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How To Keep Selfish People From Stealing Your Time

One of the most precious things in life is your time. You can always make more money or more friends, but you can never conjure up more time. When a moment is over, it’s over, so it would be wise to take a hard look at how you’re spending your hours. Are you letting it be wasted by selfish people?

Since your time on Earth is limited, it makes sense to spend it with people who empower you rather than people who drain you. How do you know when you’re surrounded by selfish people, though? How do you avoid these emotional vampires? This is a skill that’s worth developing.

How Do You Identify Selfish People?

An Eye

Selfish people have certain patterns that become more obvious. In this sense, selfish people will often identify themselves for you. Here are some glaring signs of a selfish person to watch out for:

  • They never contribute to your life
  • They only call you when they need something
  • They get upset when you say no or draw boundaries
  • They try to manipulate you to get what they want
  • You find yourself avoiding them because they are just so emotionally draining

Selfish people make their world all about themselves. Since there’s no room for anyone else, your needs will rarely get met in the relationship. They are always taking from you and are full of excuses when you need help from them. When you ask for something, they make you feel like it’s a huge imposition.

Egocentric people show a lack of compassion and caring. In the selfish person’s mind, any agenda besides their own isn’t important. For instance, let’s say your friend asks you for a ride, but you cancel last minute because your spouse broke up with you, and you feel too emotional to drive. A selfish person may not hide their annoyance at being inconvenienced, or they may even get upset that you canceled. It doesn’t matter that you’re going through a crisis; the only thing that matters is that they didn’t get what they want.

Making Friends with Selfish People Is Not Worth It

Making friends with people like this — even if they are in high positions of authority — is usually a waste of time. You will get little out of such a relationship. Trying to squeeze any value or reciprocation from them will be like trying to milk a stone. Even if you can get something from them, it will never feel like a win-win situation. It will just feel like they are paying you back out of duty, and they will give as little as they can get away with. It will never feel like they are contributing freely as a friend.

Worse still, this selfishness can infect you as well! If you live in a world where people are constantly trying to drain you, it can make you defensive and you may think the only way you can meet your needs is by similarly taking advantage of other people. It turns into a vicious cycle. It’s also self-perpetuating since acting selfishly will attract even more selfish, low-quality people into your life.

Sometimes, when you’re surrounded by selfish people, you may not even realize that this behavior isn’t normal! Just as a fish doesn’t know what water is, you may not know your friends or family are toxic until you meet someone who treats you well for the first time.

Raise your standards. Real friends don’t get mad if you tell them no; they try to help you in any way they can, and they don’t make you feel used.

Why Should You Avoid Selfish People?

Selfish people can make your life miserable. You might not even realize how annoying they are until you finally push them out of your life. Selfish people could waste your time by trying to manipulate you into serving their ends and you might not notice all the mental energy you’re putting into dodging these manipulations.

For example, let’s say you’re improving your life and finally eating healthy and a selfish person in your life has grown jealous. Everything is a competition to selfish people. This person may criticize you or discourage you because they feel threatened by your success. After all, anything that doesn’t glorify them isn’t interesting to them.

As you can see, you should avoid selfish people for very practical reasons:

  • To keep yourself on track with your goals
  • To not let toxic individuals sap your energy
  • To avoid falling into the trap of competition and jealousy
  • To make room in your life for people that will help you, not hinder you

Every moment you spend with a selfish person is a moment you could have spent with a genuine friend who wants to cooperate with you and help you grow as a person.

Selfish people are like burdens that are constantly hanging over you, draining your energy and pushing you away from your goals. Therefore it’s important to avoid them like the plague if you’re trying to improve your life.

How to Keep Selfish People from Stealing Your Time


Selfish people often ignore your wishes, so what should you do if they keep trying to steal your time?

Well, first, you need to recognize that unless someone is physically forcing you to do something, you are the owner of your time. You are 100% responsible for how you allocate your time, and no one can really steal it from you. Even if the selfish person is your time-wasting boss, you still have the option to leave the situation — even if you might fear the consequences. 

Sometimes letting go of selfish people who play an important role in your life can be scary. For example, maybe you’re in a relationship with a selfish person and you feel you have too much to lose if you let go. In cases like these, the transition can be slow and painful, but you will feel better in the end if you let go.

To let go of the selfish people in your life, follow these steps:

1. Draw Boundaries Often and Clearly

2. Be Your Complete Self and Don’t Apologize for It

3. Open Yourself Up to New People and Patterns


Selfish people are not just a waste of time, they are a waste of energy! You only have so much of both, so don’t squander it by spending your precious life with a toxic person who makes you feel drained. Look for people who will actually contribute to your life and who will celebrate your triumphs. Having upbeat people who are on your side will skyrocket your personal growth in ways you may not even imagine.

10 Great Time Management Worksheets to Keep You On Task

You cannot make more time, but you can feel like there is more time in your life by using an effective time management worksheet. This type of worksheet helps you to plan your day, week or month and filter out all the unnecessary noise, giving you time to focus on what is truly important.

