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Time Management - How To Use Your Environment To Your Advantage

May 10, 2008
When the topic of better "time management" comes up, many people's eyes glaze over as they mentally prepared to be bored by a conversation full of dull techniques, forcing yourself to do things that aren't natural for you and maybe things that just aren't fun for us to do.

Those boring "brute force time management" techniques can work for a while, but if they're not fun, easy or natural, like anything people eventually just stop doing them. I know I would rather learn ways to improve my time management which are easy and come naturally to me.

Buckminster Fuller (or "Bucky Fuller" as he was called by his friends) is reported to have said "Environment is stronger than will power". Sounds smart, doesn't it? Consider this. If you're out of shape and want to improve your health, how hard would that be to do if you're locked in room full of delicious sugar cookies. On the flip side, how easy would that be to do if you lived inside of a fitness center? Pretty easy don't you think?

This same sort of idea goes for almost everything, yet most people don't think about setting up the right environment for efficient time management. In fact, most people kind of think of anything having to do with time management as a chore. Let's turn that around.

From wherever you're at, look at what you can see around your workspace. Pick a few simple items around the room and ask you're the question "Do these items support my time management and productivity goals or do they steal my energy from reaching those goals?"

For each item, if it doesn't support your goal for better time management, get rid of it or otherwise handle it appropriately.

For example, televisions are notorious for their ability to distract a person and also seduce them away from getting tasks accomplished promptly. If you have one in your workspace and can agree that it doesn't support your better time management goals, simply unplug it or better yet, move it to a different room.

Something as simple as a messy pile of papers can also distract from your productivity and ruin your time management efforts. Realistically, how can a messy desk support your goals? Aesthetics aside, having a pile of papers makes it hard to find the important ones and can even spill over onto the floor, causing further loss of productivity as you have to clean them up.

I used 2 simple examples here because they help make the point clearly. Getting rid of anything in your work space that does not support your productivity and time management goals is critical to your success.

If we were to take this one step further, the next step would be to improve your environment by actually adding things which add to and make it easier for you to accomplish your time management efforts. We'll share hints on how to do this in other articles.
About the Author
For more strategies on time management, make sure you claim your copy of Michael Adams' exclusive free expert guide on tips for managing your time and multi-million dollar projects.
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