You can’t make up for lost time, but you can use it more efficiently.
There are 1,440 minutes in a day. That’s all you’re going to have. Nobody gets more than that; time isn’t a renewable resource. So you need to find ways to make the most of what you have. What you do—and don’t do—determines your level of success.
When I was young, I thought I could do everything; but as I get up in years, I am more protective of my time than ever. As Chinese author and philosopher Lin Yutang said, “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.”
Your ability to think strategically about your day will make an enormous difference in your productivity and profitability. Highly successful people are experts at managing their time and priorities.
The good news is you don’t need to go to school or read 50 books to become a time management expert. You just have to master five practices:
1. Plan each day before it starts. “Never begin the day until it is finished on paper,” Jim Rohn said. “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”
Every minute you spend in planning saves you as many as 10 minutes in execution. It only takes a few moments to diligently plan your day, but this small investment will save you hours in wasted time and effort.
One of the things I do when planning is to ask myself what is the main event of the day? I want to know what one thing I must do well in order for the day to be a success. With that answer in mind, I can approach the day with focus and purpose.
2. Schedule your top priorities first. All items on your to-do list do not hold equal weight in value or importance. Most people schedule their days with a mix of high- and low-value activities. Don’t let the low-value ones hijack time and mental energy.
Identify your top priorities. Then put them in your calendar before anything else. My productivity went up tremendously the day I  started prioritizing. It also helped to preserve my values. For example, I schedule family time before anything business-related.
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