Finding the right time management worksheet for you is critical in managing your time effectively, both in your personal and professional life. By getting your work done on time, you eliminate unnecessary stress, are looked up to by your peers and have more time to spend doing what you love

Benefits of Managing Your Time

There are many reasons you need a time management worksheet to help you manage your time more effectively. Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy by learning to manage your time:

  • Freedom
  • Simplicity
  • Improvement of your reputation
  • Opportunity
  • Less time wasted
  • More free time gained
  • Less friction
  • Fewer errors
  • Accomplish more
  • Reduced stress

A great time management worksheet allows you to budget your time so you have the most quality time to dedicate to important things. Excellent time management skills also simplify your life. Who wouldn’t want to do something the easy way? A good manager of time will be regarded as highly reliable in both his personal and professional life. Your boss will come to you with more responsibilities, which may lead to a promotion or better title. This extra responsibility will not be a detriment because you are a master of your time.

The best time management worksheet allows you to use your time more efficiently. A slight adjustment in the time you leave for work could turn a 90-minute one-way commute into a 30-minute one. That is 10 extra hours a week to weed your garden or teach your child how to play an instrument. By planning and preparing your day, week or month, you avoid unnecessary stress in life. A little quality time management goes a long way in managing unnecessary friction in your personal and professional life.

The more organized you are in managing your time, the fewer mistakes you will make; which results in spending less time re-doing your work. Planning your day before you start it will also ensure you do not forget something crucial, like the donuts you promised for after your kid’s soccer practice.

Being able to manage your workload better and knowing when to delegate tasks to others allows you to be more productive, which leads to positive feelings and mitigates negative feelings. Also, knowing exactly what is coming eliminates stressful surprises and difficult, tight deadlines and leaves you better prepared for the curve balls live throws you.

Tips for Effective Time Management

Time management worksheets are a great tool to manage your time effectively, but there are lots of other tips.

1. Know Your Goals

2. Prioritize

3. Just Say No

4. Plan Ahead

5. Focus

6. Relax

7. Self-Care

10 Great Time Management Worksheets

Now that you know the benefit of excellent time management and tips on how to achieve it, here are the 10 best time management templates. Feel free to create your own if none of these are perfect for you.

1. Weekly Time Management Template


2. Weekly Time Management Template


3. Daily Task List

Daily Task List

4. Daily Time Log

Daily Time Log

5. 90-Day Calendar


6. Chores Template

Chores Template

7. Daily Time Tracking Template


8. Class Schedule Template

Class Schedule Template

9. Rolling Action Item List

Rolling Action Item List

10. Prioritized Task List

Prioritized Task List

Excel has more built-in templates for time management worksheets than you could ever use. The worksheets we linked to above may be either printed out or replicated using your favorite software. A good template will help you visualize the priorities of the tasks you need to accomplish and give you a great idea of when things need to be completed. Try to get a high-level view of how all your tasks work together.


Time management worksheets are crucial for reducing stress in your life and improving productivity. Time management skills will cause your peers to look up to you and trust you as reliable. You will be happier and have more time to do what is important to you. Taking care of your priorities quickly and delegating unimportant tasks positions you to take opportunities you would have missed if you had been crunching to meet a deadline.

Use a template to create the best worksheet for your needs, be it studying, working on a group project or completing chores around the house. Outline what needs to get done for the day and use a large worksheet with many days to see a high-level picture of where you are and what you need to accomplish.

12 Time Management Tools That Are Perfect For Professionals

Modern technology has made incredible advancements in how we function. You can be much more productive than ever before. You can also be easily distracted. Fortunately, there’s a growing list of time management tools that allow you to stay on your productivity path.

Benefits of Time Management Tools

You may already have a sense of how you can better manage your time and now you’ll have access to these helpful time management tools. These tools will ensure that you complete the most important tasks on your agenda. They will increase your productivity, allow you to limit distractions and improve your concentration. You’ll have a much more accurate depiction of the time you’re putting in and time you’ll need to remain successful.

12 Time Management Tools Perfect for Professionals


Since we’re talking about the best time management tools, let’s start with time itself. Measuring time, that is, with a timer like Pomodoro. Do you think your productivity would improve if you had specified bursts of concentrated work with short breaks? If so, then the Pomodoro technique is an easy way to maximize efficiency.

The idea is to choose a task from your To-Do list and become absorbed in that task for 25 minutes. Using the Pomodoro app you’ll block out distractions and take notes to deal with any important interruptions when the time is up. Once the timer goes off, you’ll take a break for five or ten minutes to give yourself some rest. Then you can do the next 25-minute work session, fitting in as many sessions as you want on whichever tasks from your To-Do list.


Do you ever wonder how much time it actually takes you to complete a task? Harvest is a multi-functional tracker, with the primary function of starting and stopping timers as you work through your To-Do list. All you need to is click the button for an allocated task for Harvest to begin the timer, then click it again when you finish a task for Harvest to stop counting. This helps you manage your time better so you don’t over-commit to certain projects or misjudge how much time it takes.

Another great feature that makes Harvest one of the best time management tools is that it will let you know how long it takes invoices to come in. You can also integrate Harvest into other tools you already use. If you’re considering using Harvest for your business purposes, you can sign up for a fully functional 30-day trial for free.


