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Brian Tracy - time management tips
"The quality of your life is largely determined by the quality of your time
management. If you master your time, you give yourself the ultimate advantage in
business and in life. When you master your time -- you master your life"
Brian Tracy is one of the world's leading authorities on the development of human
potential and personal effectiveness. He addresses more than 100,000 people each
year. The following pages include his time management guidelines and tips.
1. Thinking About Time
1. Decide today to organize your time and your life for maximum efficiency
2. Time Management is a tool with which you can build a great life -- if you
use it continually.
3. Time Management is really personal management, life management, and it
affects everything you do.
4. Successful people all have one trait in common; they all are highly productive.
5. To have a better life on the outside, you must become better organized on the inside.
6. Desire is the starting point of learning.
What would you do with two extra hours per day?
7. When you get 25% to 50% more out of yourself and your working day, your income
will increase by that same amount.
8. Time management enables you to reduce the stress caused by disorganization and
increase your positive energy.
9. You can be more spontaneous and relaxed to the degree to which you have your life
under complete control and completely organized.
10. You can become a brilliant time manager if you really want to and if you're willing
2. Time Mgmt. Principles
1. Time is your most important resource; it's all you really have to sell.
2. Time is perishable; it cannot be saved, only spent.
3. Time is irreplaceable; nothing else will do -- especially in relationships.
4. Time is essential for accomplishment; your time usage determines the quality of
5. Time management is a skill, like any other, that can and must be learned.
6. The most important quality for time management is self-discipline, self-mastery
7. The most vital element in a positive mental attitude is a "sense of control."
8. Time management enables you to control the sequence of events -- the secret of
9. You are always free to choose what you do first, what you do second, what you do
not do at all.
10. Your choices and decisions determine the direction of your life and all you achieve.
Is it time for you to make new ones?!
3. Setting Goals and Priorities
1. To succeed greatly, you must have clear goals in every area of your life.
2. Decide exactly what you really want to achieve in terms of your income, and
family, and your health.
3. Write out a clear, detailed present-tense description of your major goals -- as
if they already existed.
4. Set a deadline on every goal; set sub-deadlines on larger goals.
5. An unwritten goal, without a deadline, is just a wish or fantasy -- it has no
power or energy behind it.
6. Make a list of everything you can think of to do to achieve your goal; organize
the list by priority.
7. Back your goals and plans with total commitment to their realization.
8. Be action-oriented! Do something every day to move you towards your biggest
9. Always focus on outward contribution and on measurable results.
10. Concentrate on the few goals and objectives where outstanding results are
4. Focusing Your Energies
1. Accept complete responsibility for yourself and for everything you do or become.
2. See yourself as the President of your own personal services corporation.
3. Commit to adding value continually, every day in every part of your life.
4. Focus on your output responsibilities -- the things you produce that others pay
for or use.
5. The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter
6. Always work on your highest "value added" tasks.
7. What are your key result areas? These are the specific, measurable outputs that
determine your success.
8. Why are you on the payroll? Explain why you are paid for what you do in 25
words or less.
9. What can you, and only you, do, which if done well, will make a real difference?
10. What is the most valuable use of my time, right now? Ask this of yourself
5. Concentrating Your Powers
1. Time wastage, working on low-value, no value activities is the primary reason
2. The very worst use of time is to do very well what need not be done at all.
3. Doing what you really enjoy and are good at is the key to peak performance.
4. Practice zero-based thinking before you begin: "Knowing what I know now, is
there anything I'm doing that I wouldn't get into today - if I had it to do over?"
5. Set clear priorities on your tasks before you begin. Use the 80/20 Rule.
6. Select the most important task you could possibly complete and start on that one
before you do anything else.
7. Have everything you need before you begin. A few minutes in preparation will
save you hours in execution.
8. Consequences are the measure; the greater the possible consequences, the more
vital and important the task.
9. Separate the urgent from the important. Urgent tasks are often unimportant and
important tasks are often not urgent.
