9 September 2018

Lawrence Jones MBE - walking in the Verbier mountains - time management, motivation, productivity

An early morning hike in Verbier, making the most of every moment of our holiday.

How do you get the absolute most out of your day? With a seemingly endless task list, it can easily feel like you’ll never get everything done that you need to.

Funnily enough, I was chatting about a recent podcast I did on this very topic, when someone in the office passed me holding a mug that read: “You have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyoncé.”
It’s an interesting point, isn’t it? We all have the same amount of hours in the day. So how do some people achieve so much more with their time than others?

I have no doubt that anyone could achieve the same amount as the likes of Warren Buffet, Sheryl Sandberg or Tim Cook, if they had unlimited hours in the day! So, what sets these people apart? How do they use their time so well?

There are many different ways in which these super-achievers use their time to their advantage, for example, Steve Jobs would wear the same outfit every day to save him wasting time and brain power thinking about what to wear!

In this post, I want to share some of the time-management tips that I have picked up along the way from some of the most successful people in the world.

Set a goal

The absolute foundation of getting more done every single day is knowing where your time is best spent. To know this, you have to write down everything you want to achieve in life: the lifestyle you’d like, how many children you’d like to have, the car you want to drive, the people you want to impact. Whatever you want to achieve, write it down!

Now, look at that list and decide what you need to do to achieve those things – what actions can you take to achieve those goals?

Of course, it can be a challenge to keep chipping away at a goal when you’re not seeing any instant gratification. So how do you stay motivated? It’s perfectly simple: you set a solid goal.

You have your big goals, and you set the smaller ones along the way. You clock the milestones towards the destination. Tony Robbins calls this ‘chunking’ – breaking down your massive goals into smaller milestones to celebrate along the way. With this method, as you slowly chip away and edge towards your dream, you can tick off each mile and celebrate accordingly – rather than constantly striving to a point on the horizon far off in the distance.

Get organised

So now you know what you need to achieve, it’s time to get organised. The most important thing you can do now is to schedule every single aspect of your life that is important to you. If you know you need to achieve it, schedule it in.

One of my friends, an incredible successful business person, has the next two years of their life plotted out on a calendar that they have printed off. They always have a copy in their pocket. That means whenever a meeting request is made or an event is proposed or such like, they know exactly where they are and when. They know what is expected of them that week and can plan accordingly. It’s an incredibly effective and efficient way to manage the time of an extraordinarily busy person.

I schedule every aspect of what’s important to me. My meetings with senior management are set in stone. They start at 7am so that we don’t disrupt the rest of the day. I even schedule family time. Whilst you may ask why I need to schedule this, it’s more so that everyone knows that the weekends are for my children. Tuesday evenings are date night. These are not times for business enquiries, they’re times for us to switch off. Scheduling this time means everyone is on the same page.

When you really think about it, once you make an appointment for something, you are 99.99% times more likely to actually go through with it.

Got a minute?

Finally, I have to write about the ‘got a minutes’. According to Forbes, 71% of you experience frequent disruptions while you’re working.

It may seem harmless – people popping by to ask if you’ve got a minute. But inevitably, these minutes take much longer or unearth a larger issue. More often than not, they completely derail your day! Many of the world’s most successful people reference distractions as one of the biggest productivity killers. One of the richest men in the world, Warren Buffet, notes that the key to achieving your goals lies in finding your focus. Focus on what you really want to achieve and commit to it.

Whilst these interruptions often inevitably raise important issues, this isn’t the most efficient way to tackle them. Instead, scheduling meetings with senior managers means that these people are far more likely to save those ‘got a minute’ questions for their time with you in the set meeting. They know they have that platform with you and use it accordingly. This then enables you to get on with achieving your goals, undisturbed!

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list and I learn every day how to better manage my own time as well as that of my team. I promise you this, though, once you set a focus on making the absolute most of your time, very little will stop you from achieving your goals.

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