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“..there are many good ideas in this book to help you better manage your time and your life.” —IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine
|Introduction: Getting More Done Faster||1|
|Chapter 1||The Psychology of Time Management||4|
|Chapter 2||Mastering Time Through Goals and Objectives||26|
|Chapter 3||The Essence of Good Time Management: Getting Yourself Organized||52|
|Chapter 4||Establishing Proper Priorities||71|
|Chapter 5||Developing the Work Habits to Get Things Done||101|
|Chapter 6||Managing Multitask Jobs||119|
|Chapter 7||Time-Saving Techniques--and How to Deal with the Six Biggest Time Wasters||138|
|Chapter 8||Overcoming Procrastination||159|
|Chapter 9||Keeping Up and Getting Ahead by Making the Most of Your Time||177|
|Chapter 10||Saving Time When Dealing with Others||202|
|Chapter 11||Time Management Techniques for Salespeople||228|
|Chapter 12||The Philosophy of Time Management||252|
"The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it-as long as you believe 100 percent." -ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
The Law of Correspondence says that your outer life tends to be a mirror image of your inner life. Everywhere you look, there you are. Everywhere you look, you see yourself reflected back. You do not see the world as it is, but as you are-inside. If you want to change what is going on in the world around you-your relationships, results, and rewards-you have to change what is going on in the world inside you. Fortunately, this is the only part of your life over which you have complete control.
The Starting Point of Success
The starting point of excelling in time management is desire. Almost everyone feels that their time management skills could be vastly better than they are. People resolve, over and over again, to get serious about time management by focusing, setting better priorities, and overcoming procrastination. They intend to get serious about time management sometime, but unfortunately, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
The key to motivation is "motive." For you to develop sufficient desire to develop Time Power, you must be intensely motivated by the benefits you feel you will enjoy. You must want the results badly enough to overcome the natural inertia that keeps you doing things the same old way. Here are four good reasons for practicing what you learn in this book. You can:
1. Gain two extra hours each day.
2. Improve your productivity and performance.
3. Increase your sense of control.
4. Have more time for your family.
Gaining Two Extra Hours Each Day
You will gain at least two additional productive hours per day by practicing what you learn in this book. Just think of it! What could you do or accomplish if you had the gift of two extra working hours each day? What projects could you start and complete? What books could you write and publish? What subjects could you learn and master? What could you accomplish with two extra hours if you were able to focus and concentrate on completing high-value tasks?
Two extra hours per day, multiplied by five days per week, equals ten extra hours a week. Ten extra hours a week multiplied by fifty weeks a year would give you 500 extra productive hours each year. And 500 hours translates into more than twelve forty-hour weeks, or the equivalent of three extra months of productive working time each year.
By gaining two productive hours each day, you can transform your personal and working life. You can achieve all your goals, vastly increase your income over the next two to three years, and eventually achieve financial independence, if not become rich.
Improving Your Productivity and Performance
Your productivity, performance, and income will increase by at least 25 percent over the next year. Two more productive hours, out of the eight hours that you spend at work each day, is the equivalent of at least a 25 percent increase.
What you are earning today is what you are being paid today as a result of what you are producing today. If you increase your productivity by 25 percent or more, you must eventually earn and be paid 25 percent more. And if your current boss won't pay you for improved performance, some other boss will come along and gladly give you more money for your ability to produce greater results.
Increasing Your Sense of Control
You will have more energy and less stress as you practice these ideas. When you leverage the power of time, you will have a greater sense of control over your work and your personal life. You will feel like the master of your own destiny, and a power in your own life. You will feel more positive and powerful in every part of your life.
Over the years, psychologists have done extensive research in the area of what is called "locus of control." They have discovered that you feel positive about yourself and your life to the degree to which you feel in charge of your life; you have an "internal" locus of control. With an internal locus of control, you feel that your life is in your own hands. You make your own decisions, and you are responsible for your own actions and outcomes. You are the primary creative force in your own life.