10. Concentrate single-mindedly on one thing, the most important thing, and stay
with it until it's complete.
6. Essential Time Mgmt. Skills
1. Make a list before you begin; always work from a list.
2. Set clear priorities on your list; always begin with the most important tasks.
3. Resist diversion or distraction; keep saying to yourself "Back to work! Back to
4. Practice single-handling with every task -- once you begin, refuse to do
anything else until your
5. When you finish with a task, put everything away.
6. One minute in planning saves ten minutes in execution -- a 1000% return on your
7. Identify your limiting step: the task or function that determines the speed at
which you achieve your goal.
8. Define your goal and then ask, "Why am I not there already? What is holding me
9. With major tasks, you need blocks of uninterrupted time; turn off the telephone!
10. Plan every day the evening before; then begin first thing the next morning on
your most important task.
7. Planning and Organizing
1. Continually write, rewrite and program your goals and activities to keep
2. Action without planning is the cause of every failure.
3. Neatness is a key personal productivity habit; important tasks are not entrusted
to messy people.
4. Keep your desk and work area clean and well-organized. Clean it off completely
at the end of each day.
5. Clear your desk of everything except the one task that you are working on at the
6. Handle each piece of paper or information just once; when you pick it up, do
something with it.
7. 30% of your time, on average, can be spent looking for things you've misplaced!
8. 80% of the materials filed are never needed again; avoid creating filing work
9. Use your waste basket generously; "When in doubt, throw it out."
10. If it is not necessary to do it, it is necessary not to do it.
8. Overcoming Procrastination
1. Procrastination is not only the thief of time; but it also is the thief of life
and dreams as well.
2. The most valuable reputation you can develop is that of a person who gets things
3. When you do things quickly for others, they think you are smarter and more
4. As Nietsche wrote, "A man can bear any what, if he has a big enough why."
Overcome procrastination with intensely desired goals.
5. Visualize, imagine and feel the task is already completed before you begin.
6. Speak to yourself positively all the time: "Do it now! Do it now! Do it now!"
7. Set deadlines for yourself on all important tasks and then discipline yourself
to meet them.
8. Refuse to allow yourself to make excuses or rationalizations for
procrastination; hold your own feet to the fire.
9. Give yourself a reward for each step you take toward completion and goal
10. "A journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step." Do one thing to
get started - now!
9. Managing Multi-Task Jobs
1. Your ability to plan, organize and accomplish complex tasks is essential to your
2. Project management and time management go hand in hand with high productivity.
3. Your ability to bring together a team of people to complete a multi-task job is
the mark of executive excellence.
4. You begin each project by defining the ideal desired result and working back to
5. People are not just the only thing; they are everything. Assemble the team
6. Instill ownership of the project in each team member by involving him or her
fully in the planning process.
7. Before beginning, list every task, function and activity that must be completed.
Assign responsibility and set deadlines for each.
8. Organize your project sequentially: what must be done before other tasks are
9. Organize your project in parallel; what activities can be done at the same time
10. Inspect what you expect -- if it's important, stay on top of it at all times.
10. Eliminating Time Wasters
1. Telephone Interruptions Have your calls held or screened. Return them all at
the same time.
2. Drop-in Visitors Stand up immediately, walk out of your office with them, keep
3. Meetings Always have an agenda, start and stop on time; remove all the chairs.
4. Unexpected Emergencies Operate in real time; do it now; move quickly to resolve
5. Procrastination Break up the tasks into small chunks; start with the most
important -- and keep at it!
6. Socializing Make your conversations short, focused, and to the point. Discuss
personal matters away from work.
7. Indecision Most decisions (80%!) should be made when they come up. Make a
habit of being decisive.
8. Mistakes Take the time to do the job right the first time; be patient and
9. Knowledge Dedicate yourself to personal and professional development; get
better at your key tasks.
10. Focus Always know exactly what it is you are trying to accomplish, and
concentrate all your energies in that direction.