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Forget about trying to manage time — Instead, succeed in managing yourself

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Each day blesses you with 24 hours.

That's 1,440 minutes. No more. No less. Time is relentless. It can't be stopped.

Time is the essence of your life. If you waste your time, you waste your life. Let time become your ally, your valuable partner.

Don't confuse activity with results. You're paid only for results.

Steal time from the insignificant. Then channel it and your energies toward the significant. Your goal, objective or anticipated result. On the "clock of life" or "watch of winners," the key word is NOW.

Procrastination is your foe. Indecision an assassin. Plan tomorrow tonight. Stay on track. Make every day count.

When you master your time, you master your destiny.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

We often wish we had more of it. We're surprised when it passes quickly. And frustrated when it seems to move soooo slowly. It's the uncompromising passage of time.

The often ballyhooed concept of "saving time" is actually a misnomer. Or an impossibility! Time can't be saved. You can't store up an inventory of minutes now and then capitalize on your "savings" at a later date.

"Ooh, ooh, that hour I saved in May, I'll use it in December to extend my holiday hoopla!" As cool as that might be, it won't happen.

Time can not be managed. You can only manage you!

Take a peek at your watch. Now, pretend to smash it. That's right, smash it into smithereens!

We're all given the same amount of time. Yep. That's just the way it is, though it seems like productive and successful businesspeople receive an extra supply. Somebody must be sneaking them an extra stash of minutes!

The real key is how you take advantage of the 60 seconds in your minute, the 60 minutes in your hour, the 1,440 minutes in your day, the 10,080 minutes in your week and the 525,600 minutes in your year.

There are eight basics of time and life you must understand and master.

1. Your life and the value of it depends on your usage of time. Each day you have 24 hours. Each week you have 168 hours. You get no more. You get no less. Time can't be replaced or reversed. Time is the very essence of your life. If you master your time, you master your life. And to the best of our knowledge, it's the only life you have to live.

2. Believe it or not, you can't do it all or do it alone. The work of the world or the work of you, as a successful business professional, is seemingly endless. Therefore, the object of life or you in your professional role is not to race compulsively or erratically to do more "stuff" in less time. Instead, you want to learn how to make better and wiser choices or decisions. Your goal is not to become busier or more active, but to become more selective.

3. Your time is fixed. We can only squeeze the 25th hour figuratively. If you want "more time" for one activity, project or goal, you can't reach into your "time reservoir." Instead, you must "steal" time from another activity, project or goal. Hey, no one ever said this was easy. Time choices are tough and demanding, yet your rewards can be tremendous.

4. Universal satisfaction. Mastering your use of time brings great pleasure in both your personal and professional lives. These two aspects of your existence should ideally be wonderfully and harmoniously intertwined.

5. Time management = self-management. Videotape allows athletic events to be frozen, isolated or even appreciated from a reverse angle. But our lives don't have the same luxury. You can't stop or save time. You can't even manage it. Therefore, what you really must learn to manage is yourself. And this requires hard work and determination. Yet when you make the commitment to better time or self-management, success is almost guaranteed.

6. Know where you are and where you're going. Time-effective people have a plan, a goal, an objective. They are proactive, not reactive. They make things happen for them. They seldom let things happen to them. You, too, must realize, a steady progression toward your plans, goals and objectives eventually returns the most rewarding results.

7. Important doesn't equal urgent. It's important to plan your future, to meet with your team, to serve your customers, to spend time with your family. A sense of urgency is created when you're stuck in traffic after downing a breakfast of coffee and bran muffins. Unfortunately, all too often, life's urgencies seem to dominate life's importancies. And then you begin to wonder what happened to your hour, your day, your week, your month, your quarter, your year, your decade, your life ...

8. It's a process, not an event. Gaining control of your time helps you gain control of your life and work. Yet that often requires change. And change often brings about discomfort. Yet without a little squirming and pain, there's seldom gain.

Remember, success happens over time, not overnight.

And as Malcolm Forbes once declared, "As you get older, don't slow down. Speed up. There's less time left."

Jeff Blackman is an Illinois-based speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. Email him at

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