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There Is No Such Thing As Time Management

Time management is impossible. Here’s what you should focus on instead.

The most successful people don’t manage their time.

Think I’m crazy? Well, I’m not. Because the reality is that time cannot be “managed.” The clock is going to keep ticking no matter what you do, so the idea of time management doesn’t make any sense.

Instead of trying to manage their time, the most successful people focus on making their time more effective. They do this by managing three very important things, and managing them well. When they’re able to make their time more effective, it results in more money, better results, and higher productivity.

Doesn’t that sound a lot better than trying to “manage your time”? 

Here are the three factors that you need to get really good at managing in order to make your time more effective.

1. People

Successful people are extremely good at managing people. You know the saying, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”? Well, it’s true. Successful people choose who they will allow to influence them during the day. They’re always in control of who they surround themselves with and who can or cannot interrupt them on a daily basis (which means they’re in control of their time).

One way that we control this in our business is through weekly and monthly meetings. By managing our people properly, we’ve been able to train them to avoid interruptions by waiting to bring up topics at future meetings. Between 1-on-1 meetings, weekly meetings, and monthly meetings, there is always a time and place for them to start a discussion without interrupting the people around them.

This makes everyone’s time more effective.

But it’s not just about interruptions. Managing people is a complicated topic. It begins with hiring the right people, providing the right incentives, and giving your employees “skin in the game” so to speak. 

There are a million books and best practices out there for managing people, but the important thing is to remember that you should always manage people in a way that makes your time—and their time—more effective. You should be in control of your time, and they should be in control of theirs.

2. Technology

I could probably write a book (or a few books) on how using technology properly can make your time more effective. I would not consider myself a technology expert, but I can give you the high-level because I’ve learned how to properly manage it in my own life.

Successful people manage technology—they don’t let it manage them. Email is a great example. One of the first things we ask our students is how many times they check email per day. We often see people checking their email once an hour or even more. I practice inbox zero which is amazingly refreshing and simple. Simply put, don’t let the next shiny object distract you as far as technology.

If that sounds like you, you’re letting technology manage you. Instead, try checking email once per day. Maybe twice if you really need to. What you’ll find is that nothing changes, your time throughout the day becomes more effective, and your email load will actually start to go down.

I use ActiveInbox for this, but there are many email tools out there. And email is just one example!

I also use an outsourcing service called Leverage where I have people running projects for me 24/7. It’s all done remotely, so all I have to do is open the online dashboard in the morning, check in on my projects, and they do the rest. That allows me to quickly and easily manage people through technology.

And guess what? That makes my time far more effective. These are just two examples, but the important thing is to get in the mindset of managing technology instead of having it manage you.

3. Themselves

Successful people are masters at managing themselves. But how does one actually “manage themselves”? It all comes down to putting yourself first—and not in a selfish way, but in the way that you schedule your time.

Here’s what I mean. The most important appointment you make is the appointment you make with yourself. Meaning that when you go to plan out your week, you shouldn’t just be allowing other people to dictate your schedule. Instead, you make appointments with yourself first. You are always the priority.

The best way to do this is to go into your calendar and block off parts of your week so you can use that time to work on the stuff that’s most important. If you don’t do that, you’re letting others control your schedule—and that means they’re managing you. You don’t want that.

Here’s an example. We do a lot of coaching calls in our company. Do you think we just let people schedule coaching calls whenever they want throughout the week? No, of course not. Those meetings are reserved for one day out of the week or time blocks within the week, and the rest of the week is blocked off so we can use our time effectively. We specifically chose this one day (or a few time blocks throughout the week) of the week because it fits with our schedule.

Managing yourself is so crucial. If you’re unable to manage yourself, you’ll never be able to develop and grow. And if you’re never able to develop and grow, you’ll never be able to set the goals you want to achieve in life and business.

So, let’s recap. Successful people don’t bother trying to manage their time. Instead, they get really good at managing people, technology, and themselves. If you can do that, you can make your time more effective—which results in more value, more income, better results, and a whole lot more.

Forget time management. Focus on making your time more effective!

What are you going to do this week to better manage people, technology, and yourself?

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