Thursday, August 27, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 18 - Disciplined Time Management

To make better and more productive use of my time, I recently implemented a new system of Disciplined Time Management.  

This time management system empowers you to: 
  • Use planning to map out your daily and weekly courses of action
  • Prioritize the most important tasks to get them done
  • Use active procrastination to delegate and put off lower value tasks
  • Track how productive you actually were vs. how productive you wanted to be
  • Have the self-discipline to hold yourself accountable to your desired results by pre-planning your days and evaluating your results
I didn't invent this system, I implemented it thanks to Michael Janke's book, Take Control, and tweaked his system to work in my life.  This is not the only system out there, but use it as a guideline if you want to see huge results and leaps in productivity.

Here is how it works:
  1. You must first commit to having a Disciplined Time Management system.
  2. You then buy a notebook as your planner *Michael recommends that you personalize it* I wrote out my best contacts, my mission statement, my goals, and how I will achieve them to personalize mine.
  3. Every Sunday you plan your week.  At the top of the weekly page, you write "Week of..." for example mine for this week says "Week of August 23rd-29th."  You now make one big box and divide it into four areas.  *Michael suggests - Work, Home, Personal, Life-goals* (personalize these 4 as needed).  Mine are Work, Magazine, Personal, & Life-goals.  Under each of these, you write out the tasks that you need to/would like to accomplish throughout the week.  As the week goes on, you fill them into the day you wish to complete them and cross them off as you complete them.
  4. Every night, you plan for the next day. Write the date of the next day at the top of the page and on each line, you draw a box and write out the task that you need to/would like to accomplish.  After you have written everything out, you want to create a course of action for each task. For example, yesterday my first task was "Interview Dave Mirra for the Collegiate Performance Magazine."  My course of action was "wake up at 7:00 am, brush your teeth, put on your suit, eat a healthy breakfast, do some pre-call planning, and call Dave at 8:00 am."
  5. Prioritize your daily activities.  I use the letter system Michael suggests in Take Control and Brian Tracy recommends in Eat That Frog: A=Top priority, B=Important, but not an A, C=Would be nice, but not crucial, D=Delegate or delay, E=Eliminate.  After prioritizing, complete your activities and cross off the boxes as they are done, starting with the A's and working your way down (make sure to cross them off the weekly planner as well).  After you complete each day, fold the corner of the page (don't fold the weekly planner) to mark your place.
  6. Evaluate your productivity each evening and at the end of each week.  This will help you to learn to focus on the highest priority activities and help to better prioritize in the future to bridge the gap between how productive you want to be and how productive you are.
  7. Have the self-discipline to keep up the habit every night!  If you can do this, you will find that this system will yield higher levels or productivity and huge results.  Remember though, it is only as good as you make it!
This is one of the tools that I have armed myself with.  This system of Disciplined Time Management works for me because I made the commitment to becoming more productive so I can achieve more DAILY to accomplish my life-goals.

In order for this system to work for you, you need to follow up with it and do a little every day.  There is a reason I have blogged about all of these things...success is a combination of many things and when used in synergy will yield MASSIVE RESULTS.

I use this Disciplined Time Management System to increase my productivity and improve my focus on the most important daily activities so I can achieve my goals in life.  How do you ensure you achieve your goals?

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

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