Time is our No. 1 enemy.
If you want to build lasting wealth, you must overcome the constant, nagging tug of time. After all, time and money aren’t all that different.
Waste either… and you’ll go broke.
Productivity is critical to building wealth. History proves that growth in productivity is the top element in economic success. It’s no different if we’re talking countries, companies…
Managing my time used to be a great struggle. My to-do list seemed to grow throughout the day. It rarely shrank. It led to stress and an immense feeling of unproductivity, and it hardly inspired me to add new (and often important) projects to my plate.
But then I met with some of the brightest, most productive people I know. We spent an entire day talking about nothing but how to be more productive.
The results of the meeting were incredible.
I’ve never been so productive. I rarely need an alarm clock. I’m excited to explore new projects and eager to start each day.
Time is still an enemy, no doubt. We can’t stop the clock just because we have things to get done. But by putting four simple ideas into action, we can maximize our time and accomplish more.
And the more we get done… the happier and wealthier we become.
Beat the Clock With These Four Steps (and My Free Planner)
The very first thing you must do is create a list. Write down your priorities. Set your goals and your timelines for each.
For example, if you want to write a book, don’t just have that idea in your head and hope you find some time later today. Put it on paper. Set a clear deadline.
How many words will you write each day? How many chapters per month? Be specific.
Instead of aiming for some distant target that’s well beyond the horizon, set short-term benchmarks. Always aim for the closest target… and eventually they’ll all fall.
Most published authors – myself included – will tell you that it’s only natural to fret over the daunting task of writing a book. But it’s far more productive to concentrate on writing just, say, 1,500 words each day.
Create your list, and ensure it has achievable short-term goals. From there, you can move to the next step… planning your day.
This is critical.
You must be realistic, yet firm. This is where you do or don’t… where you defeat or where you are defeated.
Every day, I have a plan. It starts when I wake up and ends when I go to bed. It sounds harsh to say every minute is accounted for (including leisure time), but if you try it, I’m convinced you’ll find it’s quite liberating. It eliminates doubt and anxiety.
For example, when I’m writing, I wake up most mornings at around 4:30. The first 90 minutes of the day are devoted to writing. Nothing else. After that, I spend 30 minutes getting ready to go to the office. Out the door at 6:30, I spend an hour in the car. But instead of listening to junk radio, I listen to audio books. I can “read” a book a week that way… far more than the average person.
By the time I get to the office, I’ve already accomplished tasks that many folks can’t get done in a week.
The rest of my day looks similar. Every project and task has its allotted time. Some time slots are short. Many projects require 30 minutes or less. Leisure time with my family, on the other hand, deserves several hours.
The key is to avoid letting other tasks creep where they don’t belong. You’ll learn the disappointing fact that “creep” is extremely difficult to avoid – priorities change and folks barge into your office. That’s fine.
By mapping your day, you’ll know exactly what’s on your plate and how to best manage it.
After some time, you’ll become a master at prioritizing. You’ll push aside the time wasters and find smart ways to tackle the important tasks.
You’ll be amazed how many tasks you find are truly unimportant.
The third step is the hardest, no doubt…
You must stick to your plan.
Discipline is everything.
Sure, it’d be easy to stay in bed. It’d be easy to push aside the tough things on your list – excuses are never hard to find. But you absolutely must keep your discipline.
Study after study shows that folks with strong self-control are happier and make smarter decisions.
There’s a reason the military focuses on discipline. It has the power to conquer countries.
The good news is living a disciplined life gets easier every day. The key is to understand there will be obstacles and you won’t be perfect. Nobody is. But when you slip, keep moving.
Discipline is not painful. I promise. Every disciplined person I know finds it quite liberating.
When you’re disciplined, there’s no doubt in your mind that you can get things done… a truly powerful mindset.
Finally, the simplest way to add more time to your day… turn off the TV.
The invention of the television changed our culture and spawned unproductivity like our species had never seen before. A half-hour in front of a TV (sadly, most folks don’t stop there) is the equivalent of burning money.
There’s a huge opportunity cost to grabbing the remote. If you’re watching TV, you’re not crossing items off your list.
And not only will TV waste your time, but it’s been proven to skew your world view. And, to our purposes, it negatively influences spending habits. Those advertisers don’t spend billions each year just to entertain you.
Remember, time is not on our side. It’s the enemy. We’ll never stop it. And science won’t conquer it. But if you want a truly liberating life, you must do everything you can to maximize every minute you’re given.
To help set you on the right path… I’ve made the planner I personally use available to every Manward reader.
Go ahead and download it… print it… or simply jot down the template in a notebook.
Just please use it.
I’m convinced you’ll start reaping the benefits right away.