Do you have a hard time focusing when you’re doing tasks on your laptop or computer? Are you noticing that you are getting too distracted throughout your work sessions? FocusMe is an app and website blocker software you can download to help you make more progress with getting your work done.

Compatible with Windows, Mac and Android, FocusMe allows you to select which apps and websites you want to block for whatever chosen duration you prefer. You can set it to block for minutes or hours or days: even longer, if you wish. If you know you’re likely inclined to want to browse social media or reflexively look at certain apps or websites, you can eliminate this by allowing FocusMe temporarily block your access. FocusMe is effective in helping you avoid distractions and keeping you on track with the task at hand.


If you’re looking for something to help get everything out of your head and onto a list, then ToDoist is for you. It’s a daily checklist app that allows you to prioritize and set due dates. You focus on other important things in the meantime and don’t think about other items on your to-do list until they are due,

It gets to the heart of the simple need to free up space in your head from any mental distractions. This is one of the great time management tools for someone who’s an online seller or parent or student trying to keep track of day-to-day tasks, both professionally and personally. Rather than tracking big projects, you’ll find it best used to keep track of daily errands.


Clutter is a definite time waster, so you’ll want to do whatever you can to clutter-free. Just as you’ll engage in clutter clearing practices in your physical environment, you’ll similarly want to take clutter-clearing actions for your online space. Nearly 90% of emails you receive are unwanted and contribute to cluttering your inbox. It can be a tedious task to unsubscribe from them, taking up valuable time.

By signing up to Unroll.me you’ll be presented with a list of the companies that are sending emails. It will help you unsubscribe from any newsletters you’re subscribed to. Unroll.me also offers you the choice to collate all regular emails into a single email so it’s easier for you to browse your inbox. With time management tools like this, a flooded inbox is a thing of the past!


Sometimes the simplest change to your work station can be one of the biggest adjustments helping you manage your time. The Focuswriter program will take up your entire screen while only allowing you the ability to write. With only the sheet in front of you, you remove any distraction from toolbars, notes, tabs, links or files. You can also download some visually inspiring, high-resolution images for additional positive focusing.


Focus@Will is ideal if you who find it difficult to focus while studying, working or reading. It will help you find music that eliminates other distractions and assists your brain with staying on task. Focus@Will provides different music to help your mind function at a higher level.

With Focus@Will, you’ll take a simple personality to test that determines which music is best for you. It includes music categories such as: up tempo, classical, electro Bach, ambient, acoustical, water, alpha chill, focus spa, drum zone, and others. Choosing a music that is specifically fit to you, makes Focus@Will one of the most intervals time management tools that will improve your focus and productivity.

1-3-5 List

The 1-3-5 List is a straight-forward approach that helps you arrange your task accordingly to their size. You will set up one big task, three medium tasks and five small tasks for you to complete. 1-3-5 List is a browser-based tool that allows you to enter your task for each day and arranges them for you to see clearly. You can visualize how to the importance level of the tasks are broken down and make progress incrementally throughout your day.


Have you ever had a succession of great thoughts you wanted to visualize your thought pattern? Well, Mind42 is a tool that will form a structured diagram that visually organizing the data you give it. It uses mind mapping as a productivity technique to give you gain clarity on what needs to be done.

By organizing your thoughts in this visual way it will make it easier for you to understand and process what to do next. Especially if you’ve noticed that you learn better with visualization. this method will be beneficial for you when organizing various projects.


This interval timer is similar to the Pomodoro Technique but gives a longer amount of concentrated work time. If you’re looking to get a longer work session in, the 52-17 interval timer will give you three 52-minute concentrated work rounds over 3 hours and 10 minutes, with 2 rounds of 17-minute breaks in between.

Based on extensive studies, this time management tool states that, on average, people work most productively for around a 52 minute interval. Taking a break for the next 17 minute interval will give your brain enough rest and allow you to put attention toward. See if these intervals are the right break down for you.


Gamification is a fun way to hack your brain, and it’s increasingly having more influence within the development of time management tools. If you like role-playing games and you want to be more productive with your time, then Habitica creatively combines these aspects for you. It’s a daily planner app that allows build habits as the character you’ve created within the game.

Whenever you complete one of your daily habits. your character earns points, skills or items. You can be anything for a warrior fighting monsters to a paladin battling skeletons, all in the name of doing your routine tasks. Completing your tasks through the Habitica daily checklist you’ll see your character get stronger while weakening your enemies.

My Life Organized

If you’re challenged when managing your tasks, following To-Do lists, and organizing your goals, then open yourself up to My Life Organized. It’s a task management system based on implementing the “Getting Things Done” model. It will help you target where you need to focus in order to reach your objectives. It will generate To-Do lists automatically, tracking your progress methodically based on the priority actions you’re given.


It can be hard to concentrate, but modern technology–which in part caused this problem–is now part of the solution. Find the app that’s best for you and get to work!

