The Best Time Management Tool Is Yourself And Your Actions
Don’t fool yourself. Your Best Time Management Tool only provides you with optimal planning for your project tasks. As a goal-driven person, you certainly enjoy having in one place the big picture of your projects, the task allocations to the teams and resources, and their relevant schedules. It’s a great start, but that’s not enough to make it happen. Read further to understand why and learn a few tricks to help you realize your ambition and get things done.
The Best Time Management Apps and Tools in 2021
The Best Time Management Tools in 2021 are accessible from everywhere. It has never been so easy to plan out project tasks, share them and get them done quickly without forgetting anything important. Thanks to the development of cloud-based applications, it is usually available across multiple devices. Hence, no matter where you are or what device you have access to, there’s always an option available for managing your task list and get things done!
Long story short, there are plenty of options in terms of project planning and time management applications. So why a time management tool can be useless? Well, let’s start with the basics of time management.
What Is An Effective Time Management Tool?
An effective time management tool is well-organized ideas about what should be done and when. Smartly organizing your project tasks or your week is undoubtedly the key to success in the long run. Time is precious. Managing your time correctly with the right priorities is critical.
Time is the only thing in life that you can never get back once it’s gone.
What Is The Most Powerful Time Management Technique?
Planning is by far the first, best, and most proven of all time management techniques. Using a proven prioritization process like the Eisenhower Method or running a simple Excel Pareto Analysis of the different project tasks’ value in is an excellent time management approach. However, a good time management strategy is only a prerequisite to a successful venture.
Ideas are cheap; execution is everything – Chris Sacca.
Why Are Time Management Techniques Useless?
Time management techniques are useless if great execution is lacking. It’s great to have a fancy time management tool, a visual to-do list, and clear deadlines. But at the end of the day, some people need to get their hands dirty. More than that, they have to deliver in a timely manner. It might be yourself and or someone else, but the job needs to get done. On top of that, it’s essential to be efficient (i.e., having an excellent output for the time and capital spent), but it’s more important to focus on the right tasks (i.e., being productive).
It’s frustrating when you’re not getting the job done – Christian Yelich
How Can You Stay Motivated In Life, Stick To A Plan And Execute Better?
Motivation management is not an exact science, but there are plenty of tricks out there to help your brain develop some discipline, increase wellbeing, and overall grow and cultivate your motivation capital. Below are a few of them
I’m always looking for inspiring ways to stay motivated and stay active. Kristi Yamaguchi
Motivation Trick 1 – Motivation, Time Management, And The Cold Shower Mindset
To stay motivated when you have to do something you don’t necessarily enjoy, adopt a cold shower mindset. How the cold shower mindset helps you to get things done?
Let’s assume that, like most people, you don’t like cold showers. If you are in a situation with no alternative – because you want to stay clean – you will get your shower done as fast as possible regardless of how cold the shower temperature is. In a time-management context, apply the cold shower mindset this way: When you have to complete a task but don’t feel like it, get it done as quickly as possible to get it done and move on! In the process, keep in mind the positive feeling of freedom that having this done completed will bring. You will be able to move on and start from a new basis.
In a capital-management context, it would be the same. If you have a business operation that keeps burning cash despite several attempts to turn it cash-flow positive, admit that is not working. Stop the business as soon as possible, even if such an action is unpleasant. The earlier you make this painful but rational decision to stop your losses, the more time and capital you will have remaining to focus on newer and more profitable investments.
In short, the cold-shower mindset – in a project management context – can be your Best Time-Management Tool:
The cold-shower time-management approach is somehow in line with Parkinson’s Law’s key takeaway: people tend to be more productive when they are slightly under pressure. In a time-management context, the worker himself generates planning pressure if he adopts a cold-shower mindset. By shortening the time allocated to a task, the person in charge must focus on the essentials—no times for extra shampoo or hydrating cream, it’s too cold! The mission or assignment to complete is so unpleasant that the person in charge wants to get rid of it as fast as possible.
The cold-shower mindset applied to time management is also in line with Carlon’s Law: interrupted work will be less effective and will take more time than if completed continuously. When having a cold shower, you just want to get clean—that’s your “macro task”—but you don’t allow yourself a break to change the playlist or some extra time between shampoo and conditioners. It’s too cold, and you just want to get the job done!
Motivation Trick 2: Your Goal Is Right Only It Keeps You Motivated
If you’re encountering some difficulties to push through in your daily tasks, assignments, or life projects, try to keep the big picture in mind.
