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Beyond Time Management ? Seven Ways to Leverage Your Time for Greater Results


Most of us have a to-do list ? some of us have a very long one! While a to-do list is a valuable tool to help us stay on track for the urgent tasks of the day (and while there are many ways to improve your production and use of this list), that isn't the focus of this article.

This article isn't about managing your time. It is about taking the limited time resources we have and determining how to leverage that time for greater results in our lives. When we use a lever we use specific, correct actions to create great results. That is what we all want to do with our time --find the activities that will create greater results -- personal, professional, business, financial, or others in our lives.

To use this lever we have to go beyond our daily to-do list. This lever will require 30 or preferably 60 minutes of your time each day. Considering the returns (leverage) you will get on this investment, it will be time well spent.

Exercise. We all know it is important for our health. Exercise, whether it is walking, running, weights, or some other regimen, makes us more fit, creates energy, gives us time to be with our thoughts, and releases valuable enzymes into our bloodstream. This is a highly leveraged activity. We all know its benefits, but do we do it?

Engage in your hobby. Hobbies are opportunities to learn. They keep our minds, and in many cases our bodies, active. Hobbies allow us to divert our attention from the workings of our day and allow us practice focus on a single task. Most of all, hobbies create joy. Do you have a hobby that could be your greatest time lever?

Develop a new skill. Learn how to juggle. Play a new game. Pick up a musical instrument. Or paint landscapes. Perhaps this skill is related to your hobby (or will become your hobby), or is work related, it doesn't matter. Developing new skills keeps us learning, keeps our minds active and allows us to learn other things faster. What you learn about yourself and how to learn better is the great by-product of this activity.

Work on a goal. Do your short or long term goals get enough attention on your to-do list each day? How much progress would you make towards any goal in your life if you spent 30 ? 60 minutes on it each day? Invest the time, and see the power of leverage in action.

Read. Read for learning or read for pleasure. Read relating to your hobby, or your goal. Just read. Reading will provide opportunities to learn and see things in a new light. Reading keeps your mind active. Reading gives you new ideas and information to when solving problems. Reading gives your subconscious mind time to relax while you engage in a useful and enjoyable activity.

Think and write. Many of us don't take time to think. To think about our values, our beliefs, the challenges we face, the events of our day, or just to think.. Take time to reflect on your behavior, your results, your challenges ? take time to think so that you can go through your day in a more proactive, thought-filled way. Consider using a journal or your computer as a way to stimulate and help your thinking. What you write may be designed to be shared, or just designed for you. Thinking and writing go hand in hand. If no one ever reads what you write, the process of writing has clarified and strengthened your thinking.

Be present with your family or friends. This doesn't mean sitting in the same room watching television (or at least not only this!). Listen to them. Learn about their day. Show your caring through your actions. Use this time to get out of yourself and into the lives of others you care about.

Each of the suggestions above can be a lever to catapult us forward. Each will help you think clearer, plan better, learn more, create energy and generate greater focus. These are the reasons they are such highly leveraged activities!

You may be reading and saying, I wish I could do all of those things each day ? but that would be seven hours a day ? I wouldn't get anything else done! Drop that thought and focus. Let your intuition guide you to the one or two of these that you will do each day, or alternate days, that will have the greatest impact for you. Don't let the fact that you can't do them all keep you from doing the one or two that will be the greatest lever for you.

These are powerful levers to help you achieve greater joy satisfaction and results in your life. I wish you great success in applying them ? starting today.

Kevin is Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (http://KevinEikenberry.com), a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. Kevin publishes Unleash Your Potential, a free weekly ezine designed to provide ideas, tools, techniques and inspiration to enhance your professional skills. Go to http://www.kevineikenberry.com/uypw/index.asp to learn more and subscribe.

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