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Opinion: Checklist success begins with intent

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It’s about time. The older I get, the more comfortable I am with seemingly opposite concepts which both prove to be true.

Time is an illusion. But I apparently haven’t figured out how to make the illusion disappear. Every day, time kicks me in the butt.

I have found that the more productive I am, the less time it takes. The less productive I am, the more time it takes. Inspired, right-purpose activities deliver a lot of production in very little time. On the contrary, note how interminable time is when you are doing absolutely nothing like waiting in line to renew your driver’s license.

The only way out
Intent is more important that any list of things to do. Intend to do something, and the whole universe conspires to make it so. It’s a great way to leverage time. In other words, be clear on what’s important. Be clear on your intent. If you absolutely intend to pick up the kids at 3:15 in the afternoon, it will happen.

You might be well-served to take the car.

At some point, I hope to graduate to a level of existence where time isn’t a factor. In the meantime, let me share some strategies for getting by on the time we’ve created.

How do we keep time from expanding? Quit doing things that don’t matter.

In “The Procrastinator’s Handbook,” author Rita Emmett lists 13 “hypocritical” time-wasting games.

1. Shuffling through the same papers of clutter over and over.

2. Playing computer games.

3. Having long, chatty telephone calls that aren’t important to you.

4. Lingering with unexpected visitors who aren’t important to you.

5. Surfing the Web.

6. Attending unnecessary meetings.

7. Working aimlessly without objectives, priorities or deadlines.

8. Trying to do too many things at once and underestimating the time available to do them all.

9. Being indecisive.

10. Saying yes, when you should be saying no.

11. Pushing yourself when you are too tired to function well.

12. Doing things that don’t need to be done (or that somebody else could do.)

13. Doing an excessive amount of preparation.

It isn’t a matter of doing more. More adds more time. It is a matter of doing less things that don’t matter.

More is less
It’s also a matter of having fewer things.

Things take occupy space and take away time. It takes time to store things, and find things. Things need maintenance. Pitch what doesn’t matter.

We are bombarded by 6,000 marketing messages a day. Be ruthless as you sort through mail, e-mail and other information. Dump it, unless you can justify the existence. Ninety-nine times out of 100 you are not going to miss what you threw out. The remaining instance? Find what you need on the Internet.

You don’t want to throw away everything away. Hang on to the important stuff. The things you must have need places to call their own. Otherwise, they will become lost things. Lost things are really time-intensive.

How do you leverage time? Pursue your dreams.

Think less in terms of details. Freedom from time comes from staying focused on what you want. Weeding the time-takers out of your day leaves you time to pursue your dreams.

Ellen Rohr is an author and business consultant who offers systems for getting focused and organized, making money and having fun in business. Her latest book is “The Bare Bones Biz Plan.” She can be reached at ellen@barebonesbiz.com.[[In-content Ad]]

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