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When was the last time you asked someone how they were doing and they told you everything was flowing — and there was an abundance of white space on their calendar?
It’s very likely it hasn’t happened: the obsession with busyness and a never-ending task list has consumed everyone from the student to the entrepreneur and everyone in between. But busyness doesn’t create results or fulfillment —accomplishments do.
In most personal development circles, you’ll hear conversations around financial abundance. While important, it’s only one part of the equation: time abundance is even more crucial. In this article, you’re going to learn 9 ways to take control of your time, release overwhelm, and get more done in a day than you used to in a week.
1. Never Say “I Don’t Have Enough Time” Again
By far, this is the most important: when we tell ourselves we don’t have enough time, we make it true. We run around with an unhealthy level of urgency, feeling scattered, and end up depleted along the way.
Change this first, and watch yourself operate with more clarity and perspective as you tackle what’s really important, and move your business and life forward every single day.
2. Get Clear on Where You’re Headed
How can we be focused and deliberate with our time if we have no idea where we’re headed? Often, this is the case: we must have a clear, vivid, and specific picture of where we’re going; otherwise, we may end up spinning our wheels and go nowhere...fast.
You don’t need to have every step of the way detailed out: start simple and with a general direction of where you’re going. As you continue to take focused action, your level of clarity will increase.
3. Identify the 2 Priority Actions That Get You Closer to Your Vision, and Do Them First
“But, Tommy…I’ve got a task list of 21 things to do!” It doesn’t matter: because we’re conditioned to obsess over tiny details that don’t move our business forward.
Instead, flip the script and focus on one or two action steps that will move your business forward. These tend to be non-urgent, yet important (which means easy to put off for tomorrow.)
4. Calendar Everything
Entrepreneurs will argue with me on this one, telling me they started their business because of freedom and flexibility. But here’s the truth: not having a calendar isn’t freedom…it’s chaos.
If it’s not on the calendar, you’ll lose it with 60,000 thoughts a day and it won’t get done. This includes priorities, meetings, morning routines, projects, personal time, and more. Commit to your calendar and watch your anxiety, stress, and overwhelm melt away.
5. Create Time by Integrating Mindfulness Practices
Time is an illusion, which means you and I get to expand it, collapse it, and find ways to create more. You read that right: you and I are able to create time.
By using practices such as meditation, walking, sensory deprivation, and unplugging, we take control of our time and come back to our lives with perspective.
6. Start Every Day on Your Terms and on Airplane Mode
Show me how you start your day, and I’ll most likely know how it’s going to end up. If you start reactive, scattered, and answering to every notification, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
My favorite technique is simple: go as long as possible while staying on Airplane mode. When I work with clients, we start them out at 30-45 minutes and build from there. This simple shift sets the tone for a purposeful day.
7. Use the Pomodoro Tool: 25 Minutes On, 5 Minutes Off. Build the Addiction to Narrow–Minded Focus
In a world where it’s becoming impossible to stay focused and on task, we must re-train our minds. My favorite tool has always been the Pomodoro method: it builds on itself and is easy to track.
If you’re new, start small: one or two per day. As you begin to re-wire your brain, you’ll notice how much you crave this focused, uninterrupted time. Remember: flow follows focus.
8. Stop Giving Away Your “YES” to Anyone and Everything
No decision occurs in a vacuum: the moment you say “yes” to something, you’re saying “no” to something else. Most of the time, we say yes to everything around us but pay the price with lack of growth in our own lives and business.
Next time you know something isn’t aligned, own your no. Respect yourself enough to own your time and energy and set clear boundaries.
9. Shorten All Meetings and Agendas to 18 Minutes
You read that right: you don’t need a 75-minute meeting full of fluff until the last 18 minutes. I use this with everything, and it forces everyone to get clear, focused, and on task.
It’s Never Too Late to Get Your Time Back
Two thousand years ago, a stoic philosopher named Seneca published an essay titled On The Shortness Of Life. He spoke about how freely we waste time and use it on what doesn’t matter, only to wake up during our last days with a feeling of regret.
Don’t let this happen to you, because money isn’t the most important resource you and I have: it’s our time and energy. Without these, nothing else matters.
If you want to learn how to apply these principles to your bold dream or your next big decision, ensuring your success, my new book, The Leap Of Your Life: How to Redefine Risk, Quit Waiting for ‘someday, ‘ and Live Boldly, is available for pre-order now.
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