The time-management secrets Lee has developed have become one of his most requested corporate training lectures and are now available in his tell-all guide, Time Management Magic. The system he presents is not just about time management, it is about life management. The executive time management secrets contained in Time Management Magic help readers keep all parts of their lives under control and jump-start their personal and professional growth.
|Publisher:||Morgan James Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
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This Is Your Life!
One of the most important things you can do is to sit down and think deeply about how you spend your time, where you don't spend your time and where you should be spending your time — not just at work, but also in every part of your life. The quality of your life is directly affected by how and where you spend your time.
In this day and age, just about everyone feels overwhelmed by all the demands on their time. Those demands have become more intense than ever. Most people are required to do more at work, and that, coupled with their multiple responsibilities outside of work, can be so stressful that they simply feel out of control. And that is one of the worst feelings we can have. It is not the stress that kills you; it's the distress from feeling out of control.
But here's one of the most important things I've learned: Most people are not overworked ... they are under-organized.
We need to figure out how to be more organized, so we can get all the urgent, vital and important things done before it's too late. I believe that the average person can do 50 percent more than they are doing now, including all the right things, if they have an effective system for keeping their lives under control.
The number one excuse people use for not getting done what should be done is, "I did not have enough time." Throughout this book I will show you why that is a ridiculous statement. It is really nothing more than an excuse, since we all have exactly the same amount of time. Think for a moment about how profound that statement is. It means that Oprah, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and J.K. Rowling have no more time available to them than what is afforded to you and me. The same is true of every successful person throughout history who's become a household name: Thomas Edison, Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King Jr., Estée Lauder — no one has more than 24 hours in a day ... and no one has less than that either.
Simply put, some very busy people get it all done, and some people who are not all that busy don't get much done.
The problem is, people believe the "I don't have enough time" excuse. They really believe that's just the way it is. But nothing is just the way it is. Things are the way you let them be. Again, we all have the same amount of time. In my experience, people usually have time to do what they want to do, but they don't make time to do what they should do.
As I always tell leaders, "Your role is to do what has to be done, when it has to be done, in the way it should be done, whether you like it or not and whether they like it or not." And leadership is not about titles, or job descriptions, or salary grade. There's a big difference between leadership and management. Management is about how to do. Leadership is about how to be. It's about having influence and making an impact on others. And leadership is not just for the workplace. We are all leaders. In one way or another, whether in business, with our families, neighborhoods, communities or our places of worship, we are all leaders, and we need to be much better organized and much more reliable.
Parents should pay particular attention to this idea. Children are not supposed to be happy all the time. Your responsibility as a parent is to do what has to be done, when it has to be done, in the way it should be done, whether your children like it or not. Turn that TV off. Get them to put away the electronic games and computers. Get them to play outside and to read books, whether they like it or not. Physical fitness and a love of reading are among the most important gifts you can give your children.
Parents are allowed to say "no." In fact, if you love your kids you will say "no" often, for their own good. Recently, San Francisco tried to impose a law on McDonald's to eliminate the toy in their kiddie meals. I thought that was a joke. The toy is not the problem. The nutritional content of the food is not the problem. Parents are the problem. It's not McDonald's fault that so many people are overweight. It's the individual's fault. It stems from a lack of self-discipline. With self-discipline almost anything can be achieved in every aspect of life.
Think of all the leaders who have had a big impact on the world over the centuries. Most of them were not General Managers or Executive Vice Presidents or Presidents. They were not CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, COOs, CMOs, CPOs or any other chiefs you can think of. They were individuals who were committed to what they were doing. They were willing to go all the way. They were passionate, highly focused and relentless. They had a can-do attitude. They never gave up.
I think of people like Harriet Beecher Stowe, Nelson Mandela, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks — they were ordinary people when they started, and they left the world a much better place. Think about Abraham Lincoln. Without his focus and determination, the 13th Amendment of our Constitution would not have passed, and the curse of slavery would have persisted. He and the others did what most people said could not be done. They didn't believe them. And as Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right."
Never underestimate what a difference you can make. And don't say you don't have the time. You have the same amount of time as all those people whose achievements we celebrate. This book will help you manage that time to accomplish everything you care about. If you are already a disciplined person, you will learn how to channel that discipline into being even more efficient and more effective. Being both efficient and effective is the name of the game.
