Goal Processing: 6 Indicators of Great Time Managers

What do Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan and you have in common? They all had/have exactly 24 hours in each day. One of the major differences between successful and unsuccessful leaders is their ability to effectively manage their time.

So, how do you know if you are a good time manager? Here are six indicators.

A good time manager:

1. Gets an adequate amount of sleep. Success in multiple fields is based on energy. This means you need fuel. There are many different types of fuel (healthy food, emotional support, intellectual stimulation, professional development, etc.) The most important fuel is spelled S-L-E-E-P. Some people can function at a high-level with five hours of sleep and some need eight hours. You need to figure out what your optimal sleep number is and work to get it as often as possible.

2. Meets deadlines. Leadership is based on trust. One of the best ways to build and maintain trust with others is to only say yes to those deadlines you can deliver and then deliver on time (which is early.) This consistency for earliness can only be achieved by managing your time.

3. Is working on meaningful projects. Not a common entry in lists like this, but absolutely a vital indication of someone who manages their time. If you are able to have time to work on meaningful projects, it means that you have found a way to minimize the time you have to invest on trivial projects. Not an easy task, but critical to great leadership.

4. Has the right type of stress. Losing weight, achieving wealth and reducing stress are three of the most popular themes of late night infomercials. Coincidentally, two of them are counter-productive. Having a ton of money doesn't make your life simpler, easier or full of sleep-filled nights. Ask your average multi-millionaire or your lucky lottery winner if they have more stress or less stress now compared to their pre-money days and chances are each dollar brought more stress. The trick is not to reduce stress, but to have the right type of stress. The right type of stress is created by challenging life tasks that you have chosen to work on. I.e. - marriage to the love of your life, children, doing what you love at work, challenging hobbies, etc. These activities all create stress, but stress that is wanted and necessary for growth and creating value in life.

5. Follows the rules. Good time managers don't have to cut corners to meet deadlines. They don't have to skip breakfast, drive too fast, be short with people, under-deliver on a project, etc. The basic rules of successful living exist, are well-known and are achievable if you manage your time instead of letting your time manage you.

6. Has time for their "Epic Journeys." All of us have those big life to-do's, missions, wish list items, etc. We call those Epic Journeys. These are the things that make it into people's Bucket Lists - must do before I die sorta activities. Your average person (i.e. - not retired, super wealthy, jobless, or a college student) who has time for their Epic Journeys has that time because of many factors. The biggest one is their ability to manage their time in such a way to make room in their life for their Epic Journeys.

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