My Secret Weapon For Managing Work Time

More about Time

In the last blog post I talked about time. We talked about how time is your greatest asset and how if you’re not measuring it, you’re probably not managing it either. To take a look at an easy strategy to start making progress on your goals through time tracking click here.

I’ll let you in on a little secret…

I’m obsessed with time. Why? Because I’ve learned that time is the difference between success and failure. It’s not about your background, your education, your finances, or anything else… It’s about how you spend your time and we all get 24 hours every day. No more, no less and no rollover.

I can hear it already… “Yeah, but…”.

“Yeah, but what about that guy who was born with a lot of money?” Well, how successful do you think he will be if he uses his time to play video games all day and party all night? Starting capital can be a nice boost but it’s you’ll still fail if you don’t know how to manage your time.

“Yeah, but what about that guy who has a background in computer programming or web design? I could build a business easily if I had that.” Well, how do you think they built those skills? By investing time in the first place.

“Yeah, but what about that guy who has a staff so he can take on bigger projects and pass the work on to others?” Well, how do you think he built the finances to hire employees and the skills to manage them? He invested the time.

Do you see the common thread here?

It’s all about how you use your time; both now and leading up to this moment. Whether you succeed or fail in your business (and in your life) will boil down to how you use your time. The problem is that in our education system we’re not taught how to use our time. We’re taught how to let somebody else tell us how to use our time. This is one of the new entrepreneur’s biggest dilemmas.

Suddenly, it’s all up to you. You have to decide what to work on, when to work on it and when to rest (yes, rest needs to be a part of the equation or your creativity will fizzle out while your work quality plummets).

Some people seem to have a natural knack for knowing how to manage their work time. Others of us don’t. Especially if self-management is a new skill that you are learning. One of my favorite tools as I was getting used to self-pacing my work time is called the Pomodoro Technique.

This technique was originally developed as a way to study efficiently by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s . I have found, though, that it works very well for managing work time as well.

The Technique

The way that it works is simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Choose a single task or project to focus on. The more specific you are the better.
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes.
  3. Work intensely on the chosen task until the timer rings. If a distraction pops into your head write it down, set it aside and immediately get back on task.
  4. After the timer rings put a checkmark on a piece of paper.
  5. If you have fewer than 4 checkmarks take a short (3-5 min) break then start another cycle.
  6. If you have 4 checkmarks take a longer (15-30 minute break) then go back to step 1.

If you want to be able to work more efficiently without exhausting yourself I encourage you to give this method a try. I find that it helps me to get started (even when I don’t feel like it) and even helps with focus. I’ll discuss more about why this works in a next post but in the meanwhile do give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.

~To Your Success

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