “I only work part-time: Out of 24 hours I only work 16 and sleep eight.” But if you use your time powerfully, apply the 80/20 rule, and delegate the appropriate tasks, you can spend even less time working, be more productive and powerful, and spend more time enjoying life.

Opportunity to grow: Send an email to me; request a blank time sheet and fill it out. Then you can powerfully determine where you are spending your time and see if it’s going to produce the results you want in life.

To Your Prosperity,