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6 Time Management Techniques for Extremely Busy People

The clock is always ticking, faster than ever for extremely busy people.

The clock is always ticking, faster than ever for extremely busy people.

Successful people are busy people. With career and personal goals stacked up high, and an agenda a mile long, fitting in one more responsibility can be a huge task. People on the fast track to excellence will often get crunched seven days a week. Common place are calls from clients, co-workers and associates to put out fires. Additionally, communication from a spouse, kids, friends or other family members must become a priority even when dealing with a filled work schedule. Being self employed, I am constantly talking to my friends and family about the benefits of self employment. You see, I get to pick which 18 hours a day I work. Yes, I am busy too.

So, with so many responsibilities coming from so many different directions, time management is essential. While time management is challenging in general, time management for extremely busy people comes with its own set of challenges.

Here are 6 time management techniques for extremely busy people:

  1. Say "NO"- While sometimes an easy thing to say, often times saying the word "No!" can be troublesome. A friend, coworker, or especially a family member is hard to turn away. But in order to stay on your path, learn to embrace the word. Although it has only two letters, getting the word out of your mouth is difficult if you feel like you are hurting someone's feelings or are trying to be nice. Try this sentence. "I appreciate you coming to me with this project (issue, problem, situation, etc) and I would really like to help, but now is not a great time for my schedule. If I get a chance to revisit it, I will.

  2. Prioritize Your To-Do List - Before you go to sleep or first thing when your head is clear in the morning, go through your schedule (I know you keep a schedule) and prioritize the list. Don't get into your day without a clear roadmap of what you will need to get done. It's little victories like crossing off a to-do from the list that will drive you harder towards the finish line on your list.

  3. Delegate - The most successful time managers are those that learn how to delegate properly. A great leadership trait is understanding when to hold on to a responsibility and when to delegate it. You will never be able to do it all on your own. The sooner you realize this, the closer you will get to effectively managing your time.

  4. Don't Micromanage - Extremely busy people are generally very successful people. You will need to resist the urge to manage all of the project details you have going on in your life. Once a project task is given to someone else, do not circle back and micromanage the project. Certainly, follow up to verify the project is moving forward, but do not live by the motto, "If it's going to be done right, I've got to do it."

  5. The Small Stuff - Extremely busy people are their own worst critics. Stop beating yourself up over the small stuff. Sure, it's important that the task gets completed properly and professionally, but don't get caught up in the minute details and never second guess yourself about the small stuff. Chances are great that you completed the task with excellence. Make a mental note, and next time this type of task is to be tackled, you will know what you need to do.

  6. Refresh - Seriously, it's 1AM, do you think you are quite as sharp as you were at 11AM? Take a break. There is nothing more challenging than trying to accomplish a task while burning the late, late, late night oil. Your brain needs to refresh and your body could use a break as well. Did I mention the importance of eating your meals at a table and not from behind a steering wheel? You know I am talking to you. Every once in a while, I accept that you are too busy to slow down and eat at a table, but not everyday.

There will come a time in your schedule when you will not be as busy. Try your best to savor those moments when they happen. Just because you are not moving at a million miles an hour does not mean you are lazy. There is more to life than just arriving at your destination; enjoy the journey.

We all know busy people too, please feel free to share this blog with them as well. Thanks for helping me make the world a bit nicer and more manageable, one blog at a time.

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Opportunity knocks. Will you open?

Opportunity is knocking and all you need to do is open the door. Most of the time, you are held back only by YOU. If you let it, fear of change, fear of failure and fear of fear itself will stop you dead in your tracks, create an environment where you are afraid to open your mouth, and immobilize you. The gateway emotion to fear is worry and if you let it creep into your thinking, fear is not far behind.

So how do you avoid worry which will ultimately lead to the enemy? The following steps can help you overcome your challenges:

  1. Work hard at looking past the fear. Face the truth that you have fear but visualize yourself on the other side of it. Let's assume your fear is calling a client that is having a problem with your company. Envision how you will feel after the call is made. Now you can start to work on the solution instead of having a fear of the problem. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.

  2. Challenge yourself to focus on your goals. The idea of change conjures feelings of the unknown. Instead of focusing your thoughts on the unknown, focus on your dreams. For example, an opportunity for a new job is presented to you and although it seems like a good move, you are comfortable in your old job. But you'd like to make more money and you have not advanced the way you thought you should have advanced. Move past the fear of change, go on the job interview. Look at the positive side of change. The job might present you with an opportunity to make more money, have more responsibility and get more out of life. Don't let the fear of change stand in the way of your progress.

  3. Visualize the rewards success will bring you. Fear of failure holds us all back at some point. When we go through it, failure bruises our self-esteem, causes regret and deflates our ego. However, moving beyond failure, the rewards can be awesome. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, Steve Jobs was fired from the company he founded and Steven Spielberg was rejected by USC film school three times. If failure is handled properly, the take away from failure is a valuable lesson. True leaders learn from their missteps and realize failure is an opportunity to learn. There is huge growth in failing as long as we learn a lesson.

Life provides some amazing opportunities. The problem is, they are often presented in disguise. You are in control of your behavior and how you handle your fears. James Whitaker was the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Although Whitaker was prepared for his climb in every way possible, things beyond his control like avalanches, hypothermia and one hundred mile an hour winds held him back many times before he achieved his lifelong goal of reaching the summit. The reason Whitaker succeeded in spite of all the disappointments? "You don't overcome the mountain, you overcome yourself."

Learn to focus on the journey, not the bumps (your fear) in the road. Expect there will be bumps, detours and accidents along the way. Take action and above all, focus on the future and you will hold the triple threat at bay.

Michael Josephson said, "You are worthy of greatness. Don't let others define you. Don't let the past confine you. Take charge of your life with confidence and determination and there are no limits on what you can do or be."

I welcome your comments and would love it if you shared my message using the share button below my blog. LinkedIn discussion groups and Facebook shares spread my message to a very large audience.

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