Achieve More With Less Through Proper Planning

One question a lot of people ask me recently is: "how do I manage my own personal time and get so much done in the same 24 hours everyone else have? They wonder how I have time for my family, being a Motivational Speaker, Business/Life Coach, Writer, Publisher, and Toastmaster."

One day, I was in the gym with my very good friend, Joe De Souza, a highly skilled Speaker who has impacted me immensely, when he asked me the same question. He certainly got me thinking that I thought and deemed it appropriate to write about my personal time management.

According to time evangelists, time lost can never be regained. When it comes to time management, I believe in the 80/20 Rule which states that '20% of what we do leads to 80% of the result'. Therefore, most of my time is spent on high value activities; things that advance my overall purpose in life, things I have always wanted to do, things I am most passionate about and things that will yield positive and maximum result.

My time is built around my goals, values and purpose, which I established many years ago when I went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate my 35th birthday. My goals are eight folds: Spiritual & Values; Career & Business; Relationship with my family and friends; Financial & Wealth; Health & Fitness; Personal; Intellectual & Self-development; and Community & Social goals.

My purpose in life is to inspire people to achieve greatness, make the world a better place by improving the standards of living for all, and providing better and high quality goods and services. Knowing my purpose in life helps me prioritise my time. The desire to excel and reach my full potential propels me.

Having decided on my goals, I then deal with the other tasks ahead of me in order of priority. The priority I place on any task is determined by how it measures up with my goals. The more a task helps in achieving my goals, the more important it is to me.

I go to bed at midnight and wake up at about 7.00am. The first thing I do when I wake up is to use the first hour (which I call the 'golden hour') to prepare myself for the day. I prepare myself spiritually by praying; physically by exercising, and mentally by reading something that will stimulate me; thereafter I leave for the office.

I speak professionally twice a week, train four times a week, and write at least two articles a week. The rest of my time is dedicated to my family and attending meetings.

Every Saturday morning I walk about five miles in two hours; thereafter I return home to spend time with my family (provided I don't have a speaking engagement). The latter part of my Saturday evening is dedicated to researching on my speeches and articles.

After church on Sunday, I watch Nigerian movies (which I called Naijawood) with my wife and children and later in the evening I plan for the week ahead.

Prioritisation is critical to how I spend my personal time. I do the first thing first. I do not watch television except news and I am one of the rare birds who are not addicted to sports. Although I am an Arsenal fan, I have never sat down to watch them play for 90 minutes. I spend a great deal of time reading books (I read at least two books a month), magazines, articles, periodicals and trade journals that are of interest to me and from which I collect the information for my research files. Whenever I am out, I ensure I take reading materials with me to fill my time during any waiting period. When I am travelling I spend flying times and airport waiting times revising and updating written materials on my pocket PC.

The passion I have for what I do invariably determines how much work I accomplish. My speeches are based on topics requested or those suggested for specific purposes. Knowing the objective of the speech helps in researching the subject; thus I am able to combine new information with old ones to deliver the most suitable speech.

I make every attempt to respond to my correspondences within days of their arrival; however, it sometimes takes a little longer, especially when I am working on a project that needs my undivided attention. Whenever I have a board meeting I create time to prepare for it especially if I have a presentation to do. I attend at least one board meeting every week. Before I retire to bed I reflect on the day and then carefully plan for the following day.

It has been said that Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance; therefore it is crucial to plan your activities thoroughly. Remember, those who fail to plan, plan to fail.

Dayo Olomu is a UK-based Motivational Speaker, Writer, Business/Life Coach, Trainer, Media Entrepreneur and Competent Toastmaster. His core belief is that we are all endowed with seeds of greatness, and his mission is to help individuals and organisations achieve their full potentials. He is the author of best selling "4 Indispensable Strategies for Success" and the President of Croydon Communicators Toastmasters. Get his FREE monthly Rise to the Top ezine by sending a blank email to subscribe@dayoolomu.com or visit his website at: www.dayoolomu.com

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