What is Effective Time Management? – Tips to Achieve Your Goals

What is Effective Time Management - Zest e-BizDealing With Never Ending “Things To Do”:

Have you ever found yourself arriving at a location and stepping out of your car only to realise you don’t remember a single thing about the car trip? Do you have bits of paper or sticky notes with “things to do” dotted all around the house?

The best way I find to deal with my never-ending “things to do” is to write them down on ONE list. Of course it can be difficult to capture everything on the same list as you often think of things to do when you are out and about. But, if you can remember to update your list at least once a day, your mind will thank you for it. If you have an iPhone, the notes app is a great tool to track actions that come to mind while you are on the go. You can also sync it to your email account so that transferring the actions to a master electronic list is easy.

I haven’t come across any great apps for action tracking yet, but would love to hear from anyone who has.


Prioritising Your Actions:

The “Urgent/Important Matrix” is a great tool for helping you prioritise your actions. Dr Stephen Covey mentions this tool in his best seller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The Mind Tools website provides a great graphical representation of this tool:

What is Effective Time Management - Zest e-BizSource: © Mind Tools Ltd, 1996-2012. All rights reserved.

According to Mind Tools:

  Great time management means being effective as well as efficient. Managing time effectively, and achieving the things that you want to achieve, means spending your time on things that are important and not just urgent. To do this, and to minimise the stress of having too many tight deadlines, you need to understand this distinction:

  • Important activities have an outcome that leads to the achievement of your goals.
  • Urgent activities demand immediate attention, and are often associated with the achievement of someone else’s goals.


Businessballs.com provide a good summary of the “The Urgent/Important Matrix” to get an idea of the different types of activities that would fall into the categories above:

What is Effective Time Management - Zest e-Biz

Source: © alan chapman 1995-2009 (Re-formatted slightly to align with the figure above from Mind Tools).


So, in other words:

  1. Work on the “Critical Activities” NOW.
  2. Dedicate time to “Important Goals” specifically spending time to plan how to action them, as well as time actually working on them.
  3. Manage “Interruptions” by consciously minimizing your time spent on them, saying NO to non-critical actions, or delegating where appropriate.
  4. Avoid “Distractions” as these are low-value activities and are unlikely to lead to your success.


Planning Your Actions

Once you have dealt with the fire-fighting usually associated with “Critical Activities” – and only the “Critical Activities”, (not “Interruptions” which can get confused for “Critical Activities”) get onto planning your “Important Goals”. The more time you spend planning your “Important Goals” ideally the less actions will fall into your “Critical Activities” – apart from UNKNOWN emergencies or demands of course.

A couple of great tools to help plan your actions for your “Important Goals” are to create a mind map, or a timeline…

Planning Your Actions Using a Mind Map:

A mind map is excellent if you are not quite sure where to start, and have a lot going on in your head. I learnt this strategy while completing the Activate28 “90 Day Action Plan” course.

  1. Write a timeframe down in the middle of the page i.e. 90days (or 3 months) 1st June – 31st Aug.
  2. Brainstorm all the important goals you’d like to achieve in that time.
  3. From each important goal, brainstorm the actions you’ll need to take to achieve that goal.

Although this is a fairly simple overview to mind maps – it is a quick and easy way to visually plan your goals.

Planning Your Actions Using a Timeline:

After creating a mind map, or if you have a fairly good idea of your important goals, create a timeline and block out time & key milestones towards achieving your goals. For example:

  1. Write down the months remaining until the end of the year (or the weeks over the next 3 months to continue with the mind map example above).
  2. Write down any deadlines, or milestones for your important goals.
  3. Block out any time where you already know you are unavailable. This step is CRUCIAL TO SUCCESS. It is often easy to overestimate how much you can achieve in a certain time. A great rule of thumb is to estimate the time it takes to complete an action, then allow double that amount of time as this is more likely how long it will take.
  4. Now block out time (in a different colour or something to differentiate it from unavailable time) to spend on the smaller actions required to complete each of your important goals.


What is a Business Vision & Why Do You Need One?

What is a Business Vision & Why Do You Need One - Zest e-Biz

What a Business Vision is:

A business vision is a long-term focus, or driver, for your business. Unlike goals, which are completed (or ticked off) once achieved, a vision should ideally be your “guiding star” and remain fairly unchanged. A vision should embody WHY you are in business.

Why You Need a Business Vision:

Your business vision should symbolize an ideal end state, or ultimate status, that will motivate you in goal setting and decision making along the way in your business journey.


