Three Situations In Your Business, Life, And How To Master Them

Here\’s the situation in your life today. If you\’re like most people. However, everyone can use some improvements in business and life. These improvements can come in the form of any of the sections in the gears of improvement below:

Improving different segments in business and life will lead to overall job satisfaction and increase happiness in life. So, let’s explore the 3 most important ways to improve your time management.

Number one. You have too much to do and too little time. If you\’re running your own business or working in a business, you probably have as many as 200 or 300 hours worth of tasks, projects, reading requirements, and other things backlogged. No matter how fast or efficiently you work, there\’s never enough time in the day to get everything done.

Number two. Part of your situation today is that your workload and your responsibilities continue to increase. It\’s as though life or a conveyor belt carrying jobs for you to do.

The conveyor belt continues, moving hour after hour, day after day. It never stops. No matter how much you get done, there\’s always something new coming down the line. And the more you get done, the more responsibility will flow to you. It\’s been said that if you want something done, give it to a busy man or woman. When you become highly productive and efficient, you will crunch through more work than anyone else around you. As a result, you will attract more work and usually work that pays more and offers greater opportunity. But that workload will never decrease.

Number three. You will never get caught up. Many people think that by learning and practicing time management techniques, they can find some magic bullet that will enable them to get caught up with all their tasks and responsibilities. This, however, is a myth. The fact is that you will never be caught up. There will always be something more to do.

  • Rule. The only way that you can get control of your time in your life is to stop doing certain things.

You cannot do more things; you can only discontinue activities that are low value or no value. Successful people do fewer things than unsuccessful people, but they do the most important things, and they do them well. They do them quickly and efficiently, and on schedule.

In the 80/20 rule, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto concluded in 1895 that society could be divided into two groups. The vital view and the trivial many. He found that in every society, 20 percent of the people, the vital few, owned and controlled 80 percent of the wealth, while the other 20 percent of the wealth was dispersed among the remaining 80 percent, the trivial many.

Today we apply the Pareto Principle to every aspect of work. It says that 20 percent of your activities will contribute 80 percent of your value. 20 percent of your customers will represent 80 percent of your sales. 20 percent of your products will contribute 80 percent of your profits. 20 percent of your people will produce 80 percent of the value of all your staff. What this means is that if you make a list of 10 tasks that you have to accomplish in a day, two of those tasks will be worth more than the other eight together.

Here\’s the worst part. Each of the 10 items may require the same amount of time to accomplish, but in terms of real value and contribution, two of those items will be worth at least five times as much as any of the other items. Most people divide their work time by the number of jobs they have to complete in the day. Top people, however, divide their work time by the value of the tasks they have to complete in a day. Each day before you begin a task, ask yourself, Is this task in the top 20 percent of things that I could be doing? Or is it in the bottom 80 percent? Priorities vs. posterior authorities A priority is defined as something that is more important than something else. It comes first. It has greater value than another task. A posteriori, on the other hand, is something that you do later, if at all. It is done after you have done everything else. To have enough time to concentrate on your priorities, you must set clear plastic priorities in every area of your life. It would help if you decided what you are not going to do to have enough time to complete those vital tasks for your business and for your future. Remember the rule?

  • Rule. The very worst use of time is to do very well. What is needed not to be done at all?

Make a list; the starting point of excellent time management is to make a list of all the things you have to do. All top time managers work from a list every week, every day, and on every project they think on paper. When you write out everything you have to do on a list before you begin, your work appears more organized and takes on a different perspective. You can see it laid out in front of you. You gain greater clarity as to what is more important and what is less important. You feel a greater sense of personal control. According to time management specialists, you will increase your productivity by 25 percent from the first day that you begin working from a list if you are not doing so already. You will gain two extra hours of productive time because you are working from a list you will have a track to run on all day long. Like a person traveling across a strange country with an excellent map and a GPS, you will always know exactly where you are. I continue to refer to your list. When something comes up before you act on it, write it down on your list. Never do something you have not written down, not even returning a phone call. As you complete each task, tick it off. By the end of the day, you will have a written record of accomplishment in front of you. With most of the items ticked off, this list is a source of pride and accomplishment. It makes you feel competent and effective. It makes you feel efficient with your time under control. If you don\’t work from a list, you will be pulled back and forth all day long with every phone call and interruption; at the end of the day, you will have no record of accomplishment. You will feel stressed out. Working from a list solves all these problems.
Organize your list! There are two ways to organize your list. The first is both simple and powerful. Many people have gone from rags to riches with this method. Andrew Carnegie, at one time the richest man in America, said that the following method was more responsible for his success in business than any other technique he learned.

