1) Know Your Purpose.
Know your vision, your goals, and your plans because these help you set priorities. Each day, identify the task you must accomplish and make that your top priority. Also, set aside time to invest in your future, working on important things that you will need later. If you have yet to write out your priorities, then take time to do this. It could be the most important hour that you spend in your life.
2) Say “No.”
Be fiercely protective of your time. Make sure each new commitment adds value for you. Do what is necessary and then stop. Rather than ask yourself “What can I do?” ask “What can I not do?” Avoid low value tasks, new projects, and distractions. Then tell people about your decisions so they know what to expect of you. Huge amounts of effort are wasted by people doing more than they need to or are capable of realistically.
3) Schedule Life.
Even if you ride an accelerating treadmill you can step off once in a while and then easily hop back on when you need to. Take Saturday or Sunday off. Throughout your work week, give yourself a two minute break when you close your eyes, rub your neck, or meditate. Set a date with family members for meals or recreational and social activities regularly (hint: put this date on your calendar as if it were an important business appointment, because it is).
4) Protect Yourself.
When you are tired, your efficiency falters. Thus, eat healthy foods. Get enough sleep. Avoid toxic habits. Exercise (use the stairs, do crunches or push ups in your office, take a five minute yoga break). You can use the same hit from #3 above – whenever possible, schedule exercise as if it were a business appointment.
5) Be Efficient.
Spend time only with people who add value to your life. Buy only from companies that provide adequate support. Hold effective meetings staying on track and avoiding superfluous chit chat during times when you are especially busy. Decline invitations to meetings without an agenda (meetings without an agenda or purpose hardly ever accomplish anything). Avoid conflicts; they always cost time to repair. Keep your cool; anger drains a person and usually achieves nothing. Take a moment to plan before starting a task.