Have you ever asked yourself how you can control your path to success? Is there even a possibility that you can control it? Well, I will be showing you several little known secrets on how you can control 3 major aspects - your time, your mind and your life - so as to lead your to better success. This will be a 3-part series of articles I plan to write over the next few days.

As the title indicates, today I’ll be touching on 7 ways you can maximise your time:

1) Gauge how much time you need. You must be clear on the amount of time you require to carry out certain activities like bathing, eating, working, etc, each day. Always remember that you only have 24 hours a day - no more, no less - and once the 24 hours are gone, there is no way of reclaiming it. However, once you have gauged how much time you need for your activities - both work and play - do not regard the amount of time you have set for yourself as if they were set in stone. Be flexible yet maintain a tight discipline on how much time you actually spend on each activity.

2) Watch if you are performing any of the time annihilators. Time annihilators are activities or habits you do that waste or annihilate too much of your time such as chatting unnecessarily, watching unhelpful television programs or randomly browsing through the online video sites. Set up your own mechanisms to avoid or at least minimise them. Time annihilating activities are usually acted upon on impulse and temptation. Tempting urges can be overcome by removing the stimuli for temptation in the first place. For example, you can walk around the house as if your television set does not exist in your living room and go straight to your bedroom or study room. Or spend a day working in your office as if the water cooler, which is a popular gossip hang-out, does not exist, so you may want to bring your own bottle of water to work tomorrow.

3) Make a list of things you need to do. Let’s face it, not many of us are memory experts. So, in order to remember important things, schedules and appointments better, make a list on either a notebook, an electronic organiser or even your cell phone. Set up alarms on your organiser or cell phone (if possible) to alert you of tasks that you need to start doing. Here's another tip that you may not have heard of: make a list of things that you should stop doing every day, such as your time annihilators, as mentioned above. Only remove from your "Not To Do" list those undesirable activities which you have truly stopped doing. If you still find yourself doing them, continue to write those activities down in your "Not To Do" list, until you have stopped them.

4) Set time bound goals. Set a fixed date to accomplish certain goals, giving yourself ample time to complete the work required to achieve them. For example, if you need to complete a project by the end of this month, write down 30th June 2007 as the targeted date to accomplish it. Avoid allowing yourself to do last minute work like the plague. It may give you momentary rushes of motivation and even creativity, but making yourself used to the pressure of a deadline to the point that it becomes a habit is extremely harmful to your productivity and work ethic. One day, if you are given a project that is to be completed within a year, which is ample time for almost anything, would you want to start working on it only 3 months before the deadline, wasting the earlier 9 months away procrastinating?

5) Create an anti-timetable. Divide your day / week / month according to the basic activities you need to carry out and the actions you need to take to achieve your goals. Why is it called an anti-timetable? Because unlike a timetable, an anti-timetable is a table in which you put in those activities that you would normally do for leisure, entertainment or relaxation first, followed by your daily routines, and lastly by your important or urgent tasks. This is reverse psychology at work - you actually have a motivation to actually do your necessary work as efficiently as possible because you don't want to eat up your leisure time which you already had entered into the anti-timetable. Stick to your anti-timetable as closely as possible.

6) Fighting procrastination can be quite hard to overcome for some but try your very best to do it. Be focused on your goal and set your mind to achieve it while at the same time try to remain motivated. The easiest way is to totally forget procrastination, as if it doesn't exist in the first place. Sometimes just intending to do something first before another can easily upset your habitual urge to procrastinate on important tasks. For example, a work-at-home entrepreneur usually starts her day checking her emails, which usually takes too much of her time because of her habit of checking out the various business opportunities emailed to her. One day, she simply decides or intends to just write an article to post to her website as the first act of her day, before checking her email. She finds that writing that article suddenly leads to her having an urge to procrastinate on checking her email (a less productive activity) and then she goes on to do other productive activities such as submitting her article to directories and improving her website sales copy, etc. All of this happened as if procrastination did not even exist!

7) Optimise your skills and activities such that you are able to accomplish the most amount of value or the best quality work with minimal time, effort or money. This is possible if you simply learn from those more experienced than you in the kind of work that you do. Upgrading your skills, gaining new knowledge and gathering more useful and relevant information pertaining to what you are doing also helps you optimise your skills. The more you learn and then apply what you learn with respect to your particular discipline, the more efficient you will be and thus the less time, energy and money is required to accomplish the same results or more.

There you go - the top 7 ways you can maximise your time. You need not work on the 7 pointers all at once if you don't want to, but you should at least try one of them consistently for a couple of days and see how much it adds to your productivity and increases your enjoyment of your time.

Author's Bio: 

Mohamad Latiff is the Author of Ultimate Secrets of Success, where you can access 5 secret technologies that will radically alter your life, boost your intelligence, expand your creativity, improve your personal effectiveness and possibly multiply your income for only 10 minutes a day! www.UltimateSecretsofSuccess.com