Archive for Peter Drucker

SELF-DISCIPLINE AND TIME MANAGEMENT by Brian Tracy

Posted in "Self-Discipline and Time Management" by Brian Tracy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2012 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with hundreds of inspirational quotes, beautiful images, recommending reading, and my own personal and business blogs, at “Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO” you will find the writings and videos of those whose intention is to inspire, motivate and push us to think outside the box.

SELF-DISCIPLINE AND TIME MANAGEMENT by Brian Tracy

There is perhaps no area of your life where self-discipline is more important than in the way you manage your time. Time management is a core discipline that largely determines the quality of your life.

Peter Drucker says, “You cannot manage time; you can only manage yourself.”

Time management is really life management, personal management, management of yourself, rather than of time or circumstances.

Time is perishable; it cannot be saved. Time is irreplaceable; nothing else can replace it. Time is irretrievable; once it is gone or wasted, you can never get it back. Finally, time is indispensable, especially for accomplishment of any kind. All achievement, all results, all success requires time.

The fact is that you cannot save time; you can only spend it differently. You can only move your time usage from areas of low value to areas of high value. Herein lies the key to success, and the requirement for self-discipline,

Time management is the ability to choose the sequence of events. By exerting your self-discipline with regard to time, you can choose what to do first, what to do second, and what to do not at all. And you are always free to choose.

You require tremendous self-discipline to overcome the procrastination that holds most people back from great success. It is said that “procrastination is the thief of life.” A native Indian once told me that it is even worse. He said, “Procrastination is the thief of dreams.”

The Pareto Principal, the 80/20 rule, says that 20% of the things you do contain 80% of the value of what you accomplish. This means that 80% of what you do is worth 20% or less of the value of what you accomplish.

Because of this disparity, some things you do are five times, and even ten times, more valuable than other things. The challenge for most people is that the most important things you do are big, hard and difficult. The 80% of things that you do that make little or no difference to your life are fun, easy and enjoyable.

You can tell the value that something has to you by the amount of time you invest in it. You always pay attention to and spend time on what you most value, whether it is your family, your health, your social or sports activities or your money and career. It is only by looking at how you spend your time that you, and everyone else, knows what is really important to you.

The essence of time management is for you to discipline yourself to set clear priorities, and then to stick to those priorities. You must consciously and deliberately select the most valuable and important thing that you could be doing at any given time, and then discipline yourself to work solely on that task.

In your personal life, you goal is to get the highest “return on energy” from your activities. Ken Blanchard refers to this as getting the highest “return on life.”

Just as you would be careful about investing your money to assure that you get the highest rate of return, you must be equally as careful when you invest your time. You must be sure that you earn the highest level of results, rewards and satisfaction from the limited amount of time you have.

Always, before you commit to a time consuming activity, you must ask, “Is this the very best use of my time?”

Lack of self-discipline in time management leads people to procrastinate continually on their top tasks, leading them to spend more and more time on task of low-value or no-value. And whatever you do repeatedly eventually becomes a habit.

Many people have developed the habit of procrastination, of putting off their major tasks and instead spending most of their time on activities that make very little difference in the long run.

One of the most important words in developing the discipline of time management is “consequences.” Something is important to the degree that it has serious potential consequences for completion or non-completion. A task or activity is unimportant to the degree that it does not matter if it is done or not.

Completing a course of study at the university can have enormous consequences that can impact your life for many years to come. Completing a major task at work, or making an important sale, can have significant consequences on your job and your income.

On the other hand, drinking coffee, chatting with co-workers, reading the newspaper, surfing the Internet or checking emails may be enjoyable, but these activities have few or no consequences. Whether you do them or not makes little or no difference to your work or your life. And it is precisely on these activities that most people spend their time.

There is a simple time management system that you can use to overcome procrastination. It requires self-discipline, will power and personal organization, but by using this system, you can double and triple your productivity, performance and output.

Start by making a list of everything you have to do each day, before you begin. The best time to make this list is the evening before, at the end of the workday, so that your subconscious mind can work on your list of activities while you sleep. You will often wake up with ideas and insights on how to more effectively complete the tasks of the day.

Apply the A B C D E Method to your list:

A = “Must do” – Serious consequences for non-completion;

B = “Should do” – Mild consequences for doing or not doing;

C = “Nice to do” – No consequences whether you do it or not;

D = “Delegate” – Everything you possibly can to free up more time for those things that only you can do;

E = “Eliminate” – Discontinue all tasks and activities that are no longer essential to your work and to achieving your goals.

Review your list of activities for the coming day and write an “A,B,C,D, or E” before each task before you start.

If you have several “A” tasks, separate them by writing A-1, A-2, A-3, and so on. Do this with your B and C tasks as well.

The rule is that you should never do a B task when you have an A task left undone. You should never do a lower value task when you have a higher value task before you.

Once you have organized your list using this system, discipline yourself to start on you’re A-1 task first thing in the morning, before you do anything else.

Once you have begun work on your most important task, you must discipline yourself to concentrate single-mindedly, with 100% of your time and attention, until that task is complete.

It takes tremendous self-discipline to select your most important task, and then to start on that task rather than doing anything else. But once you begin work on it, you will start to feel a flow of energy that motivates and propels you into the task. You will feel more positive and confident. You will feel excited and happy. The very act of starting on an important task raises your self-esteem and motivates you to continue.

Deep within each person is an intense desire to feel strong, effective, powerful and in control of his or her life. You automatically trigger these feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem when you start to work on the task that is most important to you at the moment.