Psychologists have also found that if you have an "external" locus of control, in that you feel that you are controlled by people and circumstances outside of yourself, such as your boss, your bills, your family, your health, or some other factor, you will feel negative, angry, and often depressed. You will feel frustrated and unable to change. You will develop what is called "learned helplessness" and see yourself more as a "creature of circumstances" rather than a "creator of circumstances." When you have an external locus of control, you feel that you are a prisoner of external forces. You often see yourself as a victim.
Take Control of Your Time and Your Life
One of the keys to developing a stronger internal locus of control is to manage your time and your life better. The more skilled you become at managing your time, the happier and more confident you will feel. You will have a stronger sense of personal power. You will feel in charge of your own destiny. You will have a greater sense of well-being. You will be more positive and personable.
Having More Time for Your Family
You will have more time for your family and your personal life as you get your time and your life under control. You will have more time for your friends, for relaxation, for personal and professional development, and for anything else you want to do.
When you become the master of your own time, and recapture two extra hours per day, you can use that extra time to run a marathon, complete a college degree, write a book, build a business, and create an outstanding life. With two extra hours a day, you can put your life and career onto the fast track and begin moving ahead at a more rapid rate than you ever thought possible.
The Three Mental Barriers to Time Power
If everyone agrees that excellent time management is a desirable skill, why is it that so few people can be described as "well organized, effective, and efficient"? Over the years, I have found that many people have ideas about time management that are simply not true. But if you believe something to be true, it becomes true for you. Your beliefs cause you to see yourself and the world, and your relationship to time management, in a particular way. If you have negative beliefs in any area, these beliefs will affect your thinking and actions, and will eventually become your reality. You are not what you think you are, but what you think, you are.
Barrier 1: Worries About Decreasing Your Naturalness and Spontaneity
The first myth, or negative belief, of time management is that if you are too well organized, you become cold, calculating, and unemotional. Some people feel that they will lose their spontaneity and freedom if they are extremely effective and efficient. They will become unable to "go with the flow," to express themselves openly and honestly. People think that managing your time well makes you too rigid and inflexible.
This turns out not to be true at all. Many people hide behind this false idea and use it as an excuse for not disciplining themselves the way they know they should. The fact is that people who are disorganized are not spontaneous; they are merely confused, and often frantic. Often they suffer a good deal of stress. It turns out that the better organized you are, the more time and opportunity you have to be truly relaxed, truly spontaneous, and truly happy. You have a much greater internal locus of control.
The key is structuring and organizing everything that you possibly can: Thinking ahead; planning for contingencies; preparing thoroughly; and focusing on specific results. Only then can you be completely relaxed and spontaneous when the situation changes. The better organized you are in the factors that are under your control, the greater freedom and flexibility you have to quickly make changes whenever they are necessary.
Barrier 2: Negative Mental Programming
The second mental barrier to developing excellent time management skills is negative programming, which is often picked up from your parents, but also from other influential people as you are growing up. If your parents or others told you that you were a messy person, or that you were always late, or that you never finished anything you started, chances are that as an adult, you may still be operating unconsciously to obey these earlier commands.
The most common excuse used for this type of behavior is: "That's just the way I am," or "I have always been that way." The fact is that no one is born messy and disorganized, or neat and efficient. Time management and personal efficiency skills are disciplines that we learn and develop with practice and repetition. If we have developed bad time management habits, we can unlearn them. We can replace them with good habits over time.
Barrier 3: Self-Limiting Beliefs
The third mental barrier to good time management skills is a negative self-concept, or what are called "self-limiting beliefs." Many people believe that they don't have the ability to be good at time management. They often believe that it is an inborn part of their background or heritage. But there is no gene or chromosome for poor time management, or good time management, for that matter. Nobody is born with a genetic deficiency in personal organization. Your personal behaviors are very much under your own control.
Here is an example to prove that most of what you do is determined by your level of motivation and desire in that area. Imagine that someone were to offer you a million dollars to manage your time superbly for the next thirty days. Imagine that an efficiency expert was going to follow you around with a clipboard and a video camera for one month. After thirty days, if you had used your time efficiently and well, working on your highest priorities all day, every day, you would receive a prize of one million dollars. How efficient would you be over the next thirty days?
The fact is that, with sufficient motivation (one million dollars!), you would be one of the most efficient, effective, best-organized, and focused people in the world. The best news is that after one full month of practicing the very best time management skills you know, you would have developed habits of high productivity and top performance that would last you the rest of your life.