10 Time Management Activities To Try with Your Employees

Your employees are very busy! You want to do what you can to help your employees create an environment contributes to productivity. You want them to jump into their day’s tasks and be as focused as they can to get the job done. You can positively influence this in a fun, professional manner by engaging in the best time management activities.

time management

What Is It About Time Management?

Are your employees feeling like time slips by quickly and that the day goes by too fast before tasks get completed? If so, you’re not alone with wanting to get a firmer grasp on time and how to manage it. This is a major concern for people and fortunately there’s no shortage of time management activities you can try with employees.

It’s a matter of putting the right tactics into place. Time management also needs to be personalized. You’ll notice that one suggestion will feel more natural than another. Start with these activities so you can have your employees get engaged with various methods.

Benefits of Time Management

Managing your time is the basis of managing everything else in your life. The benefits of doing time management activities are that it helps assess where you currently allocate your time and what you need to adjust to re-allocate more productively. Time management activities help you identify what priorities to do first, how to avoid distractions and knowing when to have productivity bursts.

10 Time Management Activities to Try with Your Employees

The workplace is an ideal place for a manager to reinforce how to balance time through time management activities. Rather than give a lecture or make suggestions during a review, why not set up specified days to work on improvement? This makes the learning process more enjoyable and interactive where employees can build strengths together. Here are the top 10 time management activities that will inspire more focus and productivity.

1.Counting Minutes

Since the lesson is to use time effectively, then why not start with getting a firm grasp on how we measure and perceive time. Right down to how we perceive the length of a minute! For this activity, once you’ve covered any clocks or devices showing the time, have each person share their perception of how long a minute feels like.

With everyone siting quietly, you’ll start a timer and ask them to stand up when they think a minute has passed. You will see each person stand up at various moments, showing the range in perception of what a minute is. The results may surprise the employees about the accuracy of their perception.

2.Time Squared

Some of the best time management activities require writing. For the Time Square exercise, give your employees 3 sheets of paper that have 24 squares on each one. Each square represents an hour of the 24 hours in a day. For the first sheet, employees will fill in routine activities of their regular day outside of work.

With the second piece of paper, the employees must fill out the boxes representing the time they spend on non-productive time at their workplace on activities they may deem as time wasters. With the third paper, have the employees merge the first two pages together. Whatever empty squares remain on the third page will represent productive time. The outcome will help identify any time wasters and highlight the amount of time spent on routine activities.

3.Mayo Jar

When considering time management activities, you’ll want to consider one’s that have a visual component like the Mayo Jar. This activity highlights prioritizing with a hands-on approach to see the process. After dividing your group of employees into teams, give them each a glass container and the materials needed for the activity. The materials consist of varied size rocks and stones, and sand or gravel, or similar items you use.

The larger rocks will represent the most important tasks and smaller rocks will be for other daily tasks. You can define these more specifically based on your discussion with the group, delineating anything from home activities to work tasks. You can also use the sand to represent projects that need completion. This can help represent work/life balance for the participants.

You can let them choose which materials they want to represent the different life activities and tasks. Let them fill in their container without too detailed of instructions. When the containers are full, you can have them share about the order selected and what each of the materials represented.

4.Understanding Parkinson’s Law

Divided into 4 groups, your employee groupings will have 5 tasks to complete in 20 minutes. Have 2 groups do the tasks in an open-ended timeframe. Have the other 2 groups divide the 20 minutes into 4-minute segments for each task. See which of the groups complete all 5 of their tasks efficiently.

Since Parkinson’s Law states that the work will expand to fill the allotted amount of time, the open-ended groups will probably have a more difficult time fully realizing the 5 tasks. In contrast, Parkinson’s Law predicts that if you have several tasks with set timeframes, you’ll be able to work them into that amount of time since you have no other choice. Don’t let the group know about Parkinson’s Law until the end when assessing everyone’s experience.

5.Colored Blocks

Take a large bunch of colored blocks and scatter them over a surface. You will instruct each employee to gather as many blocks as possible within a minute timeframe. They can only grab one block at a time and they can only do so with their non-dominant hand.

Let each employee play multiple rounds. You can assign points to different colors after each round. As they play each round, you can discuss how high priority tasks are represented by the colored blocks worth the most points.

6.Circadian Rhythms

Have you ever tried to tap into getting a better understanding of your internal clock, otherwise known as your circadian rhythm? The idea is to determine when you are best energized for doing different tasks within your work day. Rather than pushing through periods when you have lower energy, you can schedule your tasks accordingly. You’ll want to work on your mentally demanding tasks when you’re at the highest energy levels and do your automatic and more mechanical tasks when your energy is low.

Have each employee write everything they did the day before while listing the energy level they had for each activity. You can use descriptive words and phrases to describe energy levels like: on fire, vibrant, cruise control, distracted, slowing down, tired and hungry. You can also signify energy levels by percentages like: at 100%, at 70%, at 30% or any rounded number to express the feeling.

7.Ace of Spades

This activity will have two volunteers using two decks of playing cards. You will give one deck of cards to each person with the goal of having them find the Ace of Spades as quickly as possible. With no one knowing, you will have one deck in order with all the cards facing one direction from Ace to King in each of the four suits.

