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Time Management 101: Prioritizing What to Do First

If you find yourself feeling incredibly busy, but not incredibly productive, it's time to reprioritize.

Allyson Lewis, 04/25/2013

"Enhancing productivity and increasing meaning is not merely a matter of getting more done. The secret to true productivity and meaning comes from getting the right things done by giving your highest value activities the highest priority." --Allyson Lewis from The 7 Minute Solution: Time Strategies to Prioritize, Organize & Simplify Your Life at Work & at Home

What Does Your To-Do List Look Like Today?
While getting out of bed this morning, you likely found your conscious and subconscious mind racing down a lengthy "to-do" list that sounds something like this:

--Don't forget to call John about the bond that is coming due today.
--Where did I put that Morningstar report I was reading last night?
--I need to finish preparing for my lunch meeting with Susan.
--I wonder how long it will take me to write the RFP?
--Did I ...
--Should we ...
--How can ...
--Who will ...

And on and on your mental list goes.

From the moment you wake up to the time you go back to sleep, you find yourself constantly hearing an inner voice attempting to remind you of all of the "things" you said you need to do today. At the end of the day you may find yourself feeling stressed from being so incredibly busy, but still not experiencing a sense of being productive. Just being busy does not mean you are properly allocating your personal time and energy. If you spend your day focusing your attention on accomplishing the wrong tasks, then you may finish the day with a painful, nagging sense of regret.

Good Time Management Requires You to Think First and Focus on High Value Activities
Time Management 101 for financial advisors requires that you think first and then allocate an appropriate amount of time and energy to accomplish your stated set of goals. When you accomplish a stated goal, you are instantly rewarded with a flood of positive chemicals that make you feel happy, more energetic, and more productive. This is a surprisingly different approach than how many men and women in the financial services industry choose to spend their time.

The 7 Minute principles and concepts we teach should encourage you to take literally seven minutes every day to first think about what activities you want and need to accomplish. In just seven minutes you can:

--Ask, what is the most important activity, task, or project that you need to complete today? The most important activities are called high value activities.

Time strategy expert and best-selling author Allyson Lewis has spent the last 30 years developing and teaching concrete, actionable business ideas all over the country. Her latest book, The 7 Minute Solution: Time Strategies to Prioritize, Organize and Simplify Your Life at Work & at Home, was released in paperback on Jan. 1, 2013. Take advantage of the worksheets, webinars, and more--subscribe to the FREE Member Tools area of our website http://www.The7MinuteLife.com and follow Allyson on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/AllysonLewis.SevenMinutes and Twitter: @allyson7minutes

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