I’ve been talking to quite a few people of high levels of success in a multitude of fields for the #502LeaderSeries podcast and something that amazes me is how people seem to fit so much into the day. I’m fascinated with how people use their time. And the more that I talk with people and learn how they operate, the more commonalities I’m seeing. And there are two skills that I’m finding that successful people have that contribute heavily to the level of their achievements. And they’re so basic that many people simply overlook them.

Time management is the first and being “flexible” in your overall life is second. These seem on the surface to almost go against each other. Time management comes across as being strict and regimented while being “flexible” seems wishy-washy and non-committal. But in fact, these two things go hand in hand. And they must if you really want to maximize effectiveness. Let me break these down individually:

Time management seems pretty broad on the surface, and it is to some degree. But what you want the goal of time management to be is to allow you to identify the most important things on your to-do list. When I say the most important, what I’m really trying to get to is that generally, we have something on our to-do list that, when done, would render a good number of the other things unnecessary. This item is the thing that we want to focus on. But let me forewarn you- this item will many times be the thing you least want to do. Do it anyway and do it first.

“Flexibility” is the second thing, and I put that in quotes because it is so ambiguous. It simply means being able to roll with the punches. To not be so in control of driving the bus. By going more with the flow, things happen a little more naturally. They’re not so forced. The timing may differ to some degree but that isn’t always a bad thing. Flexibility also leads to adaptability, which on the larger scale allows you to better meet the demands of whatever market you service.

Take a look at how these two things fit into your daily life. Be intentional with how you tackle and perceive each one. Becoming proficient at these can have a dramatic impact on your effectiveness. Always keep in mind that it is better to be effective and do the right things than it is to be efficient and do the wrong things quickly.

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