This ABCDE Method seldom takes more than about ten minutes to organize your entire day. But you will save ten minutes in execution for every minute that you invest in this way of planning before you begin.

As you feel yourself moving forward, making progress on your most important task, your brain will release a steady flow of endorphins, nature’s “happy drug.” These endorphins will make you feel positive, focused, alert, aware and completely in control.

When you discipline yourself to continue to push through against your natural resistance, and complete a major task, you get an “endorphin rush.” You experience this as a sense of elation, exhilaration, happiness and higher self-esteem. By completing a major task, you feel exactly like an athlete who has crossed the finish line first. You feel like a winner.

Your payoff from excellent time management is continuous. As soon as you begin to plan and organize your time, set priorities, and begin on your A-1 task, you will feel happy and more in control of yourself and your life.

Starting today, you should apply these key time management principles to every area of your life. Apply them to your work, your family, your health, your exercise routine and your financial decisions and activities.

You require tremendous discipline to set priorities and then to stick to those priorities. You require the continuous exertion of discipline and will power to overcome the procrastination that holds most people back. And the more you discipline yourself to use your time well, the happier you will feel and the better will be the quality of your life in every area.

– This excerpt is from “The Power of Discipline: 7 Ways It Can Change Your Life” by Brian Tracy

If you’re interested in a complimentary 30-minute business strategy session with Chief Operating Officer, Robert Finkelstein, or for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

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STAY FOCUSED ON THE BIG PICTURE by Harvey Mackay

Posted in General Management, Life Management, Stay Focused on the Big Picture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2011 by Robert Finkelstein

Along with the inspirational quotes, the beautiful images, and my own personal and business blogs, at Behind the Scenes / Virtual COO you will find the writings and videos of various thought leaders.

STAY FOCUSED ON THE BIG PICTURE by Harvey Mackay

A reader of this column sent me an email recently, thanking me for a column I had written on getting outside the box. She then told me how she had lost focus for a while, but had turned things around. She encouraged me to write a column on staying focused.

I immediately thought of my varsity golfing days at the University of Minnesota many years ago. Back then The Saint Paul Open was one of the top tournaments on the men’s professional golf circuit. Prior to the tournament, I had a chance to meet Gary Player when he was taking a lesson from our team coach, Les Bolstad. Later that evening I went to dinner with the world’s future #1 player when he was still an unknown.

The following day at The Saint Paul Open, I saw Gary after he teed off the first hole and ran up to him to say hi. I wanted to tell him what a great time I had the night before. His steely eyes remained focused on the fairway ahead and he never broke stride. “Harvey, please don’t talk to me. I must concentrate. I will see you when I’m finished.”

I remember how devastated I felt, but I learned a valuable lesson on focus. Many years later when he was world famous, my wife, Carol Ann, and I ran into Gary and his wife in South Africa. I reintroduced myself and reminded him of what happened on the golf course. Gary’s wife told me, “Don’t feel bad. He doesn’t even talk to me on the golf course.”

That’s the focus that it takes to do your best. If you have the ability to focus fully on the task at hand, and shut out everything else, you can accomplish amazing things.

Arnold Palmer, another golfing legend, recalled a tough lesson he learned about focus in Carol Mann’s book “The 19th Hole”:

“It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament, and I had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a very satisfying tee shot. I felt I was in pretty good shape. As I approached my ball, I saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned me over, stuck out his hand and said, “Congratulations.” I took his hand and shook it, but as soon as I did, I knew I had lost my focus. On my next two shots, I hit the ball into a sand trap, then put it over the edge of the green. I missed a putt and lost the Masters. You don’t forget a mistake like that; you just learn from it and become determined that you will never do that again.” Trust me, your friends will understand!

A response Babe Ruth once gave to a reporter sticks in my mind. “How is it,” the Babe was asked, “that you always come through in the clutch? How is it you can come up to bat in the bottom of the 9th, in a key game with the score tied, with thousands of fans screaming in the stadium, with millions listening on the radio, the entire game on the line and deliver the game winning hit?” His answer, “I don’t know. I just keep my eye on the ball.”

In other words… Focus.

How many times have you heard an athlete talk about focus? It’s a topic I also hear about frequently in business. The most common complaints?

Too many irons in the fire. Too many projects spinning at one time. Too many interruptions. Too many phone calls. Too many emails. Too many things to do. Too little time.

The late Peter Drucker, management consultant and author, observed, “When you have 186 objectives nothing gets done. I always ask, ‘What’s the one thing you want to do?’ In Mexico they call me Senor Una Cosa.” (translation: one thing)

Decide what’s most important. Make a list every day or every week and prioritize your activities. Scale back the amount of time you spend on meetings; they can be the biggest time-wasters of all. Learn to delegate, and make sure all members of your team follow through on assigned tasks.

Set aside a specific time of day to return phone calls and emails, and keep distractions to a minimum. In other words, set rules about how others use your time. And if you’re not the boss, work with your supervisor to make sure you agree on priorities.

Stay focused as best you can, and don’t let things happen to you – not when you can make things happen.

Mackay’s Moral: The person who is everywhere is nowhere.

– Harvey Mackay

If you’re interested in a complimentary 20-minute business strategy session with Robert Finkelstein, for more information, please refer to Behind the Scenes Consulting. If you have questions, please email Robert at Consulting@RobertFinkelstein.com. Your comments are welcomed below. Thank you.

Inspirational Quotes and Images – Updated

Posted in Inspirational Quotes and Images, Life Management with tags , , , , on December 27, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” – Peter Drucker

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Inspirational Quotes and Images

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