Successful people know how to manage their time so they get more accomplished every hour of every day. If you know that you could manage your time better, start thinking in terms of activity management rather than time management. The amount of time it takes to reach your goals ultimately comes down to the manner in which you approach the activities you need to complete on a daily basis. If you manage those activities, you will naturally manage your time efficiently.
Prepare for Success
The healthier you are in body and mind, the more you will accomplish on a daily basis. You have to put your personal needs above all others because an energetic, healthy body and focused, stable mind are always more successful than an unhealthy body and scattered, stressed out mind. Put your personal needs first and do not allow them to be pushed aside by other needs. This is your main defense against low productivity in other areas of your life.
Big Rocks vs. Little Rocks
Big rocks are tasks that require a lot of resources, but which deliver big rewards when they are accomplished. Little rocks are tasks that require fewer resources and which deliver smaller rewards when accomplished. For example, a big rock task may require all of your focus for an entire day or a few days, while a small rock task may be completed in a matter of minutes or hours. There is an advantage to completing your big rocks first. They are typically more important and their completion will have greater impact as you reach for your goals. You can always complete the small rocks once the big rocks are out of the way, since those rocks are less stressful. If you waste your energy on little rocks you will be left with less energy and fewer resources, and that makes those big rocks far more difficult. Sprinkle little rocks between the big rocks. As the big rocks are completed, you will reach your goals and become successful. The little rocks will give you a break so you feel accomplished and productive without burning out.
Prioritize Your Rocks
Each day, select three big rocks and three little rocks that you want to accomplish. Do not feel guilty setting the little rocks aside until tomorrow, as long as those big rocks are completed. Prioritize these rocks and you will accomplish more each day.
Use an action planner to plan each week ahead of time. Everything should be planned out so you do not feel stressed about what you need to accomplish over the course of the week. You can relax into your schedule knowing that everything you want to accomplish is accounted for in your schedule. Focus on one rock at a time and stick to that plan. Remember, put your personal needs on the schedule first. Those are enormous rocks that cannot be moved. Complete them and then move on to other activities knowing you are strong and healthy enough to handle everything life throws your way.