Fighting for My Time
A Different Time Management Philosophy – Part 10
“Win the Battle Against Wasted Time.” This is the tagline for a blog I’ve been following for a number of years. The blog is called “Time Management Ninja with Craig Jarrow.” Before you run over to check it out, he no longer updates the blog as he once did. Listen to that tagline as I repeat, “Win the Battle Against Wasted Time.” He refers to wasted time as a battle or fight that can be won. In other words, you have to fight for your time; you must have a battle plan for what you do with it. Nonetheless, the reason I mention this is because this post is dedicated to a checklist he once shared. From those 10 checklist items, I wish to share my take on what it means to have a solid battle strategy when it comes to winning this fight for your time.
“Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness.” 
I bet you often wonder why people make excuses about planning or they might even say that they are just not planners. [To the left] That’s just an excuse. It’s no different than the person who makes the excuse for not exercising or being on time. Planning like anything else that’s worthwhile takes work. Planning doesn’t come naturally; it’s an uncommon action. Thinking precedes action if you are to live wisely. Thinking is how the planning and strategic works happen. I’d like to give you ten checklist items to help you with your thinking in building your strategy for winning the battle for what gets done with the time that you have.
- Check your calendar.
I often refer to my calendar app as a productivity app. In fact, my calendar is the most used app I have. Why’s that? Everything starts and stops with your calendar. Check your calendar before you do anything. Make your calendar a journal of how you spend your time. I’ve grown to love my calendar because I created ways to make it work for my life. This is exactly what you must learn to do, use your calendar as an inseparable part of your life.
- Don’t hold the tasks in your head or in too many other places.
You want your tools for living to be easily accessible. Find ways to have even your task lists with you at all times. Try to keep all you have to do in one centralized place. Have a system for keeping track of everything you have to do, nothing excluded. Get those action items out of your head so that you can use your head for more important work.
- Review and process last week’s notes.
I would really like to say, review and process yesterday’s notes. Processing and reviewing notes should be a daily action one takes. At any rate, review those notes, because you jotted it down for a reason. Make that reason worth the effort of writing it down. Don’t write it down if you’re not going to do anything with it. In fact, I learned this from a pastor of ours. If you don’t write it down, you never planned on doing anything. He took it as an insult when a person showed up to one of his meetings with nothing to write with. It was an indication that this person wasn’t planning on taking any actions. To add to that, if you write it down, plan on doing it.
To plan simply means to think about what it is you desire to do. Before you take off in any direction give it some thought and write the ideas down so that you know how to proceed. When you follow a recipe, it’s the written plan that one jotted down so that you can enjoy that favorite dessert. Everything you wish to accomplish starts with your ability to make a plan.
What would it take for you to prepare? In order for me to prepare for certain activities I need to be in the right place. In other words, the right environment is key. Get yourself ready to be successful. If you’re going to finish school, get prepared for that. Start by getting around people who are what, in school. You have to get prepared if you’re going to be successful.
- Get something done early.
A quick win in many cases is all you need to create momentum. You see, the drive you need to go forward begins with how well you start. If you never start, you can never finish. Get something going early so that you’re in motion. Motion is the key to getting to your destination.
- Do something you weren’t going to do.
This one is good. You want to make sure you’re already in motion for this next one. Do that thing you were going to do. In other words, this is the perfect time to put an end to procrastinating. Let’s get it done. It’s time you did that thing you were going to do.
- Attack your email.
This one may not seem like it fits in, but this is how it should read. Check your communications. You will never win the battle if your communications have been cut off. Make sure whatever method you use to communicate, you stay on top of it. When you have no way to communicate, you’re dead in the water. Attack your communication methods like your success depends on it.
- Clean up your desk.
Get rid of all the clutter. Clutter, pills, and an unorganized work environment yields distractions and obstacles to productivity. It will slow you down and when it comes to time, we don’t need any unnecessary slowdowns. Instead, we are looking for ways to avoid any slowdowns. So clean up and get organized. I had to do this with even my journals. If I’m not organized in what I’m writing I won’t be able to find what I need when I need it. This will cause me to waste time trying to find the work I’ve already done. Clean up!
- Positive attitude.
Last but not least, check your attitude. Attitude truly is everything. You want to do whatever it takes to control your attitude. A bad attitude leads to so much wasted time. You’re going to need to turn a bad attitude into a good one if you want to win the battle against wasted time.
If you’re me and wish to improve your life, then you’re serious about your time. When you get serious, these ten actions will begin to become natural habits to your daily life. The problem with normal people is that they are unwilling to do what’s already been given to them to become successful. An uncommon person acts on the principle and data they’ve already been given and are on a continual such to find more information that helps propel them to the next level. You see the battle for your time is unending, therefore you can either be losing this war your entire life or you can become a winner today.
Question: are you willing to do what it takes to win the battle against wasted time?