How to Optimize Your Time & Enhance Your Success
Everyone is given the same 24 hours each day, but why are some people wildly successful yet others are just getting by?
What is the difference?
I believe the biggest and most important difference is how each spends their time. Let’s face it; those with great success are excellent at time management. Isn’t that what any kind of success comes down to? Getting the most out of your time?
What makes the top athletes, entrepreneurs, artists, writers or scientists outstanding at what they do?
Well, they put a lot of time into their craft.
If there are any readers that are saying “I don’t have any extra time in my life,” then I challenge you to start looking because there might be more than you think. I thought like this when I first started a job I was not particularly fond of. I wanted to read, write and learn. However, by the time I got home from work I only had a few hours to eat dinner, and maybe read a few chapters before starting the same process over again in the morning. This lead to frustration and dragged on for quite some time before I started asking myself “where is my time really going?” Of course, the majority of it was spent at work. That was the first big step I made, optimizing my time at work.
I am lucky enough to have a job where I sit on front of a computer all day and am rarely interrupted by anyone. Many of my co-workers wear their headphones and listen to music. I have my headphones on too; I am just listening to something different – seminars, speeches and interviews. For 8 hours a day, 5 days a week I am feeding my mind with valuable, relevant information. I think of my job as getting paid to learn. Some tools I use for audio are:
- Audible for audio books
- Video2Mp3 to convert YouTube seminars and interviews to mp3 files
- Podcast for Apple or Stitcher for Android
I have audio files on my phone and listen whenever I have a chance.
You might not have a job that allows you to wear headphones all day. This should not limit you from nourishing your mind with relevant information. The first thing you need to do is figure out what you really want to attract and achieve. Next, think about how you can use audio to your benefit. Whatever it is you would like to achieve, you must use your unused time wisely.
Let’s use two significantly different examples, losing weight and starting a business.If you would like to lose weight, you might:
- Find top rated health & fitness books on Amazon and then locate them on Audible
- Research healthy living Podcasts
- Search Youtube for interviews and talks by the 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness and convert them into an mp3 file
A similar process could be done with starting a business. You need to know the in’s and outs of that specific industry so you might:
- Research leaders in that industry and find books they have written on Audible
- Search if they have their own podcast or look through YouTube for videos of people that already do what you want to do.
Listen while you are:
- In your car
- Doing Laundry
If you look at all of those activities, they actually take up a good part of your time, so why not optimize it to your advantage. The point is to get value from your time that you might not think can be valuable. Listening does not necessarily require any work, but it does prepare you to do the work. Abraham Lincoln said it best: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”
EXECUTE YOUR TASKS
So you might have all of this extra listening time to prepare now but what about the execution part? What about the part where things need to get done? How does one optimize their time that way?
Think of time as money. If you would like more money but have one job that pays you one specific rate, how would do it? One quick and easy way is by spending less money. If you want to optimize your time, you must spend less of it on unnecessary things. Start by cutting out anything that is not adding to your success. If you come home from work and watch television, I can assure you that will not add value to your life unless it is relevant to your goal. Remove any distractions that will take you off course from achieving your goal. Every goal you have will require some action towards its attainment. Replace Facebook, the internet, television, video games, or whatever distraction you might have with relevant and useful actions. If you tend to be distracted somewhat easily like myself, try downloading a cool app called Time Doctor. It is a time management app that keeps me productive and on track by tracking my time and managing my tasks.
THE BREAK DOWN
Isn’t it easy to become overwhelmed if you want to lose 50 pounds or become a millionaire business person? Instead of looking at your entire goal and not knowing where to start, look at tiny steps that you can do right now. Break down your end result into very tiny and easily reachable goals but within a shorter time frame. Ask yourself “what can I do right now that will gain momentum towards my end goal?” No matter how small that action might seem, just start with that. If you work towards something every day, those small things will turn into big things. Prioritize those small goals as well and start with the most important. Your time is an investment and you should be getting a good return from the time you spend.. Finally, you need to celebrate every small accomplishment. That is a guaranteed way to maintain motivation.
At the end of the day, we might not have all of the time we would like to have to accomplish or work on something. However, that doesn’t mean we should not work towards it. Using audio throughout the day has proven extremely valuable to me and I hope to you as well. Proceed to replace distractions with actions that move you closer towards your goals. If you become overwhelmed, simply break down your goal into bite-size actions that you can look at and say “I can do that today!” Gain momentum and take baby steps. You’ve got this!