Mastering Time Management

Have you ever missed out on something truly great because you ran out of time? If your answer is yes, then this guide is for you.

We’re going to uncover a unique time management strategy that Fortune 500s and Ivy Leagues have been quietly using to their advantage for decades.

This approach will show you how to manage your time so well, you’ll be able to create your own productivity time warp!

Let’s look at how a key problem in our definition of time management is actually setting us up for failure.


What is Time Management?

As you already know, it’s the process of planning and organizing your time in order to balance it between specific tasks or activities.
In theory, this should allow you to work smarter and get more things done. It should get you the results you want, in the shortest possible time.

We’ve all been in that hopeless situation when our to-do list seems impossible because we only have so much time available.

When this happens to us, effective time management can reduce stress in a big way.

But if it’s just a simple matter of scheduling, why do so many of us still get time management wrong and fail to achieve our goals?

To understand that, we need to look hard at when and why time management doesn’t work.

The real hidden problem is that we don’t have a good enough definition of time management and what it actually involves.

Priorities and schedules are just the tip of the iceberg.

There are much bigger unknown forces that lie hidden beneath the surface.

Not only that, but they are different for each person…


The Real Definition of Time Management

Time management is much more than how you schedule your time. What it’s really about is what investors call ROI or return on investment.

Whether you’re at work, running your own business, or aiming at personal goals, the way to get your best results is to target the best return on the investment of your time.

So the real definition of Time Management is actually:
The process of maximizing the output you get for the time you put in.

When I explained this to a friend, he said, “Ah yes, but you can do that by prioritising and scheduling, that’s what time management is. This is nothing new!”

And in a way, he was right. This is nothing new. There’s actually a 47-year-old secret behind all of this. And until very recently, it’s been hidden behind the closed doors of some of the world’s most successful companies.

And you can use this secret yourself to maximize the output you get for your time, which will make you a true master of time management.


The Secret to Mastering Time Management

The secret to getting extraordinary results from your time input is made up of four powerful steps.

Step 1: Get To Know Your Tasks

Every task that needs time management is complex and has several moving parts. And very importantly, each of these parts requires its own approach and strategy.

Let’s say that you need to choose a new car to buy. Well, that’s a task with a lot of parts!

For example, you need to research the options. You’ll need to gather information about the different models and features that are available on the market.

You’ll also need to imagine how your new car might fit the future.
Will you choose traditional gas, a hybrid, an EV?
Do you even need a new car at all? Sometimes challenging questions are the best ones to ask!

Eventually you’ll have lots of options to compare.

What criteria will matter most to you? Speed? Reliability? Fuel efficiency?
There are so many possible criteria that the comparison itself will be one of the largest parts of this task.

The more you think about it, the more you’ll realise how many components there actually are. Budget, customization options, brand reputation, price negotiation… I can go on forever.
The crucial point is that each of these parts has its own skill requirements that must be met if you want to complete the whole task successfully.

Gathering information on options requires research skills. Predicting the impact of future technology requires imagination and interpretation skills. Making reliable comparisons between different car models requires judgement and discernment skills.

So to complete step one, you need to fully understand all the components of your task and the mental skill sets they require.


Step 2: Get To Know Your Thinking

One of the most powerful things to realise is that just like tasks, we can break down our own heads into components too.

Our brains contain all the components of thinking, and with the right tools, we can actually see them. These are the mental skill sets we just looked at in Step 1.

Research, imagination, interpretation, judgement and discernment are just some examples of these.

We can actually separate out these components of our own thinking and deliberately match them up to the relevant components in the task. If you can get that matching completely right, you’ll have optimal execution of your task, which is the ideal use of your time.

In other words, perfect time management.

So for step two, you need to fully understand all the components of your thinking and match the relevant ones to the requirements of each task component you identified in step one.


Step 3: Understand Your Risks and Benefits

This is where it really gets interesting!

Let’s continue with our car-buying example, and look first at the research part of the task.

The required skills are based in data, information gathering and analysis. If you naturally like that type of thinking, you’ll probably excel at this component of the task.

It’s a double-edged sword though, because you might like it so much that you spend too long on it, which isn’t good for time management overall. There is always a given point where the return on time investment starts to decline and that’s when you should move on.
If you don’t move on, it’s poor time management.

