What Do You Make Time For?

One of my favorite old movies of all time is a little known epic entitled “El Cid” starring Charlton Heston. It was one of the last of the great epics of the 1960’s with a cast of thousands. They literally had thousands of extras for the extraordinary battle scenes. Now Hollywood uses Digital Computer Graphics and Technology (and even the best made films, think “Attack of the Clones” Star Wars) seems phony and artificial.

There was a quite of bit of controversy surrounding the facts of El Cid’s life. He was the most notable military leader of 11th Century Christian Spain. He gained great fame when a 12th Century Epic Poem, “Song of the Cid” (Cid means “Lord” in Arabic) describing his exploits was published. The poem made him a national hero in the centuries-long fight against Muslim control of Spain. Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar (Cid’s real name) was born in 1043 and he grew to become a respected military leader. What strikes me about Heston’s portrayal of this great man was how clear his Values were. He made all his decisions with integrity and forgave his enemies time and time again. Over time, his able example and courage made him the most influential man of his time.

What are your Values? What do you make time for? If we looked at your Calendar and your credit card monthly statement, what would it tell us about your values? How we invest our time and money tells the world what WE think is important. Socrates said near the end of his life, “I stopped listening to what men SAY and I now watch what they DO!” Emerson said, “Who you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying.

In my second book “Freedom from Fear FOREVER”, I ask the question: “What are your top Five Values?

Here are 20 Steps to Successful Time Management:

  1. Clarify your objectives. Put them in writing. Then set your priorities. Make sure you are getting what you want out of life.
  2. Focus on objectives, not on activities. Your most important activities are those that help you accomplish your objectives.
  3. Set at least one major objective each day and achieve it.
  4. Record a time log periodically to analyze how you use your time and keep bad habits out of your life. (One of the most enlightening exercises I ever did.)
  5. Analyze everything you do in terms of your objectives. Find out what you do and when you do it and why you do it. Ask yourself what would happen if you stopped doing it. If the answer is nothing, then stop doing it.
  6. Eliminate at least one time waster from your life each week. (Just being of aware of what they actually are is huge!)
  7. Plan your time. Write out a plan for each week. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish by the end of the week.
  8. Make a To-Do-List every day. Be sure it includes your daily objectives. (I like Six Tasks. It’s a manageable number.)
  9. Schedule your time to do the most important things first. Leave room for interruptions. (They are going to happen, you may as well plan for them, and it decreases stress.)
  10. Make the first hour of your day the most productive. (All my writing is done from 0530 to 7:30 am each day)
  11. Set time limits for every task you undertake. (I usually underestimate the actual time it takes to complete a task!)
  12. Take the time to do it right the first time. You won’t have to waste time doing it over.
  13. Eliminate recurring crises from your life. Find out why things keep going wrong. Learn to Proact instead of React. (I wonder when the first time that phrase was written?)
  14. Institute a quiet hour in your day—a block of uninterrupted time for your most important tasks. (Are you an AM person or a PM person?)
  15. Learn to conquer procrastination and do it now! (I have that on my list for next week…)
  16. Develop the habit of finishing what you start. Avoid jumping from one thing to another leaving a string of unfinished tasks. (It lowers your self-worth and increases stress and frustration.)
  17. Make better time management a daily habit. Set your objectives, clarify your priorities, and plan and schedule your time.
  18. Never spend time on less important things when you could be investing it on vital things. Prioritize.
  19. Take time for yourself. Time to Dream, Time to Relax, Time to Live.
  20. Develop a personal philosophy of time—what time means to you and how time relates to your life.

This list seems like a pretty tall order. It is.  What if you put these on 3 x 5 cards and focused on one a week for 20 weeks?

Time is a paradox. We never seem to have enough time, yet we each have all the time there is. The solution? Clarifying your values, prioritizing your objectives and investing what you have in alignment with those things you have written down as important to you.

I need to surf Netflix and put “El Cid” on my list. I think it’s the only movie Heston didn’t have a gun!

Show me your checkbook and your day planner and I will tell YOU what your Values are!”

For a copy of my e-book “It’s About TIME!” (How to Get Twice As Much Done in Half the Time) go to www.sparkingsuccess.net and order your copy today!



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