The foundation of my time optimization program starts when clients take the Time Management Analysis (TMA). It is a self-assessment tool that asks you to answer twenty different time related scenarios. The TMA became the outline for my book The Time-Optimized Life.
As we head into 2024, I isolated those who took the TMA in 2023 and identified the top 10 time management challenges faced in the assessments. How many of these align with what you are experiencing right now?
The Top 10
- Struggles with procrastination.
This continues to be one of the top challenges identified every year. The intentional delay of important activities is usually tied to the fact that the item needed to be completed is not adequately defined or broken down into manageable steps.
- Allowing Interruptions.
Coming from the outside impacting our focus, interruptions keep us from staying on track with the items we’re working on. Proactively establishing what is important to you helps you fend off these external disruptions.
- Allowing distractions.
On the backside of the disruptions coin, distractions our internal in origin and it is up to you to power your way through these internal disruptions when they occur.
- Sleeping at least 8 hours a night.
According to multiple medical references, it is healthy for us to get anywhere between 7 and 9 hours a night of sleep. This is a challenge for many, and sleep continues to be one of the top time management trials people face. Getting enough sleep provides you with the energy, focus, and drive you need to be constantly productive.
- Being able to say “no”.
People tend to naturally want to please. However, that desire not to be seen as negative impedes the ability to be time efficient. Knowing when to say no and how to say no will improve your ability to get things done.
- Exercising regularly.
Including what I call another in the “personal care” area of time management, consistent exercise provides you with the stamina you’ll need in times of stress and high activity.
- Take at least 1 break during the day.
Like sleep, a break can afford you the opportunity to help reset and reenergize your mind and your body to go back at the task, project, or activity that you need to get done. Being dedicated to this helps create positive routines.
- Being organized.
Knowing where things are and how quickly you can get at them saves time trying to complete a task or activity. There is no one system or way to be organized, but your goal is to be able to get at the things you need right away.
- Maintaining a task list.
I am always surprised how many people who take the TMA don’t maintain any task list at all. If you are struggling with your time, this is a necessity. Otherwise, focus will be placed in the wrong areas, compounding your productivity challenges.
- Setting personal goals.
Too many people only establish goals tied to their professional life and miss a wonderful opportunity to add in the personal component to goal planning. Combining personal and professional goals into just goals allows you to have a richer and fulfilling life.
Start Going After Your List
If you resonate with one or more on this list, start at the top of the list and work your way down stopping at the first one that you feel is a challenge for you. Focus your efforts on that one area first. You’ll find that when you work on the top challenge first, you can begin to also solve challenges that you have that are further down on the list.
As we head into 2024, I’d like to give you a free gift to help. I always offer the TMA for free, providing a summary assessment for anyone who takes it. However between now and January 5th 2024, anyone who sees this article and takes the TMA, I will give them a full report for free. This is a $39 value. Just remember, you’ll need to put 2024 in the promo code area. You’ll get your full report within 48 hours.
I want to change the mindset of time management into time optimization, where people proactively seek ways to improve how they use their time. The TMA is a great way to start. Here’s to an amazing New Year.
Get Your Questions Answered
Join the conversation on December 28th. I’ll be taking your Time Management questions on my weekly LinkedIn Audio Event.
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