Here it is.

Once you have listed all the things that you have to do on a particular day, review the list and ask yourself this question. If I could only do one task on this list before I was called out of town for a month, which one task would I be sure to complete? Put a 1 next to the answer to that question, then ask the question the second time. If I could only do one more task before I was called out of town for a month, which the second task would I be sure to complete? Put a 2 next to your answer. Ask this question five more times to determine the top seven tasks in order that you would want to complete before leaving town for a month. This will give you a clear picture of your most important priorities and your posterior ideas as well. Then first thing in the morning, begin on your number one task. Work at it steadily until it is complete, and then go on to your number two task. If something comes up and you are temporarily distracted, be like a gyroscope returning to the center. We turn to your major task and work steadily away until it is finished. By your own definition, anything else but your number 1 task is a relative waste of your time. You have already decided that all other tasks are of lesser value in terms of high productivity and performance. You can perform at your best only when you are working on your most important task. You can follow the quick reference of the importance of tasks and adjust throughout the day or at the beginning of your day.
The A, B, C, D, E method.

Perhaps the most important word in time management is consequences. Something is important to the degree to which it has high potential consequences for completion or incompletion. Something is unimportant if there are no consequences involved, whether you do it or not. Making a large sale or completing a major proposal for a client is something that can have enormous potential consequences for yourself and your business. Getting another cup of coffee or reading the newspaper has no consequences at all. The tragedy is that most people spend most of their time chatting with coworkers, reading the paper, surfing the internet, drinking coffee, going for lunch, attending happy hour at the end of the day, and deciding what they\’re going to watch on television in the evening. People who think in this way, concentrating on activities that have no potential consequences for their life or work, have a limited future. Discipline yourself to apply the A, B, C,D, E methods to your list before you begin working. An “A” is something that you must do. Place an “A” next to each task with serious potential consequences for completion or incompletion. These are the most important jobs on your list; if you have more than one eighth, ask set priorities, rating them A1, A2, A3, and so on. A “B” task is something that you should do. Place “B” would be next to the task for which the consequences would be mild, or there would be no consequences if you do them or do not do them. This type of task may be something like returning a phone call or checking your email. A “C” task is things that are nice to do. Place “C” next to each task that has no consequences at all; whether you do it or not will make no difference. It is something nice to do but largely irrelevant to your work and your company. A “C” item may be reading the newspaper, getting another cup of coffee, or chatting with someone in the office. It doesn\’t really matter whether you do them or not.

  • Rule. Is that you should never do a “B” task if there is an “A” task to do, and you should never do a C task if there is a “B” task that is not complete.

You must continually discipline yourself to keep focused on those tasks with the greatest potential consequences. A “D” task in the ABCD method is things to delegate. Put a “D” next to every task that you can give to someone else.

  • Rule. The rule is that you must delegate every lower value task possible to free up more time for your “A” tasks.

Many of the tasks that you work on habitually are tasks of low value. At one time, they may have been important, but now they are less important than others that you need to do, and you can delegate them. Which of your tasks deserves a “D”? An “E” tasks are things to eliminate. Rid yourself of everything that you possibly can to free up time for your most important tasks.

  • Rule. The rule is that if it does not have to be done now, it has should not be done now.

Be strict with yourself!

What tasks could you eliminate altogether with no consequences to the achievement of your most important business and personal goals? These low value are no value tasks are candidates for creative abandonment. These are the posterior duties that you set in your life. These are the activities that you must stop doing in order to free up time for the things that you must get done to fulfill your potential and achieve your goals.