Simon Sinek, summarises this concept very well in his TEDx talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”:

   Very few people or organisations know why they do what they do. And by why I don’t mean to make a profit; that’s a result… By why I mean what’s your purpose, what’s your cause, what’s your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?

He goes on to say:

   People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

The goal is not just to sell to people who need what you have, the goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe. The goal is not just to hire people who need a job, it’s to hire people who believe what you believe.

To watch the Simon’s 18 min video on TEDx click below:


 The Zest eBiz Vision:

For those of you who have used the Zest eBiz “How to Write Your Soul Business Plan” GUIDE and TEMPLATE you would have seen the Zest eBiz vision:

   To meet interesting people while having fun and enjoying enabling others to achieve business excellence!

Potentially not the ideal end state I aspire to achieve, or succinctly “why” I am in business, but it’s a start which I plan to shape and mould as time goes on.

The Power of a Vision Board:

Martha Beck states on the Oprah Magazine website that the purpose of a vision board is

to depict (and lead to) [a] desired outcome

I’m currently participating in the 90 Day Action Plan course run by activate28.com whereby we have be tasked to develop a vision board for the next 3 months.

Although the vision board is only for the next 3 months, it is a fantastic way to play around with the WHY I want to achieve certain goals. In doing so I find I’m motivated to complete them because of a higher purpose, rather than simply ticking a box.

An excellent tip we learned in the course was to use affirmations (on your vision board) in the present tense in order to manifest your vision i.e. to visualise already achieving what it is you aspire to. In other words, the vision statement I wrote above for Zest eBIz a few months ago would be more inspiring as:

   I meet amazing individuals when I inspire, and enable, others to achieve business excellence!


Have you thought about your business vision lately?  Or WHY you are in business? I’d love to hear about your business vision as a comment below.

What Are You Manifesting?

Exciting news! My book is coming out soon. It’s called…

Adventures in Manifesting: Success & Spirituality.

What are you manifesting - ebook - Zest e-bizCo-authored with bestselling authors from The Secret Dr. Fred Alan Wolf and Dr. Joe Vitale, bestselling authors Brian Tracy and Dr. Marilyn Joyce and many more.

How my Book Came About:

I first “met” Sarah Prout online after reading her inspiring book The Power of Influence earlier this year. I joined the Adventures in Manifesting course and found myself part of an amazing community, encouraged and supported by Sean Patrick Simpson and Sarah Prout to dare to dream and manifest what we each individually desired most.Sean and Sarah invited me to write a chapter in the first Adventures in Manifesting book series and I have not looked back. Such an amazing experience to get your thoughts in print so they can be shared with the world!

The last 12 months have been an exciting time in which I am grateful for a huge number of things including co-authoring Adventures in Manifesting: Success & Spirituality.

My partner and I have now being living together a year in sunny Karratha where we have made a home that functions as an Art Studio, Home Office, Bike Workshop, Go-Kart Workshop and Garage for cars, boat and go-kart trailer. We also went to Europe for 3 weeks, which was a fantastic trip!

I sold a painting at the 2011 Annual Cossack Art Award, and can’t wait to start another painting for next year.

Work (i.e. my day job) has stepped up a notch with the start-up of the gas processing facility I work on, just around the corner. I was also fortunate enough to co-ordinate and MC the first Women of Woodside EXPO up here in Karratha – “Celebrating 30 years of Women at Woodside in the Pilbara” in which we displayed over 70 profiles in the community.

I also launched Zest e-Biz Coaching officially only last week and already have one client signed up! See my COACHING page for more info.

Adventures in Manifesting – The Book:

For more info on my book, check it out under my BOOKS page.

The Adventures in Manifesting Online Hub:

www.WhatAreYouManifesting.com is the online hub for the book. Check out the Authors’ bios. See the other books and join the Adventures in Manifesting community too.

Upcoming Manifestations:

Soon I’ll have pre-release copies of my book available – signed by me. You can order them by emailing zestebiz@gmail.com.

In the coming 12months I also plan to manifest…

–     More amazing Zest e-Biz coaching clients

–  Guest speaking opportunities on leadership and business excellence

–     Another book

–     An investment property

–     Sufficient savings & passive income to go travelling and volunteer in 2013

What Are You Manifesting?

I’d love to hear from you. What are you Manifesting? It’s a powerful question and one I recommend asking yourself and those around you. In fact, you may be pleasantly surprised by the ways this question will initiate manifestations in your life.

Let me know in the comments below, what do YOU want to manifest in the next 12 months?