Time Management

By Leo Gura - April 7, 2014 | 15 Comments

The absolute key to creating more time in your day and finally master your schedule.

Video Transcript

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Hey, this is Leo from Actualized.org, and in this video we’re going to talk about time management.

Let’s talk about time management. By time management, I really mean how do we get you more sanity around your schedule? How do we get more time for you to do the things you want to do, get you feeling less stressed, less hectic? How do we do that?

Never Enough

I think one of the biggest challenges I see out there in our modern world — and this is one of the biggest issues people come to me with coaching, that I coach people on — is that they don’t have enough time in the day to do everything they want to do.

People are so frazzled. They’re so overwhelmed, running around with a million things on their plate, doing all this stuff. Sometimes they’re so busy they’ll pay me for coaching, they’ll pay me a lot of money to coach them, and they won’t even have time to take a one hour phone call to get coached, which is just ridiculous.

How do we actually work around this problem? How do we get more time? How do we get sanity around our schedules? I’m sure that if you’re working in any kind of serious career, then you’re having a lot of stress around managing your schedule, finding enough time to do everything you’ve got to do.

Especially if you’re trying to balance your schedule with your family life, maybe you’ve got kids, you’ve got obligations at home, you’ve got other stuff you’re doing, you’ve got hobbies, you’ve got the gym. How do you make it all fit into a twenty four hour day and not drive yourself nuts, and make it all sustainable?

I’m going to give you some very deep but simple wisdom. I want you to not just discount it. It’s important, because this is the answer. This is the key, but a lot of people will discount this and say “Eh, that makes sense, but what’s better?” and go look for something else.

The problem here is not for you to find out how to be more efficient. I’m not trying to jam more into your schedule. That is the wrong paradigm to be coming at. If you’re coming at this whole time management thing from the paradigm of how do you optimize your schedule, how do you cram a little bit more in, how do you get everything lock-tight — that’s the wrong paradigm to be coming from.

You’ve probably been coming from that paradigm for a while now, because that’s the traditional way to do time management, to do productivity improvement. You’ve probably realised it doesn’t work. It doesn’t really work.

Paradigm Shift

Here’s what actually works. This is the solution. You want to know what it is? It’s pretty simple. Stop doing stupid shit. That’s the bottom line. That’s what it takes to do proper time management. You have to buy into this idea. You have to, first of all, admit that you’re doing a lot of stupid shit right now. Am I right?

How much stupid shit do you have on your schedule? Ask yourself, really, how much stupid shit do you have on your schedule? It’s not about doing more. Life is about doing less. What I want you to do, after you finish watching this video, is really sit down and ask yourself:

“What are my priorities? What is really important? What are the things I’m doing that are not important? This whole efficiency paradigm I’ve been running on, this whole idea that I can jam a little bit more in thre is not going to work. All it’s going to do is make me more stressed, more frantic and it’s not going to get me to where I want to go.

Instead, I’m going to use a new paradigm. The new paradigm that I’m going to use is the minimalist paradigm. That means you sit down and get very methodical with all the different activities and commitments you have in your life. You sit down and get really critical about them, and you start to ask yourself “Is this really essential? Is this essential to my life? What is it really adding to my life?”

Right now, you’ve got a lot of stuff you’re doing in your life that’s not really adding very much. It’s not producing a lot of satisfaction. It’s not producing a lot of joy and happiness and love. It’s not even producing a lot of financial success for you. It’s basically doing nothing. It’s a distraction that’s wasting your time.

But you have very good reasons for why you’re doing it. You’ve always done it in the past. You think you need it. You think someone’s going to reject you if you stop doing something, or if you pull out of some commitment.

The trick is to start pulling yourself out of commitments, and to only make commitments to those things that are absolutely critical and essential to your life. The things you do in your life have to line up with your highest values, and everything else you have to drop off the map, forget about it.

How nice would your life be if just you were doing three or four things for your whole week, just three or four things that were really contributing to what you want your life to be about. Maybe they were contributing to your awesome career, or they were contributing to your finances. Or they were contributing to your family life, or to some special relationship you have.

Everything else was just off the radar. You can just drop it and forget it. This is ultimately where you want to get to. This is where you want to be. To do this is not easy, because it’s going to mean you have to change the way you’ve been approaching your whole schedule. You’re going to have to reprioritize, you’re going to have to think. You’re going to have to make some hard decisions.

