How To Manage Your Time
Successful time management, like every other aspect of success, is first of all a mindset. The real issue for people is NOT having enough time, it’s how they are managing (or, in most cases, NOT managing) their time.
There are some simple guidelines that, if followed consistently, will lead to you become a master of your time rather than a slave to it.
Here’s a simple formula for you to take control of your time:
1. Create a Mission Statement for your career. A mission statement is a paragraph that describes who you are and where you’re going. It should act as your compass in all of your decisions. I have all of my Financial Advisor clients craft a goal-based Mission Statement as we begin our work together.
2. Write down your annual goals based upon your Mission Statement in the 4 main areas of your life: mental (career & finances), physical (the shape of your body and what you put in it), emotional (your relationships, both personal and professional) & spiritual (the things that help your spirit soar).
3. Divide out your goals in these four areas. First, divide by 4 to get your quarterly goals. Then divide by 3 to get your monthly goals. Finally divide by 4 again to get your weekly goals. For example, if your mission statement goal was to make $120,000 in commissions and bonus by December 31st, you would know your quarterly goal is $30,000, your monthly goal is $10,000 and your weekly goal is $2,500.
4. Get out your weekly planner and write in the exact time you will be engaging in these goals. From the example above, if you needed 5 face-to-face meetings a week, you’d schedule in time for prospecting calls to get these on the books. You should view ALL the items you’ve written as APPOINTMENTS, so you don’t get off track by the various inconsequential interruptions that happen throughout the course of a day. This usually means you will have to serve notice to others, “Do Not Disturb.”
5. As a habit, review your goals and planner DAILY to insure you stay on track.
When is the best time to engage in this goal planning for time management? I share with my Financial Advisor clients a technique I call “The most important appointment of the week.” It happens on the weekend, and it’s with YOU. So you can pick a Saturday or Sunday morning right after coffee or a workout, or perhaps Sunday evening just before the coming work week. I suggest you enter this weekend appointment in your planner initially to get the discipline of doing your scheduling.
I guarantee you’ll sleep better knowing your upcoming week is on track with your monthly, quarterly and yearly goals. Most people go through life without ever giving serious thought to this type of time management planning. The ones who do are the most successful — they manage their time effectively based upon their goals.