You Are Free to Choose
Time management behaviors are very much a matter of choice. You choose to be efficient or you choose to be disorganized. You choose to focus and concentrate on your highest-value tasks, or you choose to spend your time on activities that contribute little value to your life. And you are always free to choose.
The starting point of overcoming your previous programming and eliminating the mental blocks to time management is for you to make a clear, unequivocal decision to become absolutely excellent at the way you use your time, minute by minute and hour by hour. You must decide, right here and now, that you are going to become an expert in time management. Your aim should be to manage your time so well that people look up to you and use you as a role model for their own work habits.
Program Yourself for Effectiveness and Efficiency
There are several mental techniques that you can use to program yourself for peak performance.
Use Positive Self-Talk
The first of these methods for programming your subconscious mind is positive self-talk, or the use of positive affirmations. These are commands that you pass from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind. Affirmations are statements that you either say out loud or say to yourself with the emotion and enthusiasm that drives the words into your subconscious mind as new operating instructions. Here are some examples of affirmative commands that you can use to improve your time management skills.
Begin by repeating over and over to yourself, "I am excellent at time management! I am excellent at time management!" Any command repeated again and again in a spirit of faith, acceptance, and belief will eventually be accepted by your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind will then organize your words, actions, and feelings to be consistent with these new commands.
You can continually repeat, "I am always punctual for my appointments! I am always punctual for my appointments!" You can create your own mental commands, such as "I am well organized!" or "I concentrate easily on my highest payoff tasks!" My favorite time management affirmation is to repeat continually, "I use my time well. I use my time well. I use my time well." Used consistently, positive affirmations will start to influence your external behaviors.
Visualize Yourself as Highly Efficient
The second technique that you can use to program your subconscious mind is visualization. Your subconscious mind is most immediately influenced by mental pictures. In self-image psychology, the person you see is the person you will be. Begin to see yourself as someone who is well organized, efficient, and effective. Recall and recreate memories and pictures of yourself when you were performing at your best. Think of a time when you were working efficiently and effectively and getting through an enormous amount of work. Play this picture of yourself over and over again on the screen of your mind.
In athletic training, this is called "mental rehearsal." This requires practicing and rehearsing actions in your mind before you actually engage in the physical activity. The more relaxed you are when you visualize yourself performing at your best, the more rapidly this command is accepted by your subconscious mind and becomes a part of your thinking and behavior later on.
THE PRACTICE OF MENTAL REHEARSAL
The method is simple. First, sit or lie in a quiet place where you can be completely alone in the silence. Then imagine yourself going through an important upcoming experience, such as a meeting, a presentation, a negotiation, or even a date. As you sit or lie completely relaxed, create a picture of the coming event and see it unfolding perfectly in every respect. See yourself as calm, positive, happy, and in complete control. See the other people doing and saying exactly what you would want them to do if the situation was perfect. Then, breathe deeply, relax, and just let it go, as if you had sent off an order and the delivery is guaranteed, exactly as you pictured it.
Excerpted from Time Power by Brian Tracy Copyright © 2004 by Brian Tracy. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted March 16, 2005
From your morning commute to your late-afternoon coffee break, your daily travel through time may be filled with costly detours and countless obstacles. Are your days typically disrupted by disorganization and delays? Do you spin your wheels on the dirt paths of life? Fortunately, Brian Tracy offers a concise map around the daily roadblocks. His text provides a toolbox of effective time-management techniques, ranging from New Age-style visualizations ('mental rehearsals') to concrete 15-minute planning blocks. Tracy provides solutions for reprogramming a self-defeating subconscious and for retooling aimless corporate meetings. He suggests useful exercises and summaries, including action steps at the end of each chapter. Tracy apparently designed the book in a way that enables you to digest individual chapters as self-contained units. For this reason, it has redundancies, but this weakness is also a strength. Through repetition, Tracy really drives home important time-saving concepts. We recommend this highly useful, highly applicable anti-time-theft device to road weary executives and staff members who are lost in space and time. This book is a keeper for ongoing renewal.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.