Be Your Life’s Editor

A good analogy I like to use is it’s like being an editor. You have to be a very good editor, disciplined editor of your own life. When you bring a manuscript, when a writer brings a manuscript to an editor to get published, before they publish that book, before they take this big manuscript and publish it into a book, what happens is that an editor will sit down — this is a professional who will sit down and very critically go through that whole manuscript, and start marking it up with red ink.

He’ll start taking out all the fluff, all the extraneous stuff, all the garbage, all the nonsense. He knows that when that book gets on the bookshelf, in order for it to sell, that book has to be tight. It has to be concise. It can’t be repetitive, it can’t be filled with a lot of fluff.

If it is, then no one’s going to buy it. It’s not going to be a good seller. This editor, because he’s edited hundreds, maybe thousands of books and manuscripts in the past, has a keen eye for what is necessary and what’s extraneous. He’s really good at going in there and cutting this stuff up and throwing stuff out.

He’s got to be ruthless about that. A lot of times, when the writer gets his manuscript back, he gets the edit back from the editor, he’ll look at it and he’ll cry. Literally, he’ll be heartbroken, because the writer will think “All this amazing stuff I wrote, half of this manuscript has basically been crossed out, and it’s filled with red ink.”

That’s because what’s happened is all that fluff was condensed down to just the juicy, concentrated bits. For the writer, his ego doesn’t really want to handle that. A good writer will understand. Once he goes through that editing process multiple times, he’ll come to understand the editor’s an important part of this whole process and that, in fact, the editor’s making his writing better.

He’s making the writing something that’s very concentrated, and something that is worthy enough to put on a bookshelf. This fluff we started with, that’s not going to fly, not commercially. The same thing is going on with your life. Right now, your life is like this big, bloated manuscript, filled with all sorts of junk and fat that needs to be trimmed off.

You’ve never had a professional editor go in and start crossing this stuff out. You’ve never done that. You are not a very good editor of your own life, and you certainly haven’t allowed anyone else to come in and do it for you.

This is something you need to get better at. This is a skill you have to develop. You have to say “OK, I’m really going to get discipline here.” This is what a good writer will do. When a good writer understands the editing process, he’ll get disciplined within himself.

Clean Out Your Schedule

This is what you need to do. You need to get very disciplined with yourself and say “OK, this thing here. This thing I’m doing here, do I really need that? What is it really adding to my life? Is it getting me towards my highest values and goals? How about this thing here? Is this thing doing it? What about that commitment I have to Bob? Do I even need to be meeting with Bob every week? What about this time I’m spending over here? What about this time I’m spending over there?”

You’ve got to really start looking at it, and you have to start from the ground up. Start with a clean slate and say “OK, pretend like my whole schedule is clean. What is really essential?” Then you have to start adding just the things that are essential. When you do this, this is how you ultimately slay all the fat and all the demons that are inside your schedule. You cut that stuff out.

Your schedule becomes clean and minimalistic. Then, all of a sudden you have time to breathe, you have time to think. You have time for a little bit of alone time so you can destress, decompress from your work day. That’s important. That’s ultimately what you need. That’s ultimately what you want, to be in a high performance, peak state in your life.

A lot of people, what they do is spend a lot of time complaining about their schedules. They’ll complain about the fact they don’t have enough time, their boss is putting all these demands on them, they’ve got all these project that are due, they’ve got kids, the wife, the girlfriend, the boyfriend, the activities, the gym, all this stuff. Not enough time. Not enough sleep.

If you want to master your schedule, this is principle number one. You have to do this. You have to take full responsibility for your schedule. Take full responsibility for your time. What does that mean? That means you are no longer allowed to complain about your schedule, ever. You’re no longer allowed to complain about lack of time, ever.

I want you to commit to this. You know there’s something true here, there’s a nugget here that’s true. If you’ve been complaining about your schedule for years, and you’ve been trying various little fixes, and they haven’t been working, then you know what I’m saying is true here. You’re probably at a point where you’re willing to accept it.

That’s the truth. Until you take full responsibility, and you start making the hard choices, then your schedule is never going to be fixed. To make those hard choices, you have to say “OK, my schedule has been crazy up to now, but from now on, I take full responsibility.

That means everything that is on my schedule I allowed myself to put there. I allowed myself everything. Even everything my boss throws at me. In the end, it’s me allowing it to be there on my schedule.”

When you take this, when you commit to never complaining about your schedule, and you say you have control over it all — that can be hard to do. Your ego doesn’t want to do it, but it can also be very empowering. Now, that means you have full responsibility for your schedule. That means you can do with your schedule whatever you want, and that can be a big relief.

