It is no secret; everyone seems to need more time than what they are given. No matter what, time seems to move faster than we do. There is no way to control it. We can only learn to manage it.
We learn some tips to optimize time, but they do not help. Maybe we are wrong. Or maybe we are trying the wrong techniques.
We all love and use schedules, post its, and planners. I bet you have and endless to-do-list right now, in front of you.
This is the biggest problem. If you want to manage your time, you must learn the right way. And a growing list of tasks and a long to-do-list is the wrong way.
Any to-do list is an endless index of small duties. Usually, every task can be completed and then you start the next one. Sometimes you need to achieve some assignment first to get the chance to move to the next one.
But most of the time, this list remains almost intact. You can not achieve all the tasks, so you postpone them. Then, tomorrow or the next week, you defer some more. One day you get a huge list impossible to do. This stress you and you finally quit.
But just for a moment. You decide to start a new to-do list! And you fail again. This discourages you.
The secret revealed
Every successful entrepreneur follows one simple rule; they do not use to-do lists but a tasks list or objective-list.
This simple change is the difference between achieving a goal and just creating a list of items.
A task list or objective list forces you to set a goal, begin a job, and actually finish it. Whereas, a to-do list is just a way to write things you need to remember.
- Find a proper name for my business
- Check domain availability
- Buy that domain name
- Hire a hosting company
- Configure and install your domain
- Import data from mi old site
- Get the site up and running
- Configure an email account
- Tweet it
- Publish it on FB
- Publish it on G+
- Publish it on other SM
Now let’s translate it into a task-list:
- Get my new site up and running
- Promote it
Do you get the idea? I just took a long list and reduced it to a short goals-list. Your mind can handle these little pieces of information much better than to-do lists. Why? Because our mind is designed to solve problems. We are trained to find solutions. Our mind is almost blind to lists because they do not challenge it.
Try it. Read the two tasks and let your mind give you the answers.
Now read the list.
Do you feel the difference?
Your mind gets bored when reading a list. But when you read a task, automatically your mind tries to solve the problem and struggle to find the answer. This cause an action towards the goal. And that is what we need; action.
When your brain finds a challenge, automatically tries to obtain solutions. This simple fact that activates our creativity is the key to getting things done.
An action towards any direction produces results. If we are focused on our objectives then the actions we execute will produce the desired result.
Now we have a new talent. Instead of creating endless to-do list we can create focused-oriented tasks.
These focus oriented task MUST follow a simple rule; they must have a perfect objective to accomplish.
Back to the example “Get my new site up and running” is a real goal.
If we say “Create a site” we are making a mistake. When we read this sentence, our brain tries to solve it by asking itself “What kind of site?”. End of the goal. We are not defining the exact purpose. We defer this item and never finish it.
Define objectives to be successful
One of the best time management tips is the correct definition of our objectives. Once we get the habit to set the right goal, everything else is easy.
It is a matter of habits. You have to learn to think the proper way and to find the core of the problem to solve it with efficiency. When you define your objectives you should learn from the experts.
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” Steve Jobs
Make things simple. The best way to succeed is to reduce the complex to the simple.
Remember this true; our brain is an expert to complicate things. It is not only good to solve puzzles, but it is also a master to complicate the simple. As we discuss earlier, our mind loves problems, so it sees them everywhere, if not, it creates new ones.
We need to re-educate our mind to stay calm and to think towards simplicity.
How to solve the problem
So far we know two things; our mind loves to solve problems and to create them.
We realized that if we excite our brain with a given goal it will discover the way to accomplish it. This is real good. Now we can replace our to-do list with an objective list.
We also discovered that our brain can twist things a bit. This is not good. Maybe some given goal can be complicated a lot leading us to quit the task. But if we instruct our brain the right way, it will be our best allied.
So we must optimize our goals to get the most of them. And we do this when we focus. When we sharpen our goals the mind gets no distraction and can concentrate to solve any problem the easy way. If we do the opposite we are giving our brain a lot of distractions to worry about. This is the best way to fail, so we better focus.
How to make the most of one’s day
Following these easy steps you’ll obtain a remarkable change in your productivity:
- Reduce your endless to-do list to a real objective-list
Stop creating lists and begin to plan true goals. Remember to be extremely precise in order to avoid distractions. Your mind needs to be focused on being practical. A precise goal is all you need to accomplish
- Find the core of the problem and focus on it
Any problem can be sliced into small parts. Discover the heart of your problem and let your brain find the way out.
You surely heard about the Navy SEALs right? It is said that “they eat the elephant“. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Take impossible goals and break them down into smaller ones.
- Avoid distractions. Dodge wrong goals
If you get too many objectives, you’ll probably get overwhelmed. Less is more. A clear goal is the key.
- Make things simple, do not complicate them
It is just a matter of re-educating our routines and getting into the best habits. We must train to think about tasks instead of things to do. You have to be task-oriented.
Do not forget; “You do not need more time, you need to do the right thing at the exact moment”.
How to get the right mindset
It is pretty clear that successful people apply the techniques detailed above.
The right mindset can be applied to any situation. If you are a wealthy entrepreneur, an elite command or a martial arts expert, you made it by having the right mindset. This is as simple as: get an objective, focus, and get it done. No distractions allowed.
Perhaps you should give yourself a chance and start from scratch. Get this new habit and get your own task-list.
Remember that ANY problem can be sliced into parts and solved one-by-one. You must also bear in mind that our brain reacts to challenges and loves to solve problems. We must give it the proper information, and that is not a to-do list but an objective list. Finally, you must get things simple.