Make a Decision
How do you develop new, positive beliefs about yourself and your level of personal productivity? Fortunately, it is not difficult. You simply use the four Ds: desire, decisiveness, determination, and discipline. Most important, make a decision to develop a specific time management habit, like being early for every meeting for the foreseeable future. Every change in your life comes about when you make a clear, unequivocal decision to do something differently. Making the decision to become an excellent time manager is the first major step. Once you have made the decision to become a highly productive person, there are a series of personal programming techniques that you can practice.
- Program Your Mind: …Change your inner dialogue. Ninety-five percent of your emotions, and your eventual actions, are determined by the way that you talk to yourself most of the time. Repeat to yourself, “I am well organized and highly productive.”Whenever you feel overwhelmed with too much work, take a time-out and say to yourself, “I am well organized and highly productive.” Affirm over and over to yourself that “I am an excellent time manager.” If people ask you about your time usage, tell them “I am an excellent time manager.” Whenever you say that “I am well organized,” your subconscious accepts these words as a command and begins to motivate and drive you toward actually becoming well organized in your behaviors.
- Visualize Yourself as You Want to Be: The second way to transform your behaviors is to visualize yourself as an excellent time manager. See yourself as organized, efficient, and in control of your life. Remember, the person you “see” on the inside is the person you will “be” on the outside. If you are already a well-organized and highly productive person, how would you behave differently? What would be different from the way you behave today? Create a picture of yourself as calm, confident, highly efficient, more relaxed, and able to complete large amounts of work in a short period of time. Imagine what a highly productive person would look like. Would the person’s desk be clear and tidy? Would the person appear unhurried and unstressed? Create a clear mental picture of yourself as a person who is in control of his time and life.
- Act “As If”: The third way to program yourself is to act “as if” you were already a good time manager. Think of yourself as being well organized in everything you do. If you were already excellent in time management, how would you behave? What would you be doing differently? With regard to your time and personal productivity, what would be different from the way you do things now? Interestingly enough, even if you do not think that you are a good time manager today, but nonetheless you pretend that you already are, these actions will generate a feeling of personal efficiency. You can actually change your actions, habits, and behavior when you “fake it until you make it.”
Beliefs Become Realities
What are your beliefs about yourself and your ability to manage your own time? You can take all of the courses on time management, read all the books, and practice the various systems, but if you perceive yourself as being a poor time manager, nothing will help. If you have developed the habit of being late for meetings and appointments, or you believe that you are a disorganized person, those habits become your automatic behavior. If you do not change your beliefs about your personal levels of effectiveness and efficiency, your ability to manage your time will not change, either.
Adapted with permission from Time Management by Brian Tracy, copyright Brian Tracy.