Most of us are looking for ways to be more efficient or more productive—we are looking for ways to manage our time better. That’s just what B. Eugene Griessman taught me in his book I just read, Time Tactics of Very Successful People. It’s loaded with practical tips for how to be more efficient and use our time better. Here’s a synopsis taken right from the book. Enjoy!
The difference between being successful and not being successful depends on how you use your daily ration of 24 hours.
Chapter 1: Get a Handle on Your Time
“Do that in your free time” usually means “Do that when you aren’t involved doing something important.” But the truth is we may have leisure time, but no one has free time. All time has value. The way you think about time will affect everything that happens to you the rest of your life.
Chapter 2: Get Organized
All the high achievers I know establish priorities. Knowing that all items on your to-do list are not equal and shouldn’t be treated as equal is essential. Write down your goals. If your goal isn’t specific, it isn’t likely to happen.
Chapter 3: Increase Your Efficiency
Arranging things in an orderly manner can be a powerful time tactic. Give thought to how the parts of your workplace are configured. Making a change can mean big savings by eliminating wasted steps. Don’t use the top of your desk for storage because clutter can create a degree of stress.
Chapter 4: Shortcuts
Underlining key sentences when you read is a way of making a distinction between the truly important and the merely interesting. When you write something or give a speech, some of the illustrations, anecdotes, and quotations that have proven successful in previous presentations can be used in different settings. Mix the old with the new.
Chapter 5: Find Hidden Time
Keep reading material with you at the dentist’s office. Make phone calls while waiting for your luggage in the baggage area. Sort your mail at red lights. Write notes or read reports while on planes. No matter how efficient you may try to be, people will keep you waiting or you’ll have unexpected layovers. Use your commute time efficiently, or eliminate your commute.
Chapter 6: Learn to Focus
Most of us spend about 70 to 80 percent of our lives engaged in some form of communication: writing, speaking, or listening. Listening is without doubt the most important skill in the communication process. A person who has learned how to listen is the one who is most likely to get things right, please the manager, win friends, and recognize opportunities other people miss.
Chapter 7: Pace Yourself
Learn to recognize when your peak performance times occur, and use them to accomplish your most demanding tasks during those times. Chronobiologists have found that the peak creative times for most people are 11am to 1pm, and 4pm to 6pm. (Unfortunately, for many individuals, these times occur when they are stopping work to eat or are driving home.)
Chapter 8: Avoid Procrastination
Some people spend so much time preparing to do something that they often have no time left to do it. Fact finding is important, but there comes a time when you have to start working toward a solution. Do it now! You don’t really avoid pain by putting it off, so make the unpleasant phone call first.
Chapter 9: Avoid Time-Wasting Activities
If something is not worth doing, be sure not to do it. Things not worth doing can delude you into thinking you’ve actually accomplished something and can divert time and energy from things that are worth doing. You must learn when to hold, when to fold, when to keep trying, and when to cut losses. Sometimes good enough is good enough.
Chapter 10: Don’t Let Others Waste Your Time
Highly successful people postpone meetings with time-wasters or avoid them all together. Don’t take on every problem or responsibility that other people want to give you. Don’t let their monkeys jump on your back. It’s bad for you and bad for the monkey.
Chapter 11: Enlist Others to Save You Time
If somebody else can do it quicker, better, or less expensively than you can, get them to do it. Learn to delegate. Hire support staff to do staff functions. An organization isn’t saving money if highly paid professionals are spending their time stuffing envelopes.
Chapter 12: Invest Time to Save Time
Don’t get so caught up in an activity that you don’t take the steps necessary to make the work easier and quicker. If you will take an hour a day to learn more than most people about a subject, you have an edge. Don’t wait until something breaks to fix it. Preventive maintenance avoids management by crisis. Don’t think something has to be broken to improve it.
Chapter 13: Plan Ahead
Successful people anticipate what will work and what will not work and how much time, effort, and resources it will take. Anticipate trouble and build in redundancy. Murphy’s Law suggests that if anything can go wrong, it will. Have Plan B ready. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
Chapter 14: Use Technology That Works
Routine tasks can be handled by technology. Let your employer deposit your check for you. Use your computer to pay your bills. Be careful not to use cannons to kill mice, but look for a tool or a computer program to use whenever you do anything repetitive, big, or dangerous.
Chapter 15: Balancing Work, Family, and Social Life
Americans are confronted, not by choices between good and bad, but by hundreds of choices among options that are all good. Tactics asks the question, “How can I save time?” Strategy asks, “What do I save time for?” Once you are clear on the answer to the strategy question, tactics come into play to help you succeed.
Interested in reading the book in its entirety? Purchase it here: http://amzn.to/2os853C