However, if you aren’t so inclined towards data and analysis, you might gloss over this part of the task, which means you risk missing some really crucial details.

Just as over-allocation of time is poor time management, under-allocation of time is also poor time management.

Now consider the part where the future of car technology needs to be considered. This component requires a creative thinking approach.

If you’re naturally imaginative and visionary, you might thrive on this and perhaps even spend too long on it. This brings a risk of over-allocation of time.

If you don’t have a natural preference for imagination and creativity, and skip over this component, you may easily end up buying a car that doesn’t turn out to be futureproof. Or even worse, you could end up buying a car when you didn’t even need one at all.

And what about the comparing of different car models?

If you have a natural preference for judgment and discernment, you might be very good at drawing sound conclusions from these complicated comparisons. You just need to be aware that being too keen on coming to a decision could mean that you reached the wrong one, which is not just a failure of time management, but also a failure of the task itself.

On the other hand, if you don’t naturally prefer this kind of thinking, you might end up considering details and options for too long and never reach a decision – which would be a classic time management mistake.

So step three is all about realising that your own natural thinking preferences will bring you a specific set of benefits and risks when it comes to time management of your overall task.


Step 4: Becoming The Master Of Your Time

This final step is the most important one in the process of mastering time management.

As a quick recap, in step one, we identified the components of the overall task and their required skill sets.

In step two, we identified the components of our thinking and how we need to match them to the relevant task components.

In step three, we realised that our own natural thinking preferences determine our benefits and risks when it comes to our time management.

Now, in step four, we will take all of this important groundwork and implement it in the real world.
If we want to build a house, it’s important to discuss it first. But then we need to actually get some tools in our hands and start building the thing.

Luckily, there’s a free quiz tool that you can use to uncover where your own personal benefits and risks are when it comes to time management.

It’s important to note, though, that your preferences are not the same as your abilities. This is a very important distinction because it’s your personal preferences that dictate where you will subconsciously allocate your time.
Even though you might not have a preference for research, for example, you might still be perfectly good at it.

So being aware of your innate thinking preferences enables you to put a complete stop to both under and over-allocation of time resulting in a mastery of time management that is pretty close to perfect.

Armed with your own knowledge of yourself that you can get with our quiz tool, the Thinking-Intentions Profile, you can gain full conscious control of any complex task or even any set of multiple tasks.

This means that you can deliberately invest your time in fulfilling the requirements of your task, instead of unconsciously investing it wherever your hidden preferences might want to take you. This is how you can actually achieve big goals that seem unachievable.

Full conscious control also means that you will possess the essential component of elite time management that nobody ever talks about: agility.

Agility enables you to move between the different components of a task at the exact right moments, never getting stuck for too long on one and never skipping quickly through others when they need more attention and care. When you have true agility in your thinking, you will never under- or over -allocate time.

And that is the ultimate secret you can use to completely master your time management forever.


The Thinking-Intentions Profile

The Thinking-Intentions Profile is a powerful and unique profiling tool based on 47 years of research and work inside some of the most successful companies and universities in the world.

It gives you X-Ray vision on your hidden preferences and biases in every part of your thinking, opening the pathways you need to consciously master your time and productivity once and for all!

After you understand your full Profile, you will understand exactly where all your risks and strengths lie when you are faced with any complex task. This gives you an outrageously unfair advantage over others who don’t have this knowledge.

Transforming the time-allocation process into a fully conscious one is the secret key to breaking the very fabric of time management and achieving extraordinary results.
Your Thinking-Intentions Profile unlocks that ability for you. Discover it here.


How YOU think has a direct effect on the results you get. Want to find out more? Get your FREE Key Strategic Insights today.

Most Recent Posts:

Mastering Time Management

Have you ever missed out on something truly great because you ran out of time? If your answer is yes,...

How do you count ‘Trust’?

You possibly haven’t heard of the Legatum Institute. Headquartered in London, it offers historical research and current investigation into the...

Arrow of Time: Curiouser and Curiouser

The Conundrum of Time: Have you ever wrestled with the idea that time has always got to go forward. If...

How To Avoid Over-thinking

In this piece, we’re going to look at the tragic story of an entrepreneur who thought his way to failure,...

What to Delegate (and What Not To!)

Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed with tasks and wondering which ones you should delegate? Drawing from our 47 years...