The other deck will be mixed up with some cards facing opposite directions making it more difficult to find the Ace of Spades. The employee with the mixed deck is at a disadvantage, but it’s a fun way to show the importance of good organization skills to time management.

8.Organizing Cards

Give each group of employees a deck of playing cards. Have each team place the cards exactly as you outlined by the example. The aim is to complete the task in the fastest time while placing the cards neatly in a row without touching one another.

Give the teams 5 minutes to prepare a strategy and practice the task using any resources in the room to assist in the task. After the 5 minutes of prep time, each team must submit an estimate time in which they think they can complete the task.  Set a timer so the team will then try to complete the task against the clock. You can do multiple rounds to see if teams improve their time.

9.Breakdown and Prioritize

Employees need to juggle their commitments, so they need a time management exercises allows to plan quickly and stay on top of things. Once they’ve listed their commitments, have them take the big tasks and turn them into smaller steps. Next they must prioritize their tasks.

Organize each thing under 3 headings: now, soon, and later. Deadlines will be a top priority, but other minor important task can go under soon. It’s recommended to determine the top priorities and put them into the “now” heading, then go back to the other tasks and put them in order.

10.Ribbon of Life

Give one of your employees a ribbon that’s 100 centimeters long. Let everyone in the group know each centimeter represents a year. First have the employee cut it to the length that equals the average lifespan. Then have the employee cut off the group’s average age. This will show the group the amount of time remaining for that lifespan.

From there, you can instruct for things like sleep and obligations not related to work to be trimmed away. Eventually the employee will have a short ribbon left. This time management activity provides a perspective on the relatively small amount of time there is to get work done.


Time management is crucial to business success. Often we waste time mostly because we don’t realize it’s happening. Use these techniques to help your employees understand the importance of time and how to manage theirs.

Goal Setting 101 – What Should I Do Today

Whether you save all of your goal-setting for New Year’s Eve or you come up with new goals every month, you’ve probably experienced the disappointment that comes with missing the mark. One of the major, but perhaps too simple, questions that we often forget when setting grand, wide-reaching goals is this one: “What should I do today?”

No matter how big the goal, you will only ever reach it by working toward it one day at a time. Losing sight of this ever-present fact is the number-one reason why we start feeling overwhelmed. This is when inner resistance starts to kick in, and you might not even notice that you’re subconsciously procrastinating.

Goal Setting 101

To avoid that resistance and all the tension that comes with it, fixating on the end-result alone just won’t work. Always start with that one basic question every morning when you wake up: “What should I do today?” Every time you ask this, it should be like a single step on a long staircase that leads up to your ultimate goal. Keep your eye on each step and your goal may ultimately take care of itself.

Checklist for Setting Goals

There are a few things you should always keep in mind when goal-setting so that you’re not setting yourself up for failure instead of triumph. Keep this short checklist in mind:

  • Choose the right goal for you
  • Pick your goals with a realistic mindset
  • Make sure you have internal and external incentives
  • Keep your eyes on one step at a time

Choosing the Right Goal

The biggest favor that you can do for yourself is to pick the right goal in the first place. This means more than just choosing a worthy goal; it also means choosing that objective for the right reasons.

The human mind is tricky and complex. Sometimes, we might be convinced that we want something, when, deep inside, we actually don’t. For example, maybe you decide to set a goal to be a millionaire, but what you really want isn’t actually that amount of money, it’s the freedom that comes with it.

Sometimes we have to dig deeper to find what the real reasons are behind our apparent desires. Only then can we set a reasonable goal with a path that is aligned with what we truly want. If your goal is to make a seven-figure income because deep inside you want the financial freedom to travel, but your job makes it hard for you to take any time off, then clearly there’s a conflict there. Think in terms of what will actually fulfill you.

Most of Life is About the Journey, Not the Goal

We’ve all heard this said in various ways, but the wisdom shines through in practice. Look inside of yourself and follow the thread of your motivations. Where does that line lead once you get deep? What is that one thing you are inherently motivated to do, even if you’ve never made a penny from it… yet?

A good way to find some clues as to what you really want in life is to ask yourself, “What should I do today?” If what you “should” do on that given day to reach your goal is something that you’d rather not do on a daily basis at all, then you’ve probably chosen the wrong thing. Remember that the peaks and satisfaction that come with reaching a goal may not last long. Most of your time and effort goes into the journey. To have a truly rewarding life, you have to be able to enjoy every step of the way.

Being Realistic

The next sticking point for a lot of people is that they set goals that are unrealistic. You may have a genuinely strong desire to attain a certain goal, but just wanting something isn’t enough. Sometimes goals are so far out of reach that it is futile to set them without laying significant groundwork first.

For instance, let’s say that a friend is 200 lbs. overweight and he or she sets a goal to have defined abs in a few months. Probably, that goal is a bit premature at this point. Even in less extreme cases, many of us find ourselves setting goals appropriate for stages that we just haven’t reached yet. The problem with this is that our mind starts to obsess about likely problems way ahead of time. This is a recipe for getting overwhelmed. Focus on realistic goals that you can achieve in a reasonable time, and then worry about the details as they come.

