What Brad Pitt Can Teach You About Smart Time Management

Published: April 23, 2010
By: Faye Hollands

If you’ve ever felt as though you needed another day, week, month or year to get your to-do list done then you’re not alone, but unfortunately sympathy’s won’t help you get ahead!  What will help is a lesson from the Brangelina camp who, despite a growing brood of kids, work commitments and a never-ending list of social and charity gigs still manage to get the important things done.  Here’s how…

Forget Doing It All

Alright, so Brad and Ange probably have a harem of nannies, cooks, cleaners, drivers, stylists, blah blah blah to help then deal with ordinary day-to-day stuff, but that’s not what sets them apart when it comes to smart time management (but yes, it helps!).

The lynchpin is that they don’t try, or expect to be able to do everything.  Despite being superhuman in some people’s eyes, they don’t have any special powers when it comes to how much they can physically get done in 24 hours.  Instead they’re realistic with what they can achieve in the time they’ve got and are clear on what is important to them.

That knowledge makes the difference between being a To-Do-List Firefighter and an Effective Time Manager.  You see, people who seriously manage their busy schedules effectively know that they can’t do everything and instead focus their time and attention on what’s important.

To do this effectively you have to be ready and willing to make some potentially tough choices so that you stop trying to do everything, and instead focus on what is important to you in your personal and professional life.  Then, when you make your choice, you free up time to do those things efficiently, rather than the quality of your work being compromised because you’re trying to do a million other things at the same time.

So take a moment now to follow these 3 easy steps and give your to-do list a Brangelina makeover: –

1.  Get Listing

Write down everything you think you need to do on paper – don’t leave leave any ideas swirling around inside your mind, it’s important that they’re written down in order to increase your focus and attention.

2.  Get Highlighting

Now work through your list and highlight ONLY the items that are most important to you or that will make the biggest difference to your day/week/month/year.  Pick the ‘Mission Critical’ tasks that will have the most impact and then devise a plan of action to get each of them done.  Follow these 4 steps to help you put together an effective plan.

As always, planning is critical so take your time putting together a schedule that allows you to focus fully on each of these tasks.  Remember, because you can’t do everything, you need to be harsh and pick out only the important .  When you make the division between what is critical versus low-value tasks you’ll free up time to focus on the things that will make the biggest difference to your day.

3.  Get Delegating

Once you’ve identified the tasks that are going to make the biggest difference to you work or home life, go through the remaining tasks and delegate out as many of them as possible.  Remember, there are no prizes for being a martyr and trying to do everything yourself.  The most successful people in life realise the importance of accepting help and working smartly with a team, at work and at home.  Any remaining tasks can then be added to your to-do list once you’ve worked through your critical tasks identified in step 2.

Does Ange work for every charity she cares about? Does Brad accept every film he’s offered?  No.  OK, so hollywood might feel like a million miles away, but it doesn’t matter what you want to achieve, knowing when to say no, and knowing what’s really important to you is always a vital ingredient when it comes to smart time management.

If you would like to find out more about how coaching can help you manage your time smartly and create a career you love book your free 30-minute coaching consultation now.  Simply click here to schedule your appointment.

Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting.  Faye is an accomplished Career Coach and Time Management Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.  You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

Faye Hollands

About Faye Hollands

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. To receive weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here or book your Free Focus Session here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

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