I went for that seminar too, the one where some guy bounces around preaching that the only way to become successful like him is to have a near-impossible dream and to work towards it vigorously by following a rigid daily time schedule. They call it time management. There's only one problem - it didn't work - for me at least.Get up at 8.00am, have breakfast at 8.30, do this at 9.00 and do that at 11.45. Repeat every day. I tried so many times but it all ends after I've created a beautiful schedule and pinned it on my home office notice board. After two days it sort of blends into the board and I don't see it anymore.
Has that ever happened to you?
Here's a better way to develop a workable 3-step time management plan that makes sense, especially if you're not too fond of routines or have a short attention span:
1) Sanctify Your Most Productive HoursIn my first few months a full-time writer and entrepreneur, I tried to get up early and go to bed early. After some time I realized the truth - I'm really not a morning person! I discovered that my most productive hour is between 11.00pm to 2.00am. That's when my juices really
start to flow and my mechanical brain shifts into high gear.
It's during these few hours that I produce my best writing, brainstorm my most ingenious ideas, and create my most beautiful designs. These few sacred hours are when you analyze your competition, create your strategies, and mould your game plan. It's the few precious minutes when you push yourself to think out of the box and go beyond what you think you're capable of.
Identifying your Most Productive Hour in the key to this "flexible" time management plan. When you know where it lies, you can exploit it to the max and produce better work that you ever did before.
2) Respect Your Revenue-Generating HourIt's easy to get tied up doing things that are not important. If you're an entrepreneur, the most important thing is this: making money. Do at least one Revenue-Generating Hour every day. During this hour you ONLY do things that make you money. If you're a writer, write. If you're a designer, design. If you're a marketer, make the deal-clinching call or follow-up with yesterday's hot prospect.
No checking website stats, no chatting, no answering calls and no replying emails. Those do not make money for you.
If you can, isolate yourself from all other distractions and lock yourself in a "money-machine" mode. Time yourself using a countdown timer just to put some pressure on yourself to do things fast. I leant this from Alex Mandossian, and I've been applying it religiously. If you can do one hour (it's not as easy as it sounds) then go for two or three.
Your Revenue-Generating Hour can fall in your most productive hour, but sometimes it won't if your hours are as odd as mine, or if you need to contact people during regular working hours. You'll have to do it anyways, and when you're done with an hour (I do 55 minutes) stop
everything and take a breather. Do something else. Make yourself a drink or collect your laundry.
You'll find that if you can do two or three hours you'll feel a sense of closure and achievement. All you really need in a workable time management plan is three good hours a day. The corporate time-schedule of working 9 - 5 is nonsense.
3) Reserve Your Learning and Growth Hours
Set aside an hour a day to read the news or your favorite magazine subscription just to keep updated on your industry or area of expertise. Set aside at least one hour on weekends to learn something new. Learn a new skill, or improve on existing ones.
In life you're either moving forward or slipping backwards. Learning helps you prepare for what tomorrow brings, and ensure that you're never outdated. Corporations spend millions on training and development, for a good reason – yesterday's genius is tomorrow's fool.
There it is; a simple 3-step time management plan that you actually do. It doesn't sound as scary as developing a "time prison" and following in to the minute, does it? And yet this is the only time management plan you really need to keep yourself on track to achieving better personal growth, better business results, shaper skills and wider knowledge.
And it leaves plenty of time for family and having fun, too. Who needs a $1,200 time management seminar anyways?This article was posted at iReprint.info on 2006-03-23. Webmasters and publishers are free to reprint this article as long as the resource box and all the links remain intact.
About the Author
Gobala Krishnan is an Internet entrepreneur in Malaysia. He helps frustrated employees escape from their cubicles and turn their passion into a profitable Internet based home business. Sign-up for free coaching and $1 access to tons of tips, tricks and strategies at http://www.OneDollarCoaching.com
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