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Winning the Mental Game of Time-Management: The Psychology of Personal Productivity.    Do you feel that the pace of life is sometimes more than you can handle? Do you feel even more at a loss for time after "getting organized"? Today's world of hyper-communication demands that we be accessible by phone, fax, beeper and all things high tech that seem to come on the scene daily. Here's how to get organized.    720 words.
The Mental Game Coach, Peak Performance Playbook

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Winning the Mental Game of Time-Management

The Psychology of Personal Productivity

Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California

Do you feel that the pace of life is sometimes more than you can handle? Do you feel even more at a loss for time after "getting organized"? If you have tried all the time-management and self-management courses and found them not to quite be helpful enough, then this article is for you. This is the mental approach to time that will help you actually feel in control and bring enjoyment back to your daily routines.

Let's see what superstar achievers do to plan, control and utilize their precious time so they can reach even higher on the success ladder.

1. Use Quiet Time to Gain a Strategic Stance: If you are always on the go, your self-awareness will be at its lowest. Take time at the start and end of each day to assess your time style from the biggest picture possible, even from the perspective of the course of weeks and months and the year.

2. Start Controlling Time From Within: To gain a feeling of controlling your time, begin by going inward and noticing what tasks stress you the most. Approach those tasks with a calmer, more focused resolve. Vow that they will not upset you. Be determined that you will not rush or hurry through your day.

3. Even Not to Decide Is to Decide: When you allow things to slip off your task list, even that act is a decision. Make everything you do as consciously and purposefully as possible by taking time to review your tasks from a strategic stance often. Determine not to get mired in the day-to-day minutiae.

4. To Do More, Do Less: Achievers don't add more tasks to their to-do list as openings come up. They maintain breathing spaces so they can recover and operate optimally more often. Overcome the feeling of guilt or laziness if your calendar is not crammed full. Create healthy openings in your schedule.

5. Follow the Path of Non-Resistance: There is wisdom in being a persistent, determined achiever in getting things done. There may often be more wisdom in letting things go, or in taking a different approach to success when you meet strong resistance to completing a task. Recognize when you are spinning your wheels and change course.

6. Decelerate, Don't Accelerate: Instead of rushing to complete a particular task, slow down and enjoy it fully as you use it to refresh yourself and to take a break from more stressful tasks ahead. Achievers know that sometimes the path to greater speed is to slow down. Strive for quality, instead of only quantity.

7. Purposely Schedule Down Time: Top achievers regularly schedule breaks, exercise, food, rest, recreation and stress-busters in every day. They prioritize these tasks as much as any other because they realize the restorative properties these have to propel them ahead and maintain them at peak levels mentally and physically.

8. Maintain Harmony and Balance: Peak performers realize that taking regular mental and physical vacations many times through their day constitutes their ability to be highly energized and motivated to be productive. No one can maintain the crazy pace that "appears" to be what busy achievers do. Be a smart achiever and take mental vacations.

Your Mental Game Action Plan:

What action will you take this week in becoming better at managing your time? Here are some questions to get you started.

1. What system can you develop to increase awareness about your time management style? Can you ask others how they view your current time control system and style? Can you take quick breaks in your day to assess how you are handling time so far that day?

2. What quick, positive changes to your time control system can you make today that will get you jump-started? What can you eliminate from your to-do list right now? What items from your "A list" can you relegate to your "C list"?

3. How can you maintain balance, harmony and that wonderful sense of being in control on a regular basis? How will you need to adjust your philosophy of life and time to do this? How comfortable will you be in reducing your old frenzied, must-do-now lifestyle to a live-in-the-moment, balanced way of being?

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Copyright © Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.

Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com), an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development, professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.

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