Your Time Is Your Own

It’s a big relief to realize your schedule is yours and nobody else’s. If you are allowing other people to take up your time and you are agreeing to all sorts of commitments, and if you feel overwhelmed, that’s not because there’s not enough time in the day. It’s not because the world is crazy. It’s not because we live in an era of internet and mobile phones and texting and Facebook and Twitter.

That has nothing to do with it. It all has to do with you. It’s because you are allowing it to be there. It’s because you are allowing these things to be on your plate, and you can always choose not to. The only reason you haven’t, up to this point, is because you’ve been creating excuses for why you can’t.

I think it’s time for you to realize those are just that — excuses. If you really think about it, then you have full control over your schedule. That’s where it starts. This is the golden nugget of how to do proper time management.

The 80/20 Rule

Practically, what I’m going to leave you with here is, I want you to end this video and I want you to sit down and really what we’re doing here is we’re going to use the eighty-twenty rule to help you figure out what needs to be cut from your schedule.

That means you’re going to write down all the tasks you have coming at you every week. You’re going to take a look at gym, your personal hobbies you’re doing, the work projects you’ve got going, your business, your family, your relationship — you’re going to take a look at all that, you’re going to write down all the stuff that’s recurring every week for you. Make a list of it.

Then you’re going to sit down and ask yourself “Which twenty percent of this entire list are getting me the eighty percent of my results, that are getting me the eighty percent of my fulfillment in life? Which of these things are actually making me the happiest?”

If you sit down and do this earnestly, what you’re going to discover is that it’s probably just going to be a couple of things that are really giving you a lot of happiness, and the rest of them aren’t doing much. You’re going to discover that twenty percent of your whole list is generating eighty percent of your results and your fulfillment in life.

You’re going to find the other eighty percent of the list are only generating the other twenty percent of your results and fulfillment. That means you can cut out the eighty percent, which we’ll call the fat, you can trim that fat from your schedule, and you’re still going to be getting eighty percent of your results.

Now, your schedule is going to be so much more free, you can just add a couple more things, maybe expand those things that are generating the most fulfillment and success for you. You can expand on those and.. Wow.

Not only have you freed up your schedule, but you’re also going to have more fulfillment and more success. Amazing. This is how you do proper time management. In the end, what I’m leaving you here with is — I want you to sit down and actually do this. Until you do this you’re not going to have full control over your schedule.

Before you can really do this exercise in earnest, you have to commit to taking one hundred percent responsibility for your schedule. Are you willing to do that? Have you suffered long enough with the overwhelm and the stress in your life? I hope so.

I hope you’re willing to commit a hundred percent to no longer complaining, taking full ownership, saying “This schedule is mine. I own every commitment on my schedule. I can cut it if I want to. I’m willing to take any kind of sacrifices or any kind of cost that comes with cutting stuff. I’m willing to do it.

I’m going to design an amazing schedule for myself from scratch, from the ground up, that really honours the performance I want in my life, the peace of mind I want in my life, the things that are really making me happy in life, and that’s also going to make me very productive and successful.” When you do that, that’s when you’re really going to have total control over your time.

Wrap Up

This is Leo, I’m going to be signing off. Go ahead and post me your comments down below. I’d love to hear what you guys think about how to manage your schedules, and how you’ve been doing it so far. Also, please like this and share this. Click the like button. Share this with a friend on Facebook or anywhere else. Get other people engaged with this stuff.

I’m bringing you material that I want you to share and spread. I think your friends are going to enjoy it as much as you guys are. Of course, I want you to go and check out Actualized.org. What we’ve got is an amazing newsletter that is releasing new, exclusive content for free, every week.

New videos, new articles, other things I’m going to be issuing to you guys, it’s going to be awesome. I want you to sign up there, because when you do, you’re going to be getting more tips along the lines of what you’ve been getting here. Not only time management ideas, but ideas about how to manage your whole life.

How do you make your whole life more efficient? How do you optimize your life so that you are getting maximum fulfillment and maximum performance and success, without all the crazy, hectic stuff? The world is so hectic nowadays. This really takes some commitment on your part. This is not something you’re going to fix in one day, with one video.

Slowly, but signing up, we’re going to chip away at it. Eventually, you can really transform your whole life in such a profound way that it’s hard for me to even convince you of it in this one video. When you sign up and start following along with me, you’re going to start to see that these little changes I’m talking about can really add up to something pretty extraordinary, that we can create an extraordinary level of success and happiness in your life. That’s what I want for you.

When you sign up, you get some free, exclusive bonuses. You get an exclusive nineteen part video series for how to start busting your top limiting beliefs, for starting to create an extraordinary life. That’s free and exclusive to my subscribers.

