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     Your Behavior Is Key To Controlling Your Time

In my 20 years of studying hundreds of thousands of people across the world, I have discovered that the key to controlling our time lies in our day to day BEHAVIORS. Yes, being organized is nice and can help you some, but it should not be your focus if you want to add more productive and enjoyable hours to your days. If you solely focus on traditional organizational-based time management tools such as day planners, schedules and to-do lists, you stand a very good chance of still WASTING a ton of time but just doing so with flair. But if you start patiently and consistently adjusting your daily behaviors toward positive time-building habits, you can leverage your time to levels you've never thought possible! 

In this short article, it's impossible for me to cover any of these Time Control behaviors in appropriate detail, but I can introduce you to several tips that if implemented can help you get on the right road to gaining more control of your time. Before I introduce the tips, keep in mind that shifting any behavior takes TIME. Rather then try to implement all of these tips at once, pick one at a time and work on it a little at least five days a week for about a month to establish it into HABIT. Then add another the following month, and so on. This slow, consistent pace will ensure you focus on action over knowledge and actually mold the behaviors you desire. Following are some of my foundational Time Control tips:

Get at least 7.5 hours of sleep a night on average. Sleep is the most INFLUENTIAL behavior on your control of time. Adjusting this behavior alone can add 2 to 4 more productive and enjoyable hours to each of your days!

Write down descriptive notes of how you want your life to look like in 2 to 3 years and make sure it's BALANCED to include details from work and home. Once complete, review your “clarity” at least 5 mornings a week and COMPARE it to everything you have scheduled for a particular day. The focus this can give you can easily leverage hours a day!

Take any part of your life you want to improve (items on your clarity, your career, your relationships, your health, your personal time, etc.) and take ACTION on improving it just a tiny bit at least 5 days a week. Improving anything just half a percent a day five days a week can lead to a 300% improvement in 1 year and over a 10,000% improvement in just 4 years. Slow, CONSISTENT improvement is the key to massive success and is the secret of time.

Most of the tiny daily improvements above only require 5 minutes each. You have about 200 5-minute increments of awake time every day. All you need are 1 or 2 to INVEST in a couple of the improvements above. Imagine what 5 extra minutes a day invested in improving your relationships with your loved ones could do to your concept of time.

Create goals for the things you want in your life including work and home and then review these goals at least 5 days a week.  Be sure to review these with emotion and include VISUALIZING with each a brief costs vs. reward analysis of what will happen in your life if they do not come true versus if they do.  Emotion drives our actions, and action drives our success.  Be EMOTIONAL with your goals and review them frequently to keep them at the top of your mind, and you can make your goals come true.

Focus on halving the time you waste rather than completely ELIMINATING it.  As a human, it's impossible not to waste time.  Rather than fighting our natural tendencies, work with them.

Increasing your short and long-term motivation even just a little bit can go a long way in giving you extra positive ENERGY to apply toward your clarity and goals.  Move around when you feel sluggish, listen to inspirational or jamming music before important events, and start your days by briefly asking and answering what you are grateful for and committed to in your life.


Vince Panella is the founder of Success-Centered Time Management and author of the book "The 26-Hour Day: How to Gain at Least 2 Hours a Day with Time Control". He has taught his Time Control program to thousands of companies and hundreds of thousands of people in 25 countries since 1982.

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