7 Steps to Making Your Future Clearer and Brighter

Posted under Procrastination on Wednesday 24 September 2008 at 11:12 pm

Along with lack of motivation, such factors as vagueness, uncertainty and lack of clarity are among the key reasons of our bad habits, discouragement and procrastination. For those who are determined to fight with these problems and look for positive changes in their life, I would like to offer a strategy created by Dr. Brian Tracy, an experienced time management specialist, lecturer and business coach, who wrote several books of special techniques and recommendations for those who suffer from chronic procrastination and lack of personal effectiveness. He argues that everyone who wants to be successful in this world has to define own goals and aspirations. This can be done in the following 7 steps:

Step 1. Decide, what exactly do you want to achieve in this life, where do you want to be and what do you want to possess? Specifying your goals and your strategies to achieve them will help you in one important thing: to avoid doing useless, low value tasks and wasting your time and efforts. “One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all”, Tracy says.

Step 2. Think on paper. Try to write down at least 10 goals you want to achieve within the next year. Make them clear and crystallize them on paper. Now you see that by writing them down, your dreams and goals turned from fantasies into something tangible and real, didn’t they?

Step 3. Estimate an optimistic deadline and a pessimistic deadline for your goals. If your goal has no fixed time limits, it loses its relevance and urgency. You have to establish clear time frames for achieving your goals and assume the responsibilities not to procrastinate all the time, but work on this day by day.

Step 4. Think about everything you need to do, learn or accomplish in order to achieve your goals, and make a list of the findings. This will, definitely, make your goals closer to you. Also, this list will give you a picture of the most important or the largest tasks you need to accomplish on your way to every goal.

Step 5. Organize the list of the findings by priority and time sequence. You can use charts, boxes or circles. This plan will help you to increase your productivity and efficiency, so you will definitely be more successful than anyone who carries his goals in the mind.

Step 6. Take action! Find something that you can do right away in order to get closer to your goals at least for an inch. You can arrange a meeting with your future business partner, or find some important online information for your project. Do anything right away!

Step 7. Make a habit of doing something that will move you toward achieving your goals every single day. Learn something new every day, get engaged in specific activities or discussions, and involve more and more people in your projects. Keep moving forward and do not miss a day!

Time Management: What We Have to Know About It

Posted under Time Management on Saturday 30 August 2008 at 1:51 am

A man who dares waste one hour of time
has not discovered the value of life
Charles Darwin

Everyone knows that time management is a special technology of time optimization that helps people use their time more effectively, according to everyone’s special goals and personal values. Undoubtedly, this concept is a great organizational tool for everyone, but especially for those who always have lack of time. Those people who have developed good time management skills usually have no problem with setting up absolutely realistic objectives or goals and achieving those goals by using their time in the most effective way. However, everyone must understand that if you want to reach some progress and become more self organized, such practices as planning and controlling your time have to turn into an ineradicable habit of yours.

Certainly, you can argue that we do not always have hold on time and our life is full of surprises that frequently ruin our plans. This is right, just like a known proverb says: man proposes, God disposes. Well, every morning (or every evening before going to sleep) the majority of us usually makes some plans for coming day and schedules the things that must be done. But very frequently something unexpected or urgent comes up in our daily routine, so we have to switch our attention and efforts to doing those “unplanned” things that sometimes are quite bulky and boring. That is why in the evening we have to admit to ourselves again and again that our plans did not work due to the circumstances that are beyond our control.

However, using the approach of effective time management you can interpret this situation in a different way. If you tried really hard and spent a lot of efforts to make your plans come true (despite of any urgent things and circumstances), you do not have to regret for the planned things you could not accomplish. But if you usually spend the most of your time for coffee breaks, chatting with your colleagues and smoking, you will not be happy even with those few things that you managed to accomplish during the day. In such case, knowing basic skills of time management can be very useful for you to develop a responsible approach to everything you do.

Time management was a subject of interest of many specialists and progressive thinkers of the last century. For example, our glorious president Benjamin Franklin was one of the pioneers of modern time management. He formulated several important principles based on his famous Success Strategies. These principles must be considered to be the major postulates of classic time management and generally they can be put to the following:

1. Plan your things, or they will “plan” you. In order to achieve success, you must have a specific plan and specific goals for your future.

2. Time is the most priceless asset of yours. This resource can not be collected, stored up or extended, that is why effective organization of our time is the only way to maximize its utility.

3. Develop the skills to distinguish major things from minor things. Effective time management includes developing the abilities to prioritize the tasks and specify the ones that must be done (no matter what) and the ones that should better be done (but can be possibly postponed).

4. Set up realistic plans, try to stick to those plans and make it a habit of yours.

Remember these principles and try to keep them in mind all the time. However, do not think that time management is something related only to planning! Philosophy of time management is focused around the following idea: if a man wants to get freedom for something, he has to limit his freedom in something else. So, time management is a technique that can help you free your time for something you truly wish to spend your time for. Moreover: effective time management can help you spend your time for something really important, and the earlier you learn its secrets, the more effective and interesting every day of your life gonna be!

You can say: “No, I do not believe in this! Time management is too ideal concept that does not work in real life!” Do not give up on this, really! All you need is to set up more ambitious goals (your personal goals) and do everything possible to achieve them! Aspire to impossible things, and you will receive maximum! Therefore, you do not have to develop anything ideal: just try to be as closer to the ideal as possible. You can certainly do it by adopting the system of effective time management for your life.