Confession: I’m little miss Type-A. If that wasn’t already apparent through my choice to start a business selling productivity and organizational tools, then here is my full acknowledgement of it. :-) I always had ambitious dreams, set goals, and was a bit hard on myself when I feel short. Another tendency was that I always felt like I was racing against Father Time (Alice in Wonderland anyone?). I had this sense that if I did not achieve a certain goal in a particular time that I was failing.
Put First Things First
Highly-productive people maximize each hour. This starts by planning yearly vacations. When I worked as a nanny, my family and friends were always surprised by how often I traveled. The secret? I planned for it. I knew that in order for me to be my best I would have to take a break. This habit carried over into my career. Rest allowed me to bring my absolute best to work everyday. After I planned my vacation, or social time, I blacked out dates to work on my long-term goals. All of this turned into my yearly game plan. Millionaires establish a yearly road map by blocking out time to spend with family and friends, then to work on tasks that will get them 80% closer to their goals. This overview helps them maximize their work hours because they are limited. If you find yourself stuck in the cycle of consistent work, try planning vacation time first, then time to work towards your long-term goals and then plug in your daily grind. This method helps you prioritize your health, keeps you motivated for your goals and allows you to get the most out of your work hours.
Stay Committed to High-Impact Habits
Highly-productive people get the most out of their time through high-impact habits. I implemented this when I was transitioning from being a nanny and earning my graduate degree in English Language teaching. I worked full-time but also needed to excel in my studies so I had a strict schedule. I implemented this day-in and day-out and eventually landed an internship at the world’s top foreign affairs agency. Consistency is the word we love to hate but routines free up the mental space we need to produce quality work. This can be accomplished by dedicating a minimum of 50 minutes to 4 hours everyday to your daily goal or even your long-term goal(s). It all depends on what you need to accomplish.
Embrace the Monotony of Repetition
No one seems to talk about the elephant in the room so here it is: it’s hard to be consistent because it’s boring. I struggled in this area. Despite my best intentions, I got bored with doing the same thing day-in and day-out. I would do something to “spice things up” then struggled to get back on track. It was a vicious cycle until I became a teacher. I had to embrace the monotony of repetition in order to teach my students. Here I stand, as a reformed person, who views repetition as a positive lifestyle change. This habit helped me create The Pinnacle Planner, a 2019 leadership development day planner. I was forced to understand the fundamentals of learning a complex design software despite having no design background. My long term goal motivated me to stay committed to reviewing and implementing the basics everyday, whether that was for 50 minutes or 4 hours. I protected this time regardless of unexpected interferences.
Highly-productive people earn more in their hours than the average person because they prioritize the task that will give them 80% of their results. They stay committed to high-impact habits, and embrace the monotony of repetition. Overtime, their system becomes a lifestyle change that bears noticeable fruit. You, too, will produce higher quality work that will speak volumes--which in turn earns you the monetary comparison of the time and effort you put in.
So, what time-management system do you use?
Note: This article was originally published on 21ninety.com