Dear High Achiever:

HOW MANY TIMES have you been told not to waste your time?
ANSWER: More times than you can remember.

Friends, relatives and even strangers love to give you “don’t waste your time” advice. It may have been when you were talking about going to a movie … eating at a restaurant … joining a health club.

What they told you probably didn’t change your behavior.

But – and it’s a big but — I guarantee that each time someone told you “Don’t waste your time” and implied “It’s not worth it,” you listened. Perhaps you didn’t act on their recommendation, but it made you –

Stop, Listen & Think – Three good things to do when it comes to YOUR TIME.

You, and I, as well as Aunt Edna, are allotted the same 168 hours each week. However, what we do with this gift called “time” is ours to choose.

Choose – Another good thing to remember when it comes to YOUR TIME.

It’s about time. My second time-related question in this morning’s timelyFYI is: Are you wasting, spending and killing time on activities that are not bringing you closer to your goals and the type of life you desire?

If you answered “Yes” (and I’m confident you did if you’re being truthful about this) then my third question is:


“Well, Eric,” you say, “I’ve tried some of the time management stuff I’ve read on line and other places, but, they just don’t seem to work.”

Duh! I’ll share with you right now one big reason why:

There is no such thing as time management. It’s an oxymoron. No one manages time. The only thing you have control over is what you do inside the 168 hours you are gifted with each week. If you want to name the concept it would be better defined as “personal activity management.”

When someone like Aunt Edna says, “Don’t waste your time,” what they are really doing is putting their values on your activity and saying…

It’s not worth it. When I hear the word “worth” I instantly equate that to “value.”
And I put a high value on my time.

Don’t you? When you invest your money isn’t it with the idea of getting the best ROI – Return On Investment?

Invest your time like money. I’m always looking for the biggest ROT (Return On Time) when I’m involved in an activity. Whether its relationships, business, finances, or my health, I consider all those, investments, and that’s how I think of time, it’s an investment. If it’s something you put a high value on you probably wouldn’t waste, spend or kill it – all phrases we hear far too much about our time “management.”

So why are you doing it with YOUR TIME?

I want to share with you how I compartmentalize my time investment, and then I will give you proven strategies you can implement right now to begin investing in your time wisely.

Just a second however: There’s just a bit more information you need before you proceed. The following three components must precede Personal Activity Management (formerly known as Time Management) to maximize effectiveness.

Here they are:

• Personal Energy
• Belief in Self
• Goals

When Geoff Steck and I designed The Best Year Ever! Success Systemwe understood how critical these three components were to enable someone to create and manifest a Best Year Ever!

If you don’t have personal energy, belief in yourself and written goals, then any activity will most likely produce insufficient results and you WILL be “wasting your time.”

See, I promised it would only take seconds. With that foundation in mind, below is my daily schedule, Monday through Friday, and how I compartmentalize my day.

4:30am – 6:15am - Wake up / Gym / Workout – Personal Time
6:15am – 7:00am - Write / Create Programs – Personal Time
7:00am – 8:00am - Breakfast w/ family / kids to school – Family Time
8:30am – 6:00pm - Work or Money Time
6:30pm – 8:00pm - Dinner / Tub Time / Family Time
8:00pm – 10:00pm – Spend time w / Clare / mix between Family & Social Time
10:00pm – 11:00pm – Read - Private Time

Does my time run like clockwork? Of course not. I want to be clear that this is my desired daily schedule.

It does not always work out like I plan. With five kids and three of them under five years of age, an unexpected diaper change or a “child meltdown” can throw anybody’s schedule off.

But the important note is: I HAVE A PLAN.

I compartmentalize my time so I have clarity on my goals, priorities and planning.

I define my time into one of four categories.

• Family Time
• Money Time
• Personal / Private Time
• Social Time

This compartmentalization strategy has worked extremely well for me over the past decade. I do everything in my power to honor my time in each compartment. I can’t be with my family eating dinner during Family Time and do Money Time work at the kitchen table. It’s not fair to my family, it’s disrespectful and, among many other things, it sends a message to my wife and kids that they are less important than work.

Likewise, I can’t go to the Post Office, the dry cleaners and be on personal phone calls or texting my friends during Money Time.

With this solid foundation I now have structure and clarity.

But wait, there’s more… I shared my broad daily time investment outline above. I – and you, in your version of your day — need to prioritize activities while in each compartment. That’s the only way I can maximize my effectiveness.

And still more … I also need to know what I need to do on my TO-DO LIST and WHY I’m doing it. If there is not a solid reason (the WHY) I should do it, then I don’t. I cross it off … or don’t put it on the list to begin with … or I delegate it and have someone else do it.

Next I want to share how I prioritize activities in each compartment.

I’m a big fan of Dr. Stephen Covey and I’ve read his best-selling book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People at least four times over the past ten years. That’s time well invested in my view.

In his book he illustrates a high-level prioritization scheme which is categorized into four quadrants.

Works for me. Over time I have found this to be a highly effective way for me to prioritize my activities so I can reach my goals and stay “on purpose” more quickly.

The quadrants are as follows:
• QI - Important and Urgent
• QII - Important but Not Urgent
• QIII - Not Important but Urgent
• QIV - Not Important and Not Urgent
I’ve also included a link for you to access the quadrants so you can see if this strategy works for you.

Time’s up – for now. To honor your time, I want to close this FYI with two quotes.

The first one is from the founder and CEO of Facebook:

I’m here
to build something for
the long term.

Anything else is a distraction.
– Mark Zuckerberg

The second quote brings this FYI full circle: It’s from me in my Aunt-Edna-giving-advice mode. Please recognize that the difference between the “Don’t waste your time” that Aunt Edna preaches and what I’m advising centers on you and what you want to achieve:

Don’t waste your time with things
that are a distraction to you
building a life worth living
and legacy worth leaving.

– Eric Taylor

Go Out and Make This Your Best Year Ever!

Author's Bio: 

Eric Taylor is the Chief Inspiration Officer of and founder of New Jersey based Empowerment Group International. He delivers more than 100 energized and interactive keynotes, workshops and seminars each year to corporations, associations and tradeshows. He is the author of the Energy Passport, Co-creator of the Best Year Ever! Success System and Co-author of The Complete Sales Training Encyclopedia. To get complete details about Eric’s background, his products and services, visit Eric Taylor’s Blog and review Eric Taylor’s Profile.