There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.

The blessing about time is that we all get the same amount each day. No matter your current socioeconomic status, race, creed, religion, or way of thinking, everyone gets the same 24 hours. If everyone receives the same amount of time, what does that reveal? Some people get more out of their 24 hours.

Think about your tube of toothpaste for a second. Some people get to the end of a tub, and they push a few times on it and maybe get 2-3 days before throwing it in the garbage. Then they go and grab another tube. 

Some people want every last drop of toothpaste out of the tube. They will squeeze every corner and craves to get the toothpaste out. They will roll it up from the bottom to be sure they have gotten it all. 

That is how some people treat their time. They want to get the most out of it. They squeeze every last ounce out of their 24 hours to make sure that it goes as far as possible.

"Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week's value out of a year while another man gets a full year's value out of a week." -- Charles Richards

Click to Tweet

Why Time Management is Crucial Today 

Time management is vital today more than ever before; more jobs and education programs are more self-directed. Think about situations in a factory in the 1940s for a second. These were not thinking men on the line. The owners of these factories did not want anyone to believe. They wanted you to follow the efficient systems that they have built.

Fast forward to now, and you have people working from home. There is no one looking over their shoulder. People make money as a part of the gig economy, and as freelancers.

There is more of a demand for people who know how to manage their time well. If you can manage your time well, you can be given a task and trusted to get it done without someone over your shoulder.

Time management is more critical now than ever because we have more to do, but we also have more distractions than ever. We live in an attention economy. At all times of the day, 20 different things are screaming, "LOOK AT ME." Your attention is valuable, and companies like Facebook have found a way to get rich.

Time management requires you to play offense and defense at the same time. You have to have a plan of attack to get things done well. Then you need to run around and defend against threats that want to get you off course.

There is more of a demand for people who know how to manage their time well. If you can manage your time well, you can be given a task and trusted to get it done without someone over your shoulder.

6 Key Pillars to Time Management  

These six pillars create a perfect storm for time management. What you will see in each of these is that they are all equally needed. Most people tend to put the spotlight on Focus and having a daily plan, but you need much more than that.

1. Focus

Focus is a crucial ingredient for having excellent time management. If you're working on something, you will get it done faster if you're just doing that task. Multitasking will slow you down, and checking your phone every two minutes will as well.

Focus is about being able to be in the moment, mentally. When you're focused on the task, you're not thinking about your bank, or that conversation you need tomorrow.
Focus is the main thing that lets you get more out of your tube of toothpaste. When you lose Focus, your quality of work drops, and it takes more time.

2. Desire

Desire is often left to the side when it comes to time management. The reason that desire is forgotten is that people want to operate on will too much. You believe that even if you don't want to be productive, you can force yourself to do it. Running in this fashion only works for so long.

You will go much further when you desire to use your time well. You will be motivated to take action and be efficient because you see how it will improve your life. Find a reason to make this matter to you. Know your reasons even if its simply so you can get your work done and have more time for Netflix later. 

3. Direction 

You need a significant picture direction for your life at all times. Why are you doing what you're doing at all? What are you working towards in the next 20 years? When you can see the macro, it makes the micro make more sense.

Anytime people begin to lose motivation, its usually due to losing touch with the big picture. Habits only make sense when they fit into more meaningful goals. Otherwise, why spend an hour writing or reading every day? 

You must know your direction in life at all times. Never lose sight of it, and if you happen to, get a hold of it as quickly as you can. 

4. Energy 

You could have all of the world's desire and know precisely where you need to be, but without energy, you will not go anywhere, when you're exhausted, it's much harder to stay focused. Instead of working, you will be thinking about how tired you are. 

Energy comes down to your sleeping and eating habits. The more you pay attention to how you sleep and how you eat, the better off you will be. What you eat is like the raw material to build a house and how sleep time is when the construction work rests and repairs the mind and body. 

Emotional energy also falls in this category. Your emotions are the reason you need to get toxic people out of your life. Toxic people will drain you of every ounce of emotional energy that you have. You can't do your best work at this stage. 

5. Daily Plan

You need to have a daily plan to be productive and be your best in the long run. You can know where you want to be, but you only get there from the work that you do each day.

Each day before I go to bed, I write down what MUST be complete the next day. I make sure I know where and what I need to focus on. It helps to make sure that I am using my 24 hours every day to move closer to the ultimate goal. 