If you’re stuck in an employee job, in the short-term, comfort yourself with positive thoughts such as ” this job might be not exciting, but it allows me to get somehow a guaranteed cash-flow stream that pays my essentials for my family and me. If you’re about to give up on your current venture, don’t forget why you’re doing all of this. Your why and ultimate goal should be big enough to say, “okay, this project is not easy, but this is really what I want to get or where I want to be at some point”. With such an approach, the idea of realizing your ambitions should be exciting enough that you are going to suck it up and keep pushing. In the long-term, if you still think that the challenging journey is not worthy, reconsider your life or project goals: they are simply not suitable.
The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas. Linus Pauling
Motivation Trick 3: Turn The Shiny Objects Syndrome To Your Advantage To Stay Motivated
Be a contrarian; try out different ideas and fields of interest to manage your motivation capital, but limit your portfolio of projects to a reasonable number. A good time management trick with such a configuration is to reallocate your time depending on your motivation level. When your motivation for a specific project is down, please put it on hold and switch to a more exciting project. Repeat the process again each time you feel you’re not productively using your time.
This time management trick uses your motivation and excitement to keep going, but this is not the best time management tool by any means. It has its limitations. Motivation should only help you get the last straw of your remaining energy when you’re a bit fed up with your current task or project. Motivation should not be the only driver in your time management and task prioritization process. Good project management ignores the so-called “pet projects.” which are solely driven by personal interest. The best time management tools highlight the projects or tasks that bring the most value in a planning context: it usually combines task-management methods such as the Eisenhower Matrix and a Pareto Analysis to establish a selection of tasks yielding the best value.
Motivation Trick 4: Trick Your Brain And Celebrate Small Victories
One reason that makes time and motivation management complex is the planning fallacy: it occurs when people underestimate how long it will take to finish a task, even if they have prior direct or indirect experience with the job. When planning for a new project or an individual task, there is this natural tendency to be an optimist: “This time, we will do even better.” In a project planning context, the downside of such an ambitious and perfectionist mindset is that it yields goals that are not achievable: Hofstadter’s Law describes this Planning Fallacy phenomenon well.
It increases the likeliness of not completing the tasks on time with all the negative impacts on the stakeholders. Whether you are the task doer or the project manager, failing to accomplish a job within the schedule will bring a sentiment of failure. If it occurs too often, your credibility and self-motivation will be downsized.
Every time you give up, you make it a habit that is okay to give up. If you push through the pain, push to the next level, you will be more resilient. Every time you succeed, celebrate it, even if it is a minor success. It helps build up confidence and a positive mindset.
How To Set Reasonable And Achievable Deadlines To Stay Motivated?
To help succeed more often, break down your ambitions and projects into micro-steps and micro-tasks that you can achieve. Wheter you goals and ambitions on the professional side or personal one, it is important to set a SMART Goal that can you achieve. Don’t kill your motivation with objectives that are too long or very unlikely to be achieved.
Conclusion: The Key Reason Your Best Time Management Tool Is Probably Useless
Whether it is a personal or a work deliverable, you always want to start with the right tools and the right people. The same is true for time and project management. The hard truth is that having an excellent time management tool is only a contributing factor to your success with the right people and the right execution. To get the job done, you need competent and motivated people that keep grinding. People are the main drivers of any successful projects or ventures, not the latest fancy time management app. At the start of the project journey, surround yourself with the best people as much as you can. During the journey of the project, use the motivation tricks above to go through the challenging periods of your project.
Getting the right people in the right roles in support of your goal is the key to succeeding at whatever you choose to accomplish. – Ray Dalio
More importantly, don’t forget to be happy. We are all going to die! If your unhappiness prevents you from being motivated and getting things done, you probably don’t need a fancy time management app. You surely need a good assessment of what makes you feel good. Work to live, do not live to work… Find out how to get the most of your time here: optimize your wellbeing with the 80/20 rule approach.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Time Management Tool Is Yourself And Your Actions
- 2 The Best Time Management Apps and Tools in 2021
- 3 What Is An Effective Time Management Tool?
- 4 What Is The Most Powerful Time Management Technique?
- 5 Why Are Time Management Techniques Useless?
- 6 How Can You Stay Motivated In Life, Stick To A Plan And Execute Better?
- 6.1 Motivation Trick 1 – Motivation, Time Management, And The Cold Shower Mindset
- 6.2 Motivation Trick 2: Your Goal Is Right Only It Keeps You Motivated
- 6.3 Motivation Trick 3: Turn The Shiny Objects Syndrome To Your Advantage To Stay Motivated
- 6.4 Motivation Trick 4: Trick Your Brain And Celebrate Small Victories
- 7 Conclusion: The Key Reason Your Best Time Management Tool Is Probably Useless