Everyone gets 1440 minutes every day regardless of who they are, where they are and what they’re doing. 1440 minutes are a given. What each of us does with that given is what matters.
Top performers maximize those 1440 minutes and you can too. Here are some tips from Brian Tracy, Chair and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a training and development consulting business, that will help you take advantage of your daily allotment of minutes.
1. “Eat the frog” first thing. You’ve heard this before…many, many times. The “frog” is the ugliest, smelliest, scariest, hardest, largest task that’s nagging at your brain. Be brave, take a deep breath, exhale and do it…first thing.
2. Create your to-do list, prioritize the things on your to-do list, and attack your to-dos in your priority order of ABCDE… A = the most important thing(s); B = the next important thing(s); C = the things that need your attention; D = the tasks to outsource/delegate; E = the tasks to eliminate from your list.
3. Divide your largest, most important task into many smaller tasks. Do each smaller task one at a time. You’ll waste less time feeling overwhelmed and worried and you’ll get closer to accomplishing that largest task by chipping away at it.
4. Focus on the negative consequences of not doing/completing a task. Fear is a huge motivator.
5. Come prepared. Have everything you need at hand/in head to do the task. Preparation, like fear, is a huge motivator.
6. Adopt a sense of urgency. Working hard is a given. Working fast is a sure fire way to maximize the time available to you. Balance the quality and quantity of your accomplishments with a sense of urgency.
7. Reward yourself…often. Now that you’ve divided your biggest task into smaller tasks, you’ll accomplish a lot of smaller, little things. Reward yourself for your smaller accomplishments, each and every time. Go outside and breath some fresh air. Stretch. Give yourself a pat on the back. Eat a piece of apple. Make your rewards short and sweet and they won’t take too much time away from your “doing” and accomplishing. Rewards, having them and looking forward to them, are huge motivators.
8. Work SMARTer, not harder. SMART goals = SMART work. As we’ve said before…S = specific; M = measurable; A = attainable; R = realistic; T = timely.
9. Do YOUR essentials and delegate/outsource the rest. Your essentials include tasks that matter the most and tasks that you do best.
10. Lock the door if you have a door to lock. Get rid of distractions…distractions are the fuel of procrastination. Do your essentials until those essential tasks are finished. Then, unlock the door, turn your phone back on, etc.