6. Rest

The last pillar and one of the most forgotten, is time to rest. Life can't be 100% go mode. You need time to step away from anything that matters to you. As you take a breather, it helps you recharge, think clearly, and focus on what matters.

Focus is a crucial ingredient for having excellent time management. If you're working on something, you will get it done faster if you're just doing that task. Multitasking will slow you down, and checking your phone every two minutes will as well.

Building Habits to Support Time Management  

Habits are one of the best ways to make the most out of your 24 hours. When you have habits that move you towards your goals, you don't need to waste any time thinking of what to do. 

The power of great habits is in the fact that they are automatic. There is no having to stop and think about what to do. Your habits become a part of who you are, making them hard to leave them behind.

Here Are Four Things You Can do to Build Habits That Support Your Productivity:

1. Track Your Habits

The first thing you want to do is track your habits. You can use paper, a journal, or download our habit. It does not matter what you choose; the point is that you do it.
What tracking your habits will do is keep you accountable. It's hard to improve something if you don't watch it and see how you're doing. If you want to make sure that you work out daily to improve your energy, you need to know how often you get this done.

2. Know What Task You Need to Do 

The worst thing you can do is go to sleep and not know what you need to do the next day. To get the most out of your 24 hours, you need to know what to expect.
You also don't want to allow this list to get too lengthy. You want to have 1-3 tasks. Not a long list of 50 things to squeeze into one day. Stay focused on the things that matter the most.

3. Three Habits That Move You Towards Your Goals 

When you track your habits, you want to make sure that you pick out three practices that will help you the most with your productivity each day. For me, for example, I track the following habits.

1. Drink two bottles of Water
2. Workout for 40-60 min
3. No sugar
 

I track other habits, but I think these three boost my energy levels and help me focus the most. You need to find the same thing for your own life and make sure you are as consistent with doing them each day.

The power of great habits is in the fact that they are automatic. There is no having to stop and think about what to do. Your habits become a part of who you are, making them hard to leave them behind.

Threats to Excellent Time Management 

It would be best if you played defense to protect your 24 hours. A defense can be just as crucial as playing offense. If you don't learn to play defense, your offense will never get a chance to get any momentum. Here is what you need to watch out for. 

Saying Yes

It would help if you learned to say no more often. Every time you say no, you are building a wall around your priorities. Every time you say yes, you're opening the gates and letting the bad guys into your home. You also don't need to reason for reporting no, just let your no mean no going forward. 

Smart Phones

Smartphones can do a lot, but they are also making us dumber. We are becoming like goldfish with shorter and shorter and shorter attention spans. There is always something new to check on your phone, so you need a strategy to beat it. 

  • Turn notifications off
  • Use do not disturb mode 
  • Don't work with your phone in the room with you
  • Set time limits on your popular apps

People

You can admit that people are annoying sometimes. You get into a nice workflow, and your in the zone, and someone comes in and interrupts you for no good reason. Put a do not disturb sign up when you're working, so people know to buzz off. 

Entertainment/Social Media

Between Netflix, YouTub, Twitter, and Facebook, there is enough distraction to last a lifetime. These companies make sure that there is always something new to tickle your fancy.

You have to choose out which ones are your weak points and create defense strategies. I have gone as far as deactivating accounts all together to maintain my focus. 

Random Browsing

Nothing else needs to be said about this. We have all ended up with a random idea, that turned into a Google search down rabbit holes. You know why this is a time and project killer. 

Avoidance of The Real Work

People don't think about this one enough. If you have an essential task to do but avoid it with busy work like email and other random tasks, your defense is breaking down and failing. 

To get the most out of your time, it means that your time needs to be spent doing the most useful thing. If you work on the 3rd most important thing, you're wasting your time. All that matters for your time is the most crucial thing at that moment. 

It would be best if you played defense to protect your 24 hours. A defense can be just as crucial as playing offense. If you don't learn to play defense, your offense will never get a chance to get any momentum.

Conclusion 

Excellent time management is the only way to be productive. To get better with your time management, you need to adapt proven offensive and defensive strategies. The six pillars are how you increase your productivity, but the defense is how you build a protective wall around the richness you achieve.


Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

__CONFIG_colors_palette__{"active_palette":0,"config":{"colors":{"62516":{"name":"Main Accent","parent":-1}},"gradients":[]},"palettes":[{"name":"Default Palette","value":{"colors":{"62516":{"val":"rgb(9, 10, 9)"}},"gradients":[]}}]}__CONFIG_colors_palette__
Learn More

Related Posts