We all share 1,440 minutes in each day to do what we want to do. Yet, some Australians are better than others at managing their time, improving their likelihood of achieving their goals.
But, how do they do it?
Tim Guest, Australia’s leading financial educator and Managing Director of Infinite Wealth, is often asked about the systems and processes he uses to manage his time and to help him to stay motivated. Based on his preferences and experience, here are two areas to consider to help you to improve your daily performance and efficiency.
If you are interested in how other successful millionaires manage their time, ensure to check out this article once you’ve finished reading this one – 5 Daily Habits of the Rich.
Without further ado, here are some tools and techniques you can use to improve your productivity today.
1. Productivity Apps & How They Can Benefit You
Tim uses several apps in combination with Mission Control (which is explained below) to maximise his time throughout the day. These apps reduce the time he spends on smaller, less critical tasks so that he can focus on priorities.
Here is a list of Apps which can help you to boost your daily productivity:
Google Docs is a powerful, real-time collaboration and document authoring tool. You can produce text documents, slide presentations, spreadsheets, drawings and surveys. If you haven’t used it before, it could be a great tool to start with.
The advantage of Google Docs (cloud-based) over your traditional Microsoft Word Doc (local computer hard drive) is that it allows multiple users to edit a single document at the same time and you can see each team member’s changes instantaneously. You can also bookmark the file to your browser’s bookmarks bar in your internet browser, saving you time when you need to access it.
This is extremely useful when working in a team as you won’t need to send various versions of the same document back and forth each time someone wants to edit it.
Although many people use Outlook in their day to day activities (managing emails and organising their calendar), there are several techniques that you can use to improve your productivity on this platform. The main ones being deleting messages as soon as they have been actioned.
We will explain this in greater detail shortly.
Wunderlist is an app that you can install on your phone as well as your computer. It enables you to track your tasks and create to-do lists. A key benefit of using Wunderlist is that it is easy to use and can be synced across all devices so that all your to-do lists are in one location, rather than being scattered all over the place.
Through Wunderlist you can:
• Set up push notifications and reminders on your phone to keep you on the ball
• Share your to-do list with others via email, enabling them to edit the list too
• Sync your to-do lists across multiple devices via the cloud
• Rate tasks with a star system based on priority
• Add further notes to any “to do”. For example, if you’d like to include any supporting information
Evernote is a powerful note-taking app that makes it easy to capture ideas, images, contacts, and anything else you need to remember. This app is great for bringing your life’s work together in one digital workspace and is available on all major mobile platforms and devices!
Whether you’re managing a project, capturing ideas from a brainstorm, or coordinating with a remote team, Evernote is great for keeping everyone on the same page.
The key benefits of Evernote are that you can:
- Build a central hub for your team’s most important information
- Share notes and whole notebooks with others so that you know what everyone knows and can work seamlessly from anywhere
- Track and manage all the details you need to move projects along
- Capture ideas from anywhere and keep related information together
- Attach files (spreadsheets, images, docs) to a note right from within the app
- Set reminders for yourself for various tasks, goals, and projects from within the app
- Sync your notes between all devices automatically
- Use it for FREE!
2. It’s All About Mission Control
In addition to the above apps, Tim regularly follows a systematic approach known as “Mission Control.”
The advantage of Mission Control is that it enables you to more effectively structure your day so that you can focus your time on accomplishing tasks of the greatest importance; despite the ever-expanding demands on your time and resources.
The fundamental idea behind it is that everything is stored or kept in one place so that in any moment, you only need to focus on what is right in front of you.
Introducing Mission Control into your daily routine can help you to:
- Schedule and manage daily commitments and remain focused
- Convert “to-dos” into accomplishments that draw you into action
- Use tools that help you to capture and organise your thoughts or ideas before you forget them.
- Manage key projects – ensuring that they continue to move forward, even in the presence of interruptions and emergencies.
- Create each week as an ongoing series of accomplishments, rather than getting overwhelmed by the demands on your time and resources.
3. Increase Your Performance & Productivity Using These Tools
Below is the routine that Tim Guest applies to his day to increase his productivity. He uses a combination of Mission Control principles and the apps listed above.
- Review Phone Messages & Emails
Upon reviewing any outstanding messages or emails, Tim’s first step is to sort them into complete or incomplete.
For any completed conversations he then deletes the message from his inbox. For any emails requiring action or a reply, he leaves it in his inbox as a reminder or records the activity into his calendar or Wunderlist. To avoid duplication, he then deletes the email.
This means that at any one time, he only has a handful of messages/emails in his inbox and knows that everything he needs to do is in one place. It helps him to remain clear and focused throughout the day.
2. Review & Tick Off Your Wunderlist
As mentioned above, Wunderlist allows you to manage multiple to-do lists in the one location. You can also share and collaborate in lists, allocate tasks, set reminders and deadlines, make notes and save attachments.
For business, Tim uses 3 different to-do-lists in Wunderlust to maximise his productivity:
- A daily review list
- A weekly review list
- A monthly review list
He also has a list for meetings (highlighting any topics to cover, ideas or past tasks not yet completed) as well as lists for his personal life including shopping lists (shared with his wife) and even his bucket list!
If at any time he wants to keep a record of a task or something he wants to do, he will add it to his Daily List. He will also schedule tasks to be completed in his calendar for the relevant day and will then delete from Wunderlist to avoid duplication.
Anything that he doesn’t want on his mind until another time, he’ll move into his Weekly List or the next day. Anything he doesn’t want to think about until the next month he adds to his Monthly List.
This ensures that each day, Tim’s list of to-dos are clear and his mind is focussed throughout the day, knowing that everything he wants to do is already scheduled within the allocated day and other tasks are not circling in his mind as a distraction.
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
Adding systems and structures to your day is not only about managing your time and workload more effectively but is also about helping you to define your goals for the future.
Did you know that 78% of investors have no financial plan? By failing to plan ahead, you’ll find yourself spending more time on less critical tasks while procrastinating on the more significant tasks that add much more value.
Just as you can apply Mission Control to your daily activities, the same philosophy can be used to your finances.
By reducing the amount of time you spend on meaningless tasks, you can allocate more time to achieving your financial goals and building your wealth. By having a plan outlining what you want to achieve and a team around you to support, guide and hold you accountable for your results, you are more likely to achieve your financial goals – whether they be homeownership, travel and lifestyle, or early retirement.
At Infinite Wealth, we can help you to take a big step towards achieving your goals by developing a tailored Strategic Wealth Plan to suit your individual needs and the resources you currently have available to you now.
A Strategic Wealth Plan allows you to see exactly where you are headed in your current circumstances, whether you are on track to reach your goals, and most importantly, what is really possible for your financial future.
This easy to understand blueprint will give you the courage you need, the knowledge you lack and will allow you to take actions previously unavailable to you, to produce the results you desire.
If you’d like to register for a Strategic Wealth Plan or would like to read more, click here.
If you’re sitting on the fence, unsure of what to do first, have a read of this article which highlights the importance of taking action.