Your life is about more than just your job. To live a balanced life, you must pay attention to everything that’s important to you. That’s how I do it. My approach is neat, orderly, and it works. I know exactly what I expect of myself and when–and so does everyone else. Here’s the kicker though: when it’s time to work, I go into action mode. I get off my butt and get moving. You have 1,440 minutes in the 24-hour day. I call it the greatest gift of all. When you realize that the time you have is neither greater nor less than that of others, the question then is not how much time you have for doing things but how you spend that time.
Can you give a minute-by-minute, or even an hour-by-hour, account of how you spent the day? Success boils down to ranking those 1,440 minutes by priority. How much of your time was used wisely and productively? More important, how much of your time today was wasted? Time wasted cannot be regained. It’s a cancelled check—worth nothing. I guard my time like it is gold. In fact, to me, it’s worth even more than gold, because you can’t buy a sack of time with a sack of gold.
The hardest thing to recapture in life is lost time. It’s virtually impossible. Effective use of time is critical to organizing a plan to achieve your goals. Organize a plan of action that keeps you focused on winning. It is critical that you keep your train of thought focused on the task at hand and not drift into unnecessary distractions. If you know exactly what you intend to do first thing in the morning, that knowing motivates a lot more than an attitude of wait and see. Don’t be one of those people who looks back on his or her life saying, “If only I had made better use of my time”. Organizing your time forces you to look ahead—to plan for and anticipate the unexpected.
I urge people who are out to reach the top to follow these principles:
- Recognize the value of time. It is the most precious gift. Make every minute count.
- Take Control of the time allotted to you. Use your allotted time wisely and productively. Stay on top of things. That means staying on top of time.
- Establish Priorities. Go over your tasks. List what should be done at the beginning of the day and what can be handled at the end.
- Learn to delegate carefully. Free yourself to do what are your primary responsibilities and pass on other tasks to assistants. Make sure you delegate to top-notch people.
- Don’t procrastinate. Procrastination is the thief of time. Never put off until tomorrow what you should be doing today.
Effective use of time is critical to achieve your goals. As long as you plan where you’re going ahead of time, and know where you’re going, you’ll get there. Success comes faster to those who plan for it. Having an organized plan is a must for efficient use of time. And that’s one of the major keys to success.