A key to success is how you manage your time


POSTED: Monday, July 27, 2009

For years, Investors Business Daily has run a daily column with their “;10 Secrets to Success,”; as follows:

1. How you think is everything. Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment.

2. Set goals. Write down goals and devise a plan to reach them.

3. Take action. Goals are nothing without action. Don't be afraid to get started now. Just do it.

4. Never stop learning. Go back to school or read books. Get training and acquire skills.

5. Be persistent and work hard. Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.

6. Analyze details. Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.

7. Focus your time and money. Don't let other people or things distract you.

8. Don't be afraid to innovate; be different. Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.

9. Deal and communicate with people effectively. No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.

10. Be honest and dependable; take responsibility. Otherwise, Nos. 1 through 9 won't matter.

Using “;SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE”; as an acrostic, here's what I feel are some habits of successful people, as related to time management. How many do you possess?

S — Set aside time daily to think. Norman Cousins said, “;Time given to thought is the greatest time saver of all.”; Thinking has become a lost practice in today's fast-paced world. We rush into daily activities and end up reacting instead of being proactive.

U — Use time well. Jack Miller, former CEO of Quill Corp., had a sign in his office saying, “;What I do today must be important because the price is high. I am paying a day of my life for it.”;

C — Change and improve. It IS possible to change. Strive to improve in those areas that are important to you. As Zig Ziglar says, “;We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”;

C — Concentrate on solutions, not problems. For every problem there is a solution. But it's only when we take the focus off the problem that ideas for the solution can emerge.

E — Enjoy the process as well as the end result. Too many people live for the end result. Meanwhile, the present passes unnoticed, unlived. Take joy in the journey as well as the destination.

S — Streamline tasks. When poet Robert Frost was asked how he managed to fit so much into his life, he replied, “;Learn to do the things you have to do more quickly and effortlessly. Save minutes and you will gain an extra hour or more every day to do the things you really want to do.”;

S — Spend time investing in the lives of others. Psychologist William James has said, “;The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”;

F — Follow through with good intentions. Remember small, thoughtful acts, like writing a thank-you note or calling a friend. By their nature, timeliness is important in fulfilling good intentions.

U — Understand the importance of being organized. Organization is not necessarily neatness. It entails prioritizing, planning and having simple systems in place. Organization frees us to work, think and live more effectively and successfully.

L — Learn from mistakes and move on. Let go of memories, emotions and possessions that are no longer useful. Figure out what went wrong and focus on what you could do better next time.

How many of the above do you practice? Which do you want to develop? I'll share more traits of successful people in two weeks.