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Time Management Begins With You

April 26 2011

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The funny thing about "time management" is the multitude of books, articles and seminars on the subject, all suggesting "easy" or "proven" techniques and tips. Set goals, prioritize your tasks, eliminate non-essential "to-dos" and find that magical system that will give you more time for your family. While many of these articles, books, podcasts, etc., usually vary in catchy vocabulary and clich├ęs, successful time management boils down to one's determination and discipline.

Spending your time reading about how to manage your time, the techniques to use and steps to follow seem to waste rather than save time. Also, not every system is one-size-fits-all. Different authors or speakers have different perspectives that may not tie into your individual situation. Besides, at the core of any effective time management strategy is one's attitude.

If you don't have the determination, your project either won't get finished on time or it won't be finished correctly. Develop your determination by putting aside any qualms you have about starting particular projects. Oftentimes, it's not until you start something that you know what direction to continue.

However, some projects require careful planning. If you want it done and want it done right, nothing will accomplish that more quickly than evaluating what needs to be done and carefully outlining the steps to make it happen. Although, getting started is often the hardest part, the will to begin is a necessary catalyst for success in any venture.

Discipline works the same way. You won't find it by simply reading or listening to some webcast; rather, it comes with diligent practice. You need determination to develop discipline, and you need discipline to achieve a determined attitude. The two work hand-in-hand and you can't have one without the other.

Developing both requires practice; doing things over and over again, even when you feel overwhelmed. Developing discipline allows you to stay calm, cool and collected even when circumstances seem overwhelming. But it will only work if you will it. You've got to either sit down at the computer and focus, get out of the office to make sales calls or attend that networking function crawling with leads.

Determination and disciple, not five "easy" or "guaranteed" tips for effective time management, will do the trick. After all, every time management piece ends with a call to action from you.

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