Building a Network of Incentives

Once you’ve chosen a goal that is ambitious enough to excite and challenge you, but narrow enough to be realistic, you’ll need to start thinking about incentives. What will keep you on track?

It’s important to have a good mix of intrinsic and extrinsic influences. Intrinsic motivation comes from the inside: it’s the joy you get just from working on your goal in and of itself. This is absolutely essential, or else you will almost certainly quit. You cannot run on the steam of external motivation alone, though it is a nice cherry to add on top. Here are some examples of external motivation that you can treat yourself to in order to stay the course, however:

  • Celebrate every major step with a special reward
  • Keep track of all of your progress even if it’s small
  • Make your goal public and enjoy the peer pressure
  • Ask someone more experienced, “What should I do today?”
  • Next, ask that person to keep you accountable to your answer

Look inward to identify triggers that make you procrastinate and try to plan ahead to counter them. Social accountability is a good resource for this. You might even want to join groups of like-minded people who are busy trying to attain your same goal.

One Step at a Time: So, What Should I Do Today?

Remember that all of your progress will occur one step at a time even if those steps pass quickly. Try to enjoy every moment and don’t forget to keep asking yourself, “What should I do today?” This is the mantra that should be playing in your mind. Keep your eyes on what you should do today.

Tips for Success

Once you’re out there and actively trying to achieve your goal, be aware that progress is rarely linear. You will hit obstacles every once in a while that might require you to change strategies. That’s why it’s important to focus on each individual step and not get bogged down by your larger plan. Here are some tips to succeed in the face of change that may cause strategic shifts.

Keep an Open Mind

No one ever stretched their limits by being inflexible. Keep your mind open to possible solutions that you may not have thought of before. Consult with people who have different perspectives from yours and try out some of their “crazy” solutions. You never know what might work.

Prepare to Negotiate With Yourself

When you set that huge goal, you were probably close to a peak state of mind. It’s easy to assume that your future self will keep the same elevated mood and energy levels, but this is unrealistic. There will be a time when you will have to adjust that goal.

For example, maybe your goal is to meditate for 20 minutes every day, but you’re finding that you can barely sit still for10. It might be time to cut yourself some slack and allow yourself to meditate for just 10 minutes! Reducing your workload so that you can do a little bit of that great thing every day is far better than burning yourself out. Sometimes, you don’t need to ask yourself, “What should I do today?” Sometimes you do have to ask, “What can I do today?”

Tell the World or Start Building Support

You can decide to let everyone know about your goal! You’ll be surprised at how resources can magically pop up when people start to learn what you’re striving for. On the other hand, if you don’t have a good support network yet and you think your peers will just discourage you, then it might be reasonable to keep your goal temporarily under wraps. In the meantime, try to find a more supportive peer group. If your friends are too jealous or complacent to help you, then you’ll almost certainly find it harder to achieve your goals.

Getting Started: What Should I Do Today?

Remember that the sooner you get started on your goal, the better. Some planning may be necessary, but don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of using research as a way to procrastinate. This is cleverly called analysis paralysis, and it’s a common way for your brain to trick itself into not leaving its own comfort zone. Instead, make “What should I do today?” your launching pad.

To avoid this, focus on only the next small step toward your goal and don’t bother with the bigger picture when you’re working on the details. Much of the larger plan in your mind will probably change at some point, anyway. It’s much better to get out there, get some experience, and get a realistic feel for what it’s like to work on this goal.


Goal-setting is a great way to help focus your energy and inch you closer to success every day. The problem is that many times the goals we set might be unrealistic or too inflexible, so we find ourselves straying off our paths much too easily. Achievable goals take many factors into account, such as your intrinsic motivation and the external incentives around you. Most importantly of all, remember to keep asking yourself, “What should I do today?” This simple question may bring your focus back into the present moment.

Our Time Management Definition – From Tug Of War With Time

A pocket watch as a swing of the pendulum. Concrete background. 3D rendering. Time is money concept.

Time Management Definition – The Long Explanation

I constantly get people asking me for time management tips, time management strategies and how you can improve time management skills. The thing is what are they asking for exactly depends on their time management definition.  What does time management mean to them? Because without understanding their time management definition I may be answering the wrong question. Time management means different things to different people.

I used to do a podcast for called Take Charge of your Productivity. In two years I asked every single guest what their time management definition and what their definition of productivity was and not a single person gave me the same answer. True story. Time management is another one of those elusive terms that means different things to different people because it is a vague term. Good time management skills and how to improve your time management depends on your time management definition.Well, we’ve compiled a list of 10 different definitions of the phrase, as defined by different people. Here are time management definition (s):

Layman’s term – the layman’s term for time management is the development of processes and tools which increase productivity.

Portrait of Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin – once said ‘time is money’ and how right he was. By this he means that the quicker the work got done, the more work could be done and therefore the more money could be made. Managing your time is speed based to save money or an investment in creating value.

Frederick Winslow Taylor – in his book The Principles of Scientific Management discussed how to improve worker productivity, personal productivity. Taylorism, as it was called, is the process of breaking down one task into smaller actions after finding the most efficient way of doing said task. Task based time management definition.

