This post is a guest Post from Steve Spring. Steve Spring is the author of Live Your Life On Purpose. You can find his full bio after the post.
Are you swamped with both personal and professional responsibilities?
Do you have a list of projects that you can’t seem to complete?
Does it seem like there is never enough time to finish everything you have to do?
Do you wish that you had time for the fun activities that you dream of?
Do you wish that you could be more productive?
The Productivity Curse
The fact is that becoming more productive will only solve some of these issues. This is because no matter how productive you become, there will always be more to accomplish than you have time available. The only way to get control of your time and your life is to stop doing some of the things that you are currently doing, and focus on the things that will make the most difference in your life.
Seven Steps To Get Control Of Your Time And Your Life
The good news is that there is a solution. These seven steps, will help you to get control of your time, become more productive, and make a difference in your life!
- Discover Your “Why” – Your first step to getting control of your life is to discover your “Why.” Whether you call it your passion, your purpose, or your mission, your “why” will become the decision-making tool that will help you determine which projects to take on and which tasks to complete.
- Develop A Plan For Your Life – Once discover your “why,” you are ready to move on to the next step, which is developing a plan for your life. This is important because you need to know where you are going before you decide how you are going to get there. This is a key connection between your “why,” and your time management system.
- Define Your Areas Of Focus – The third step is to define your areas of focus. These are the areas where you will focus your time, and they are the key to achieving balance in your life. Most studies suggest that you should choose a maximum of six areas of focus, and that they should be directly related to both your “why” and your life plan. Examples of areas of focus include your: spiritual life, mind, body, relationships, and career.
- Set 90-day Goals – Once you have determined your areas of focus you should set 90-day goals for each one. This will ensure that you achieve balance by allocating time to each area. Make sure that you have 3-5 goals for each of your areas of focus, and that each of your goals is challenging but reachable.
- Design Your Day - Now that you know your “why,” have a plan for your life, know your areas of focus, and have set your 90-day goals, you can plan each day to achieve maximum results. Planning your day in advance will prevent procrastination, and ensure that you are working on the tasks that will make the most difference in your life. You should pick three tasks to complete each day that are related to your 90-day goals. These tasks should be completed first, and this will ensure that you are moving toward your goals each day.
- Apply The 80/20 Rule – Use the 80/20 rule to focus 80% of your time on 20% of your tasks will bring you closer to your goals. These are the tasks that will make the most difference in your life. One way that you can do this is, to continually ask yourself, “Is this task in the top 20% of my tasks or in the bottom 80%?”
- Review And Make Adjustments – The best way to ensure that your life is moving in the right direction is to review your results and make adjustments along the way. There are four times that you should review your progress and adjust your plans to keep your life on the right track.
- Daily Review – Your Daily Review is an opportunity to think about your day and identify things that went well and things that you can improve tomorrow.
- Weekly Review – Your weekly review is an opportunity to identify how you are doing on your projects and goals and make adjustments to your schedule for the next week.
- Quarterly Review – Your Quarterly review is an opportunity to review your progress on your 90-day goals and your life plan. This will allow you to make adjustments to your goals and projects for the next quarter.
- Annual Review – Your annual review is an opportunity to review your progress toward your life plan and your “why,” and to make adjustments to your plan, and to set goals for the next year.
Getting control of your time and your life is really about understanding what you want to accomplish with your life, and planning and the sequence of events required to get you there. It is about being in control of what you do next, and choosing the tasks that will help you achieve your goals.
Productive people are both effective at choosing the right tasks, and efficient at getting those tasks accomplished. Resolve today that you are going to spend more of your time working in those tasks that will really make a difference in your life, and less time on other activities.
Question: How do you choose the moment by moment tasks that you work on each day?
photo credit: hankinsphoto.com via photopin cc