"Efficient" is being able to get things done. "Effective" is doing the right things in the right order, and making sure you address everything that is urgent, vital and important, in every part of your life.
Pay Now or Pay Later
Before I took a time management seminar over thirty years ago, I was putting in way too many hours at work. I was regularly working Saturdays and Sundays and taking work home every night. I got the work done, and I considered myself very well organized. But I had very little balance in my life. Then I took the course, and I learned a system that changed my life. As soon as I started using what I learned, I was rewarded, and I've been rewarded every day since.
That's why I wrote this book: so you can benefit from what I've learned. It will reward you in ways you have never imagined. You may feel overwhelmed now. You may feel hopeless because there's too much to do and too little time to do it. Those feelings will disappear in time. It is not hopeless. You can learn to be more organized and disciplined — but you have to want to.
People ask me what I worry about, and I can tell you that one thing I worry about is how disorganized people are.
It is really quite a problem. Most people have absolutely no system in place for how to plan their day, week, month or year. They come to their workplace and follow systems to accomplish their work, like using checklists and following operating guidelines, policies and procedures. When it comes to managing their personal lives though, they have no system. They hope, wish and pray that everything will work out, but that is not a system. In fact, sadly, most people actually do a better job of managing time for their organization than they do for themselves.
I always ask people in my Time/Life Management class one question, and they always get the answer right. The question is, "Who is most responsible for controlling the events in your life?"
You know the answer, and it's the first word in this sentence: YOU! I hope this book and approach will help you think about your responsibilities at work, at home and in all other aspects of your life, such as your health, your work in your community, your own personal development and your finances.
Speaking of which, one aspect of managing time is to think both short-term and long-term, and that means developing a retirement plan early enough in life to get the magic of compound interest working in your favor. You can't start to focus on your retirement funds a few years before you want to retire, just as you can't start planning for your children's education when they are sixteen, or thinking about your healthcare needs only when you get sick.
The sad thing is that most people put such responsibilities off until they're forced to deal with them. They start working out after they have bypass surgery. They don't do weight-bearing exercise until they fall and break a hip. They stop smoking only after they're diagnosed with lung cancer. They don't plan for their children's personal development until they get accepted to a college they can't afford, or something much worse happens, like their kids have drug problems, or an unwanted pregnancy, or suffer from low self-esteem and lack of confidence. And they don't think seriously about funding their own retirement until they're 64, so they end up working into their seventies and eighties, and maybe suffering unnecessarily because they can't pay for medical care. Do you plan on being the first human in recorded history to not age and not need retirement funds?
You either pay now or pay later with just about every decision you make about where and how you spend your time.
The Most Crucial Skill
Everyone knows what he or she should and should not be doing, but for some reason many of us don't act on that knowledge. "Someday" is not a day of the week. There may be many psychological reasons why people don't do what they know they should do, but one primary reason is this: they just don't know how. They have no organized way to get done what should be done. High schools, colleges and universities do not teach courses on time/life management, and frankly it's probably the most crucial skill a person needs to be successful and happy.
At the risk of being repetitive I want to make sure you don't overlook the profundity of this concept, so I am going to state it again:
Time/life management is probably the most crucial skill a person needs to be successful and happy.
I hope this book will turn the light on for you before it is too late. To make the best use of it, you need to be honest with yourself.
Learning the art and science of Time/Life Management will definitely help you fix these problems. But let's be honest, it might not be enough, and if it's not, I urge you to find someone who can help you.
I teach my Time/Life Management course the old-fashioned, pre-digital way. I use a Day-Timer® as the planner for implementing the principles and techniques in the course. The type I use is called the Two-Page-Per-Day Original — product number 98010. The Day-Timer® phone number is 800-225-5005. They will ship directly to you. You can also go directly to their website, www.daytimer.com, to learn more about their products, and for contact information in and outside the United States.
I have been using the Day-Timer system for over thirty-five years. It is one of the main reasons I have been able to bring balance and order to my hectic days and more success than I ever imagined in both my personal life and my business life. I use my Day-Timer® for planning each day, week and year. I use it to keep my life under control.
I assure you, I am not a dinosaur. I am very comfortable with digital technology, and I celebrate every technological advance. I have a smartphone, and I use it for my calendar, my e-mail, my contact list (over 3,000 contacts) and searching the Web. I don't need a smartphone to be organized; I learned to be well organized back when Steve Jobs was dreaming up Apple. But I must admit my smartphone has made me even more efficient than I already was.