Peter Drucker – created a far more inclusive theory of management based on management by objectives. He focused on the importance of managing business by balancing needs and goals. Goal setting being at the core of the time management definition.

Steven R. Covey – his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is one of the bestselling non-fiction books of all time, popularizing the concept of personal productivity and personal time management. After this popularization, personal time management has become closely intertwined with good time management skills.

Hyrum Smith, Founder of Franklin Quest and Franklin Covey, sometimes referred to as the father of time management because of his introduction of the Franklin Planners. Hyrum Smith defines Time management as the Time Gap, a part of his 3 gaps that affect our personal time management. The Time Gap, the gap between what we plan to do each day and what we actually get done. This is influenced by the Belief Gap which is the gap in our behaviors in relation to what we want and the Values Gap which is the gap between what we value most in life and where we actually invest our time and energy. Improve your time management and personal productivity is managing the gaps.

Heidi Hanna- time management is energy management. “time without energy is void of value, your energy is your most valuable resource.” The constant obsession with time, puts our brain into survival mode creating chronic stress that weakens our engagement and productivity. Good time management skills are managing your energy and how you show up for the time you have.

Carla Crutsinger – In her book Thinking Smarter defined time management as the ability to set goals, prioritization, allocate time to each task and observing the results. Carla Crutsinger also highlighted the importance of being flexible with time management. Sometimes other tasks become a priority and so plans should be adjusted accordingly. Goal setting plays a part in shifting priorities and being connected to the end game.

This means that you should be revisiting your task list often, in order to judge what is a priority and what isn’t. That way you will be on top of tasks when things change order based on yoyouroal setting process.

Neil Shipman – Neil Shipman defines time management as a crucial set of skills such as being aware of yourself, structuring your time wisely, and most importantly – scheduling downtime to allow yourself to regenerate. Improve your time management by taking more breaks and managing white space.

William E. Kelly – defined time management as skills that include list making, organizing the work and your resources and breaking down large tasks into smaller pieces.

Consider your time management definition. Are you task based? Goal setting and results oriented? If you had to break it down into its specific tasks or components what would that look like to you?

I’ve worked with people and coach them on growing the business across countries cultures and industries.  As you can imagine good time management skills was a problem across the board. Peoples relationship with time and money have been a challenge since the beginning of time.

Time is finite and when we focus on it, it will take up precious energy that can be used elsewhere. It creates stress. I had a personal example of just how much stress a focus on time can create. I was assigned to be in charge of time for an event that I was volunteering for. My job to let the group know when each next section of content was to be presented, to provide the trainer a flash card to tell them when we had 20 minutes left, 10, 5 and 1 minute left. I was also in charge during the breaks to call out to the staff when we had 10 minutes, 5, 2 and 1-minute left. I found that this incessant focus on time had me stressed. If we were on break, I wasn’t. I was focused on time. In the middle of a conversation, I found my attention wandering from them and to the stopwatch in my hand, even if I had checked it what seemed like 30 seconds ago. I was compulsively checking the stopwatch. I was paralyzed for the last minute as I just sat there staring at the watch as it counted down the last minute so I could call out to the group and relieve a part of the mounting tension of the timely perfection required. I would even contemplate and over analyze, if I had time to use the bathroom and still be back to call out the time for the group.

I came to realize that an obsession or extreme focus on anything takes away precious energy because it is running a program in the background like computers running multiple applications take up memory on the computer. In the old days you would have to shut down some of those programs or else your computer would slow down to a point where the computer was unusable.

How Do You Know What Your relationship with time is?

First, check in on your time management definition. Second, finish this sentence – Time is ….

The first 5 words you use to describe tells you your current relationship with time. Did you say scarce, limited, …

The truth is improving your time management is really understanding your relationship with your results and shifting your current relationship with time. That may seem esoteric, but let it sink in and think about it.

Time doesn’t drive our results so we should focus on what does drive results. The drivers might be some of the components from your time management definition and they might be other components you haven’t really thought about.

No matter if you are Increasing sales, losing weight, mastering a sport or improving time management, you have to track what’s driving the success.  The challenge is time is not a driver of success. Time might be a factor in the manufacturing of products and how efficient the machines are but time is a measure of minutes passing but not a driver in what gets achieved in those minutes. Good time management skills have little to do with time. We are not machines. Machines might reflect time completed but machines don’t do goal setting and align task management. Personal productivity comes from understanding what works and what doesn’t work for you as an individual. One size doesn’t fit all. It isnt about the tools as much as it is about our thinking.

If you’re losing weight you’re going to track everything that you eat and drink to create greater awareness, to recognize the gaps, to see what’s working and what’s not working and to take committed action to get the results you desire.

10 Time Managment Fundamentals That Will Change Your Life

After years of working with people to help them grow their businesses while evaluating the fundamentals of their success and good time management skills. I’ve narrowed it down to these 10 fundamentals that drive our success in all facets of life. These fundamentals make up good time management skills and boost your overall prsonal productivity. These fundamentals represent how we show up for the time we have and what we choose to prioritize to get the results we want. It incorporates a way of being, strategies for aligning tasks and actions and reflection that will support sustainability.

