Time Management Secret 6 — Activity is not achievement

How valuable would an extra hour every day be to you?

Ever found yourself saying "I am busy, but at the end of the day I don't really know what I have achieved" Well this time management article is for you. This is part of the time management guide outlining the 7 secrets to Create an Extra Hour a Day?

So let's go through the secrets quickly. The 7 secrets are:

1. There is no such thing as time management!

2. Time is for spending.

3. Crossing the knowing-to-doing GAP

4. Staying Focused

5. Tapping your Energy

6. Don't mistake activity for achievement!

7. Ready FIRE aim

Secret 5 in creating an extra hour a day is about NOT mistaking activity for achievement.

Nick was rushing to a very important appointment in the city! This deal could take the company to the next level! Nick was stressed about getting there on time. He was frantic while looking for a car park. Finally he parked and rushed off to the appointment. He got to the foyer to find the lift was being serviced – his meeting was on the 5th floor. That didn’t stop Nick – he headed straight for the stairs. Up he went, fast at first, then slower, but always moving. Finally he gets to the 5th floor, rushes to reception (only a minute or 2 late) and says “I have an appointment with Michael Erwin.” The receptionist looks at Nick and says “I’m sorry there is no Michael Erwin here”. Nick steps back and looks around. “Is this Time Creation?” he asks? “No. I’m sorry” she replies “they are in the next building!”

Nick was busy during the whole process of getting to the wrong office! BUT he was not effective.

We find many people in our programs (and many others who probably should be in the programs) are busy being busy. They are rushing up the stairs, but they are not sure if they are in the right building.

Secret number 7 in creating an extra hour a day is about recognizing that doing things is not the same as achieving things.

Achievement and effectiveness are about doing things that move you toward your most important goals. And that is not the same as doing whatever is in front of you. Reading and replying to email, handling interruptions, taking a phone call is easy compared to doing what creates real progress.

Each day it seems you are asked to do more in less time, often with less resource. This makes it much easier to mistake activity for achievement. Yet, in these circumstances, is it even more important to achieve progress – not just be busy.

A great time management principle to use is the 80-20 principle. In a time management sense the 80-20 principle says that 80% of your progress to your goal will come from 20% of your actions. Think about that for a minute. About 20% of what you do will get you 80% of the way to the finish line. Do you know what actions are in that 20%? Most people don't. In fact most people are not even clear about what their goal is (secret number 2).

This week do an effectiveness audit. Each morning and each evening take 5 minutes and reflect of the activities you did today. Rate them from -5 to +5 (+5 = major advancement to achieving your goal; -5=major movement away from your goal; 0=no movement either way. If you have been following the 7 secrets time management guide to create and extra hour a day, you will have defined what you really want in life and business, so it will be easy to determine whether you are moving towards or away from your goals. What will your NET SCORE will be?

Remember this is not about activity or effort, it’s about progress and achievement. Nick was working very hard, but moving away from his desired destination! (I suggest Nick's effectiveness audit score would be - 4)

Author's Bio: 

Michael Erwin is an internationally certified coach who specializes in Time Creation. He has created a unique Time Management for the 21st Century system. Get the FREE version here. He has collected the most effective time management resources, including time management videos and made them available to FREE at http://www.time-management-central.net

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Michael Erwin, the Official Guide to Time Management