I’ve said many times that time management is life management. As you set goals to develop your path and pursue your mission, targeted habits and routines facilitate those goals. Many of these are long-proven principles, some of which you have heard or seen on the internet or in books. They are there because they work. Here are some of my favorites:
Eat the crust first. Work on the most high-value or hardest task first. We usually eat pie from the tip of the piece with all of the filling back towards the crust; it’s comfortable and easy. If we do our work that way, we will never get to the hardest or highest value projects, so eat the crust first.
Get up early and Get adequate sleep. Benjamin Franklin said, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”? I’m not telling you what time to get up, but one hour earlier provides you with 365 hours a year or 45 days to use for your highest priorities.
Make a plan and use a planner. The most successful people think of days in terms of 15 or 30-minute blocks and plan to accomplish their most important tasks early in the day when they are mentally fresh and less likely to be interrupted. Make the plan the night before with a calendar planner.
Track what you want to get done. Whatever you want to accomplish needs to be specific and measurable, and you need to track it and your progress. Ben Franklin tracked his values in a matrix in his journal.
Make important decisions early in the day. Science tells us we have a limited reservoir of willpower that diminishes through the day. So, postpone hard decisions, especially ethical ones. Sleep on it and decide when your willpower is fully charged in the morning.
Ask two questions. Before you start any work, ask, what am I trying to accomplish? At the end of every day, ask yourself, what good did I accomplish today?
Finally, Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. Values, goals, tasks, and projects. Prioritize everything that takes any time. Do the most important thing first, see eating the crust above. Success isn’t about getting more done; it’s about getting more high-value tasks done. So plan tonight for tomorrow, scheduling your highest priority tasks earliest in the day and eating the crust first.
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Remember, “all things are possible through prayer and heavy deadlifts.”™