Time  (Lesson 5)

There are whole books about time management, but I’ll be blunt here: most of them are a waste of… guess what?

The first thing to do is to accept the nature of time. Everyone gets the same amount of it in a day – 24 hours. The reason some people seem to achieve a lot more is not that they have a secret stash of extra time hidden somewhere; it’s that they use what they do have in the most efficient way possible. And I can guarantee they achieve that by good planning.

You have enough time to be successful. Other people manage it and, as I said, they don’t have any more time than you do. All you have to do is take ownership of your own success. Nobody else is responsible for how you use your time.

The first thing to do is to decide what you want to be successful at. We all have our own definition of success. Maybe you want to earn a million dollars. You might aim to have more time to spend with family and friends. Perhaps you just don’t want so much work-related stress. It doesn’t matter what your goal is; it can be anything you want, within reason.

As you decide on your goal, consider how it will benefit you. You want a million dollars? What for? Again, it’s completely up to you. You can want it to let you retire early, to buy your dream yacht or just for the satisfaction of being a self-made millionaire. It doesn’t matter; it’s your dream. Consider how you’ll feel when you’ve achieved it. Now write down your goal and your reasons for choosing it, along with a timeframe.

Make the timeframe a realistic one. If it’s impossibly short, then you’re setting yourself up to fail. Yes, you can always set a new date by which you want to have achieved your goal, but once you’ve missed one it gets progressively easier to miss the second, third and fourth. On the other hand, setting a date that’s too easy won’t motivate you enough. Go for challenging but achievable.

With your goal decided, work backwards from there. You know what you want to achieve; now determine the things you need to do to achieve it. Don’t get caught up in details just yet, but you need more than vague concepts – “Build a marketing department capable of bringing in $100,000 in new business each month”, rather than “Make my business bigger”.

Consider how much time you’ll have to commit to achieving your goal. Are there things you do just now that will need to take a lower priority, or even be shelved? Are there activities you’ll have to delegate, either because you don’t have the skills or you need to keep your personal workload manageable?

Achieving success isn’t easy; if it was, everyone would have done it already, and you’d be reading this book on your yacht. But it’s not impossible either. Success is waiting for you, if you have the discipline and determination to be a winner.

To your success,