About IDEA Seminars Workshops & Calendar Contact The Experience Sponsorship Sponsorship & Corporate Consulting Articles Links Online Store
Back to Articles Index


Time Management Mini-Workshop
By Rex Steven Sikes

Life is a process of change and if you want to be in charge of your life then you must be able to direct that change. The only thing standing in your way is if you refuse to believe in your own abilities and then you act on that belief. Sadly most of us use only a very small portion of our true potential. We sell ourselves short instead of realizing our marvelous capabilities and capacity for enhanced performance. Change occurs the very moment people stop saying "I guess this is something I have to live with" and start asking themselves, "how can I do it easier?". By learning to manage your time you will have more time and energy for the relationships in your life that are truly important!

Procrastination is a fact of life, but it is not a part of your nature. It is learned by reward. You are strongly effected by what happens immediately after the behavior occurs. Your brain makes the link - this is The Principle of Reinforcement. The moment you don't do what has to be done in favor of a snack, television viewing or any other activity but the one you intended to do you are rewarding yourself for procrastination. The brain learns by succession and makes connections from one moment to the next. In NLP we call this anchoring. You are anchoring a more pleasant behavior to the act of procrastinating. You must learn to reverse this.

This can be accomplished easily by beginning your task, by breaking it into smaller steps which you can accomplish easily and rewarding yourself for taking the first, second and each subsequent step.

A reward is anything that brings you pleasure. Research indicates that any behavior you are likely to do on your own constitutes a reward for an activity you are not likely to do. You must realize that procrastination is its own reward - so use it to get yourself to do things. Start rewarding your performance and not your lack of it. Whenever you face a task you don't want to do ask yourself, "What am I in the mood for that I could easily do right now?" Then be sure to do that immediately after you do the first small step.

William James said "nothing is so fatiguing as the hanging on of an uncompleted task". What this means is procrastination and lack of good time management are actually more draining and energy zapping than plotting your course of action and following through.

Blocks to Getting things done:

1. Poor attitude - avoiding discomfort, fear of failure or success
2. Rationalization - lack of skill, waiting for the right moment, beliefs
3. Fatigue, stress, illness
4. Environment - noise, messy area, distractions

Guides to getting things done

1. Activate your attitude
2. Develop the skills and adjust your beliefs
3. Doing begets energy
4. Turn your environment into an invitation

1. Activating your Attitude:
Learn to ask yourself the kinds of questions that lead to getting results. Remember ever action or inaction involves a choice. You are always spending your time in some manner. Do you want to really spend it whining and complaining or would you prefer to learn to ask questions that get you what you want?

2. Stop rationalizing, develop skills and adjust beliefs
With rationalizations the key is to build in an alarm system that goes off so that you catch yourself. You need to ask yourself "Is this constructive or am I rationalizing?" This will give you the opportunity to prove to yourself that you are not a victim of your moods.

When you force yourself to do something you don't want to do your self esteem and self satisfaction increases. To handle fear of failure realize that failure is feedback. The more chances you give yourself to fail the more feedback you get and the better your chance of success.

One of the best uses of your time is to increase your competence in your key areas. The key to your future, to your earning ability is continuous personal and professional development. Remember time and money can either be spent or invested. Invest no less that 5% of your total income in yourself. Peak Performance is the result of loving what you do which comes as a result of believing in what you are doing and knowing what you are doing.

Read one hour in your field per day and in 3 years you will be a top expert in your field. In 5 years you will be top expert in the country, and in ten years a top expert in the world.

Attend seminar every three months. Turn your car into a learning machine - a university on wheels. Listen to tapes. Remember: Always trade money for time and life. Use money whenever possible to save time - delegate or purchase. The Law of Accumulation states that everything counts.

3. Meeting your physical needs.
Rest, relax, take short breaks, exercise and have proper diet to insure your well being.

4. Create the proper environment.
Have the proper tools and have them organized. Rule: Clean your workspace before you leave. The advantage to this is ridding yourself of the junk so that it doesn't get mixed in with the important stuff thereby avoiding clutter. Force yourself to get organized and only handle each piece of paper only once. If you don't need it at the moment file it immediately or ditch it.

Questions designed to help make your environment more inviting.
Do I have all the tools I need? Do I have enough space? Are things organized? Can I easily get to the tools I use most often? Are there distractions I can eliminate? Do I have a good system for handling paper work? Do I have the privacy to get things done?

Time management is the science of how to use the hours in a day more efficiently. Pencil and paper are the two most powerful tools in time management. It is done by planning. Rule: "Work expands to fill the time available" This means that most people take an hour to do something that can be done in ten minutes. "Action without planning is the cause of every failure" A. Mackenzie.

One minute of planning will save you ten in performance. When you plan set deadlines and stick to them. Actually give yourself less time to accomplish the task than too much. This will give you more time to spend on what really matters. Additionally, most people work better under pressure. Self discipline can create the pressure you need while giving you a cushion.

"Dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." Benjamin Franklin

Time management is really life management and personal management. It is a skill that can be learned and developed. It requires self discipline, mastery and control. It enables you to control the sequence of events. Everything that is important - your life, income, personal happiness are determined by you use your time.

"The worst use of time is to do very well what need not be done at all." B. Tregoe

3 Top Goals for Balanced Life
Financial/ Career or Professional
Personal Self Improvement

Get Focused - when in the office be in the office, when playing tennis be totally on the tennis court. When in the office work, when with your family be with your family 100%.

Three means of managing your time:
1. Do it - get it done
2. Delegate it - give it to someone else who is competent
3. Ditch it - forget about it all together, it is really unimportant

Remember ever action involves a choice between what is more important and what is less important. The Law of Excluded Alternatives - doing one thing means not doing something else. Separate the urgent from the important. Ask yourself, "What is the long term potential or consequence of not doing this now?" Don't do anything you can delegate or purchase. Remember: Your aim in time management is to increase your return on energy.

ABCDE Method it will save you 25% time.

A = must, B= should, C = nice D = delegate, E = eliminate.
The Law of Forced Efficiency states that there is always enough time to do the most important things. Ask yourself, "What is the most valuable use of my time right now?" Access how you will feel afterwards - will you feel better or worse if you don't do it right away?

For items that are not truly priority items put it on the back burner, low priority file. Make of point of going through the file and getting them done at a certain deadline. This file is a back burner not a grave yard.

Major time waster is lack of planning.
Set deadlines and do until done. Remember task completion is a source of energy and reward. It creates self esteem and enthusiasm. It also gives you a sense of control.

Get clear on your task: "What am I attempting to accomplish? How am I attempting to accomplish this? Is there a better easier more fun way?" When you are done with your task put it away.

Plan your work and work your plan.
You need the big picture and the details. Set long term and short term goals. Create a master list, a daily list and a project list. Making detailed organized plans of action are a great time saver. Each time you make your planning schedule be sure to include some activity that works toward your long and short term goals.

Self discipline is the ability to make yourself stay focused on only those things that are important. Practice makes perfect work on managing your time everyday. It is the key to your future successes.

List your 5 Top values

List your dream list

List your Life time goals

List your short term goals.

Mission Statement: What is your overall purpose on the planet?

How would you spend your life if you had ___ years to live?
10 years

5 years

1 years

6 years

3 years

1 years

What price are you willing to pay? What is your personal commitment?

List Things you have been putting off

List 10 things you would like to do but are afraid.


| About | Workshops | Contact Us | The Experience
Sponsorship | Consulting | Articles | Links | Store

 Contents Copyright 2001 by IDEA Seminars. All rights reserved.