So I now have two excellent tools for keeping my life under control: my Day-Timer® and my smartphone. Later in this book I will explain how I use both tools to stay organized and keep my life under control even as I travel around the world giving speeches, talks and workshops while also trying to be the best father, grandfather and husband I can be.
From my first-hand observations of thousands of people all around the globe, I am convinced that people who once used a paper pocket day planner and then switched to a smartphone only are now less organized, less effective and less efficient than they used to be. One reason is that they waste more time than they've gained because they now have a fancy new toy to play with instead of doing what needs to be done. Very few are disciplined enough to stay focused on what is important instead of what is merely fun, informative or exciting. If you aspire to excellent time management, you can't let yourself become distracted by the endless waves of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, texts, e-mails and other updates that sidetrack so many aspiring leaders.
The first thing we need to do is define what time management is. For our purposes, let's define "time" as events occurring one after another 24/7. This simply means that we wake up in the morning and go through a series of events throughout the day, and we repeat this pattern day after day for our entire life. Many of these events we know about when we wake up. We have intentionally set aside time for them and have scheduled them in our appointment calendars.
Other events that occur are simple habits like brushing our teeth, taking our vitamins and kissing our kids goodbye — things we do without the need for scheduling.
You don't need to schedule your habits if they are truly good habits, and you do them without a reminder.
There are also things we want to do, or know we should do, like get regular exercise or read to our children before bed, but we don't make enough time for them.
My advice is to start today to schedule those events, just like you schedule a medical checkup or a business meeting. Yes, today! Schedule the priorities in your life. At one point, I used my Day-Timer to remind me to drink more water and to call my mother every Sunday. I lost the need for scheduling when drinking water became a natural habit and those Sunday calls became routine.
There is another category of events: things we can't know about in advance because they come up unpredictably and we have to respond to them. Later in the book I will show you how to make sure you have time for those unexpected events and how to handle them so they turn out better.
Now let's look at the second word in "time management." Management is the act of controlling. With time management we are simply trying to keep under control everything we need to manage. If you run a restaurant, for example, your main responsibility is to keep that restaurant under control. That means that when guests/customers arrive, the parking lot is clean, the landscape is attractive, the employees greet them politely and seat them promptly, the server comes to their table at just the right time and knows about all aspects of the menu and wine list. It means that the food arrives promptly, looks great and tastes delicious. It means that the entire restaurant is clean, the lights and music are at just the right levels, and everything else is in good working order. It means that safe work habits are followed and safe, wholesome food is served. It means that employees receive excellent training, development and leadership, feel involved in the business, and are appreciated and respected. It means that when diners are ready, their check comes promptly, and when they leave they are given a nice farewell. Give them all that and they'll be eager to come back.
The restaurant I've just described is under control. But, as anyone who has run a successful business of any kind can tell you, that level of excellence can only be achieved if everything in the organization, from expenses to employee morale, is controlled by well-organized leaders through the diligent implementation of checklists, outstanding training procedures and relentless follow-up.
Managing our lives requires the same level of diligence. We've all seen what happens when things are out of control, whether it's a bad theatrical performance, or a bureaucratic snafu in a large organization, or a dry cleaner that loses your shirts, or a meeting where everyone argues and no decisions get made, or a family that can't corral their kids and gets to the game an hour late. Whenever something is out of control it's because of a leadership/management problem, whether the leader is a CEO, an athletic coach, a small business owner or a parent. When it comes to your personal life, you are the leader. Don't be a leader who is out of control!(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Time Management Magic"
Copyright © 2020 Lee Cockerell.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
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.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 This Is Your Life!,
Chapter 2 It's Your Time ... and Your Life!,
Chapter 3 How to Use a Day-Timer® Daily Planner,
Chapter 4 Assigning Right Priorities Urgent, Vital & Important!,
Chapter 5 Mom's Advice on Procrastination ... As In, Clean Up Your Room!,
Chapter 6 Priscilla's Advice on Preoccupation ... As In, Pay Attention!,
Chapter 7 Final Thoughts ... As In, When Are You Going to Get Started?,
Lee Cockerell Resources,
About The Author ... Lee Cockerell,