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
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
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
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
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?
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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