Do you always run out of time? Do you try everything to manage your time but just don’t seem to succeed? So much to do and so little time! Another question: is everything that you are so busy with valuable, does it contribute to your goal (s)? If you are very honest, the answer will be “no” or at most a hesitant “yes”.
No worries, today I teach you the number 1 time management hack! And no, this title is not overrated! I show you exactly how you get more valuable work done every day.
Ready for serious time management?
You can’t manage time …!
What Wouter? Why do you write an article about time management when I cannot manage my time?
Well simple, because people search massively for time management in the search engine, they just don’t realize that they can’t manage time. In one day there are simply 24 hours, 86,400 seconds and at the time of reading, they tick one by one. You cannot change or manipulate them, so you simply cannot manage your time.
You cannot manage time, but you can manage your activities.
By managing your activities you actually get the work done that is valuable to you. Time management works best if you follow a process. And guess what, I will show you that process which will result in me sharing the number 1 time management hack with you!
What is the most important thing?
I dare say that 95% of people are concerned with ‘stupid’ things, such as:
- check social media
- check email
- answer phone calls
- chitchat via Whatsapp
Let’s face it, 99% of the time we are roaming zombies through our mailboxes and social media without knowing what is important. We are prospectors without a plan.
The most important thing is to know what is important.
Our first step to successful time management is to find out what REALLY is important. I therefore work according to the following plan:
I am grateful to Mike Sullivan of my personal mastermind for this! A simple framework with which you can easily determine what REALLY is important to you.
How do you use this framework? Well simple, look at your to-do list and place it along the matrix. And you already understand what your most important activities are: yes, they are under “urgent”, both important and not important.
The 1 – 3 – 5 method
If you know what is important and urgent and what is not important but is urgent, then it is time to organize these activities into a schedule.
PS I still haven’t shared the number 1 time management hack with you. I’m going to do that.
This planning works according to the 1-3-5 method:
- 3 important projects
- 5 “okay” tasks
Your one thing is the most important for your success. It is in the “Important and Urgent” box. You ALWAYS do your one thing first thing in the morning. Yes, you read that right: ALWAYS FIRST IN THE MORNING! Believe me, it sounds simpler than it is.
Cool, when you have done that you will work on your 3 top projects. These 3 top projects are under “Important and Urgent” and under “Urgent and Not Important”. Personally, I think my projects are extremely important for my customers. Yet I always try to distinguish between the activities that grow my business and the daily tasks for my customers.
These 3 projects come immediately after my one-thing. How long do I spend on these 3 top projects? Each project receives 75 minutes. It is important to set deadlines, because otherwise you can spend the whole day working on 1 project that you could simply complete in 75 minutes.
- One-thing > “check”
- 3 important projects > “check”
Five okay tasks
Then we now have the 5 okay tasks. These are “nice-to-have”. Think of activities such as:
- check your mailbox;
- answer phone calls that are not urgent;
- meetings that are not urgent;
You already understand, these 5 tasks are not urgent and if you don’t get them done that day, it’s no problem. After all, you have already done your one-thing and top-3 projects and that is a big WIN for the day!
Time for the number 1 time management hack!
I wanted to write a very long article about time management, but then I realized that you are probably incredibly ‘busy’! So I have kept it short and to the point and I am now going to share the number 1 time management hack with you.
#1 time management hack: PLAN!
NO WAY WOUTER!? Why do I read this entire article to find out that the number 1 hack is simply PLANNING?
What an anti-climax!
No, not at all. Everyone knows that planning is important, very few really do it.
It is not for nothing that I started this article by explaining how you can find out what really important work is. People read thousands of articles about time management and they still don’t make plans and when they do they don’t follow it.
Plan = ALWAYS!
If it is not in your agenda, it simply will not happen.
“Yes, but Wouter, I want freedom in my life and therefore no planning.”
B * llshit! If you want freedom in your life, you must plan RIGHT. Not planning means that projects wander through your mind 24/7 and so you are stressed during the day because you “still have to do so many things!”. And all those “so many things” now fall into the “Not urgent – Not Important” category.
We often sabotage our own success by understanding that we have to plan but simply don’t do it!
Do you always plan?
Do you work out a plan every day? Every hour? Do you have a fixed routine? Do you work according to the 1-3-5 method?
If your answer to 1 of these questions is “no” then you will get a lot out of this number-1 time management hack. I can honestly tell you that I was not great at planning myself. I understood that I had to plan, but I simply didn’t. And because I knew it but did not do it, I became angry with myself because I did not keep to the agreements I made with myself.
Does this sound familiar? Then make a commitment with yourself to ALWAYS PLAN.
Okay, I understand it’s not easy
If it were that easy, we would all do it. To make it easier, I have set up a completely free productivity training course. I will teach you the 5×50 Productivity Formula and I will give you additional strategies and advice on how to actually become a Beast in the field of time management.
Are you ready to become a time management beast?