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sabrina says:

i get so overwhelmed when i have a big do list and i have to write it down cause otherwise i keep think on my mind over and over again: what is the best and efficient way to fit all in the day … what to do to keep our peace in that … cause i have to get the thing done as soon as possible just so my mind will get some rest…

Leo Gura says:

The key is to cut stuff out that isn’t central to your life purpose. All the fat must be ruthlessly cut!

Jyoti says:

Since finding your video on YouTube, I can’t stop watching them. My life is about to change in a big way. Thank you

Rama says:

I feel that I am addicted to your videos Leo . I watch them everyday during lunch time and before I go to bed. Your videos have really helped me gain emotional independence and have encouraged me to follow my dreams. I have seen many other self help videos but somehow you seem to have lot more knowledge and understanding in all the areas. A big THANK YOU! Keep up the great work.

Leo Gura says:

Glad to be of help

Tin says:

Leo, can you give me an example of your daily routines throughout your week and do you think I should make a daily routines schedule.

shail says:

Great Video ! Very relevant for me !
Bless you !

Ashray says:

I have made a time table that have the following. My studies, journaling, recreational activity, book reading, a bit of free time, a run in the park and necessities of life.
Total 7 items a week. Is that going a bit too fast because studies was the only thing I was doing productive.

Max Gron says:

What you need is to get your diploma, you don’t need any more than single-minded determination to only do your studies. Hints and tips: cut everything else from your life, only do one thing: eating a good meal while studying for your future and only studying, I state that now because hours with the teacher or computer you have to eat something.

suleyman says:

Thanks Leo, you are really making a big difference in people’s lives, I am from Turkey and studying on Sufi/spiritual psychology, If you ever visit Istanbul please be my guest.

Caelis says:

Hi Leo, I’d like to know how to spend my time more productively because I feel that I have too much spare time which I don’t know how to use effectively yet. I took a gap year, and next to my daily yoga & meditation habit I have a flexible job and some nice hobbies. But I really feel like learning new stuff. Do you have a nice study alternative for me? Something I can learn at home, maybe some nice course which is challenging me so I can gain more personal growth?

Max Gron says:

I take a lesson from you Leo at any time, now is time to take a lesson from a greenie who thinks he should be a vegetarian to save the planet, what you’re going to learn is the useless pseudo-science of cows farting gas in the greenhouse emissions, and the useless pseudo-science useless because it can’t be proven, that vegetarianism is backed by science, no it’s not, it’s an old wive’s tale, I’m saying this now as a two part reason, 1. how to manage my time in this useful endeavour, and 2. I watched your vegetarian video (I’m vegetarian straight away) about eco-friendly reasons, moral reasons and health reasons, and I heard misanthropists hate the factory-farmed methods thus they hate carnism, your bald head doesn’t indicate that you do or don’t eat meat, it indicates that you’re trying too hard to be psychiatric. Vegetarian way of life is just a fad with deeply held, heartfelt belief attached to it, it’s useful if I learn to spend less time getting busy worrying about it while using your time-management techniques.

Max Gron says:

Wow, Max, you’re certainly with simple neurotic dreams of cleaning the planet instead of having a big spiritual practice like letting go, do you know why people call you an idiot? Because you’re excessively smart in a slow-learning and neurotic way, happy at neurotic things.
Having a freshly made vegetable sandwich in caring for the earth isn’t having vegetable soup for your health. You only know the green value system, I had to transcend that, in tier one I’m of the beige value system and should stop doing stupid things, it’s that simple and difficult for an idiot but idiots don’t do things they think is idiotic. No one thinks you’re stupid, they think you’re an idiot, a feeble-minded man with the mental age of 2 incapable of rational thought.

Max Gron says:

Why is Max so expert at acting like a pessimist? It doesn’t belong here. Trimming the fat of the shit on my schedule isn’t for only concerned with being Mr Planet, cleaning up the earth and care and selflessness is a half-arsed spirituality as excuse to eat veggie dogs instead of essential commitment to this spirit which doesn’t make sense, not a bad thing, the bottom line is I should be a greenie eating a vegetable sandwich and not red thinking how useless this is, I should be solid green and not support coal for a power plant, but wind power plants, as polluting the planet isn’t the way I was at 27 years old, I should be a justice globalist and pick up rubbish and throw it in the rubbish bin, not leave wrappers and food all over the floor, and I should be vegetarian to be green, saving the planet, pessimism is rather stupid, this is an optimistic universe.

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