Start Taming Your Time With These 2 Productivity Tips

Hey! What Time Is It?

That’s right! I’m asking you about time.

Is it time to reflect? Time for a change? Time to set new goals? Or time to get busy achieving them?

So much energy is focused around our time and our relationship with it, whether we’re trying to stop wasting it, take better control of it, or save more of it, we’re inevitably dealing with time constraints and deadlines on a regular basis.

I’m no time management expert, but my passion is helping people better leverage their precious time by automating success where ever possible. I’m always looking for new ways to do both of these. So I have a few tricks up my sleeve and I share a couple of them here as well as a surprising insight.

Mind Over Time

If you’re a small business owner, you know growing a business is time consuming, if not all-consuming. Setting up the systems and processes needed to operate efficiently can feel mind-numbing and seem to take f o r e v e r. But given enough time, we see progress and small results from our efforts. This is so encouraging it sustains us through additional battles with getting our minds around our time. Taking back your time is not for the faint of heart. It takes discipline and perservearance to change habits and behaviors. But if you’re interested in leveraging your time, if you’re interested in automating success as much as possible, you’ll want to change how you think about and relate to your time.

I recently heard someone I have a lot of respect for say, “Time management isn’t at all about managing time. It’s about managing the mind.” Bingo. This really resonated with me. It hit home and I quickly wrote it down. If it’s true, then I can change my relationship with time by simply changing my mind about how I think about it. This is what I will be testing out this year. This is a year of relating to time as a precious resource and managing it accordingly. That’s going to start with accountability in the form of tracking and analyzing how I’m currently spending my time. I’ll have more to report on this exercise later in the year.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in engaging in more meaningful and effective time management yourself, I recommend you start with time tracking too. Feel free to use my daily time tracking log to quickly jot down your activities and note how much time is spent on each. You can also follow the Track – Categorize – Analyze steps I’m using to work with the data that I collect. It’s all explained in the daily time log.

What are you measuring?

What do you think would be different for you if you tracked and measured time as if it were money?  How would you spend the currancy of time differently?

In the book The Greatness Guide: Powerful Secrets for Getting to World Class, by Robin S. Sharma, the author says, “What gets measured gets improved.” By tracking our time, however detailed or summarized as you like (that part is entirely up to you) you’ll gain insight into how your time is being spent, wasted (it happens to all us at times, right?), co-opted by the agenda of others, as well as when your most productive time is spent and when you were able to more easily deliver on your deadlines. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It will all be there for you to see after taking the time to track your business activities for 30 days. Give it a try and let me know what you discover. I’d love it if you’d leave a comment below. Or at #TakeBackYourTime or #AutomatingSuccess

Focus Days

Another really impactful time management strategy, one that I use religiously, is Focus Days. Focus Days are days I set aside in my schedule where I go totally off-the-grid and focus on an important leadership activity, or what we at EMyth call working “ON” my business.  Think strategic work rather than tactical work.  I work on my business in a strategic way. I may include some tactical work, but it’s all in effort to drive the specific strategy I’m working on.

Before Focus Days, finding time to do this work was driving me crazing and it just wasn’t getting done. One fire after one emergency after one unexpected need after another after another took priority over working “ON” my business strategy. I guess Focus Days is a way I exercise “mind management” and use my mind to come up with a strategy to achieve my goals and make the changes I need to make in my time management strategy.

So, to answer my opening question: what time is it? It’s time to manage the mind. 🙂

Get started with this Free Time Tracking Log and remember to build some Focus Days into your schedule each month.

Photo by Rafael H


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