Can’t find enough hours in the day, or feel you could use your time far more effectively? Then you need to become a Time Finder. This simple technique uncovers your lost hours and gives you total control of the minutes in your life.
Following this strategy leaves you with inspiration, bright ideas and a sense of fulfilment. Follow the Time Finder Plan and change your life.
Achieving Your Goals
1. Keep a balanced exercise programme – you really do have the time to achieve everything that’s important to you, and keeping fit and healthy will help you make the most of it.
2. Enjoy what you do and you’ll do it faster without time-wasting. Having clear goals will increase your enjoyment and confidence.
3. Accept the fact that you don’t have time for everything. Make conscious choices about what you’re going to do. Don’t feel obliged – or guilty – about the other things.
4. Continually refine your goals. Make them specific and measurable, so you can monitor your progress.
5. Include all aspects of your life to an equal extent. That’s professional, financial, physical/recreational, social, intellectual, cultural and spiritual. Refine and prioritise these goals so you know exactly where you’re aiming.
6. Ask yourself how you can make each of these goals happen. When you’ve identified the necessary actions, success is easier to find.
7. Use specialists to help you with certain problems. Remember – you’re not expected to know everything!
How To Take Decisive Action
8. Take actions more decisively and you’ll feel more confident. Do everything thoroughly the first time. Being half-hearted gets the job half done, and means you’ll have to waste time going back and doing it again.
9. Do one thing at a time. This keeps focus and prevents any loose ends.
10. If a meeting is serving no purpose for your business or personal fulfilment, be brave and cut it short.
11. Reduce overlong telephone calls. Be clear before you start the call what you want to say and what outcomes you want. Make notes to help keep you focused.
12. Recognize that some of your time will be spent on activities outside your control. Don’t fight this – it’s a fact of life.
13. Set a deadline for each of your tasks and stick to it like glue!
14. Do the most vital tasks now. You’ll find you’re more relaxed at home.
15. Allow some open space within your day. This helps to keep you flexible and allows for the unexpected.
16. Don’t hold off starting something you don’t want to do. It rarely gets easier with time.
17. Ask yourself ‘would anything terrible happen if I didn’t do this priority item?’ If the answer’s no, then don’t waste time on it.
18. Try to find a new technique each day to help gain time.
Time Generating Office Skills
19. Teach yourself to double your reading speed, to take in more information and make your decision-making process swifter and easier.
20. Use time spaces when they appear in your day. Taking the attitude ‘it’s only half an hour’ is not good enough. Within that half hour you could draft a letter, speak to someone or think of a new business contact. All your time is precious.
21. Keep a writing pad on your desk. You’ll find it easier to explain details to someone when they can see what you’re talking about. You can also make notes as a conversation goes on, and don’t have to fill in the gaps later from memory.
22. Be on time for all your meetings, appointments and scheduled events. You don’t gain anything from being late, except setting a bad impression and being ill-prepared for business.
23. Use your diary so you know what you have to achieve each day and build in meetings and other commitments around this.
24. Always keep your diary with you so you know what you are meant to be doing!
25. Generate as little paperwork as possible. This way you won’t waste time filing it.
26. Continually ask yourself ‘what’s the most important use of my time right now?’
27. Instead of others coming to you with problems, encourage them to also bring you a possible solution. That way you won’t feel put on the spot, and you’ll have something on which to base your own solution ideas.
28. Organize your office using the ABC system. Everything you use on a regular basis, class as an A item and always have it on hand. Do the same with B and C items where B are used fairly regularly and C items are for reference only.
29. Clean your desk as you finish work each day, as if your place of work were your bedroom. It means you can return tomorrow refreshed, and work from a clean start. This is a great help both practically and mentally.
30. Keep referring back to this document to check that you’re still making the most of your time. Never underestimate the power of efficiency!