  1. Motivation: The level of drive, determination, and grit to stay the course in reaching your goals. Goal setting is your directive and your motivation is your commitment meter. When you are fully committed you take ownership and responsibility and overcome obstacles quicker than a partial ownership or worse lack of commitment altogether.
  2. Self-Talk: The things you say to yourself that create excuses, makes you a victim, blames other people and limits your potential. This is an underestimated aspect of how you show up for your time and plays the biggest role in why we don’t do what we know. This area creates self-sabotage. Be aware of your self-talk, the questions you ask yourself and others and the words that come from your thinking because your thinking ultimately drives your behavior.
  3. Self-Care: Eating, sleeping, drinking water, exercising and taking care of your physical state, energy rejuvenation. Self-care is the first area sacrificed when we get stressed and busy and is actually the most important resource to foster creativity, engagement and connection, driving how we show up for our time. It is essential to our energy management.
  4. Focus: Ability to stay on task with goals and objectives. Distractions are abundant in today’s culture and it requires discipline, collaboration and supportive practices and structures to keep our attention focused on the task at hand.
  5. Planning: Preparing, scheduling, organizing both short and long-term. Planning is essential to achieving your goals. Things may notThe phrase Plan Your Day in white text on a blackboard avove a modern wall clock go according to plan but you increase your level of flexibility by having thought up front about resources, strategies, timing, and cost.
  6. Process: Creating standards, systematizing/automating. Investment in creating standards and defined steps to take will reduce mistakes, make it easier to train others and provide a consistent result. McDonalds was a great demonstration of the value of standardizing processes and using systems to create leverage for the business. In the end, it saves time and money.
  7. Prioritize: Identifying the most important actions and aligning tasks and goals. Prioritization is difficult in some cases because people feel like there are too many things that have high priority, everything is urgent. The fact is we are just not making a clear distinction by challenging the priorities or setting up criteria to enable us to make the decision and relieve the stress of multiple priorities. If hospitals can figure it out in the emergency room, so can we in our lives.
  8. Progress: Recognizing your successes, learning lessons and applying them. Recognizing progress creates momentum even if you don’t get your desired results you are still making progress when you realize what doesn’t work and can adapt accordingly. The more you check in on what is working and what isn’t working the faster you will reach or exceed your goal.
  9. Measurement: Take the time to track success drivers and adapt accordingly. Be aware of lead indicators that drive results and lag indicators which simple measure the result. For example. Revenue is measured after the fact but if you want to influence that number you may want to look at customer loyalty(attrition), conversion rates and so on. If you are looking at weight loss it might be exercise, calories, fats and so on.
  10. Proactivity: Identifying and resolving obstacles before they arise. Managing Risk. Innovation. Being proactive keeps you at the peak of your game. Wayne Gretzky the famous Hockey player said his key to being a great player was to skate to where the puck was going not to where it was. That is how we win the game.

I have used this with entrepreneurs for over 10 years to gain insight, reflection and create action around gaps in their time management strategies. Most people focus on planning and organization and hit a plateau or are not able to create consistency because they do not incorporate how they manage their energy or take time to track and reflect upon what is working and what is not. People have a tendency to push away responsibility and blame the system or tool, and just accept and tolerate mediocre results. It is easier to blame than to take responsibility and push through the pain of doing what is best in the long run rather than doing what seems easiest in the moment.

Breaking down the definition of time management into its components and skill sets helped my clients to clarify and own the gaps in their practices and align their actions with their goals to change their relationship with time and their results.

Each of these areas has their own tips and tricks to become better, stronger, faster as it relates to your life, your health, your business your personal productivity and managing your time. Good time mangement skills are born from this perspective.

One client, by recognizing his biggest gap in this process was set on a mission that doubled his business. He put a computer in his warehouse to remove the paper handling, errors and extra work the paper created. Inventory was kept up to date and could be better managed. seems obvious but not when you are running your business. You can’t see the blind spots.

When he looked at the measurement of the data he had available to him from running his business- we ran trend analyses to see when most purchases were made, who was active and inactive and other key information. From this analysis, we ran targeted campaigns to get old customers back and increase orders by cross-selling. What does this have to do with time management? He was resetting his priorities and focusing his time and energy on what was important for his business. Investing in systems that would make him more efficient and effective in the future in delivery and sales. That is the result of time management.

How time management is defined will make a difference in how you approach it and what you focus on. If you believe it is simply a form of organization, you will get more organized but you might not get the results you are looking for because one of the other elements is keeping you from enjoying it, consistently applying it or creating efficiency from it. If you think time management is about accomplishing a task, you will be more task oriented but may miss the bigger picture.

Take your assessment of the 10 fundamentals mentioned above and see your current status, your gaps and how you could close those gaps and monitor your progress here:


Take your thinking that managing your time from task orientation to a bigger picture, a broader perspective than a simple task. Improving your time management is about thinking and acting more strategically.  It starts with goal setting and aligns the task and the goal.


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