Biggest Time Management Mistake

The biggest time management mistake you can ever make is forgetting your closest partner in life. The one who stays with you all the way from cradle to grave. The one who drives you through your daily and nightly routines, who runs all your habits. You want it or not, this partner of yours is the real manager of most of your time. His name is Your Subconscious Mind.

You and Your Subconscious Mind make one tightly bound team in everything you do. Whatever big or small project you undertake, you two depend critically on each other. And unless you both work in the same direction, your team hardly makes any big progress.

But how do you align those directions? Like in any team, communication is the key. You need to communicate to Your Subconscious Mind the specific target you want to hit and in what time frame. Of course, you can take the lead and set the direction to go. Yet, you still need to convince Your Subconscious Mind to follow you in that direction and hit your target.

The challenge is that Your Subconscious Mind has a stubborn and inert personality. If you just tell him what to do, he does not listen you well. He already has strong opinions about what you should be doing instead. After all, he is the one who holds all your beliefs that you absorbed throughout your life up to now. And he has a comprehensive toolbox of routines and automatic reactions to get you through your day.

But don't give up on this challenge. If you manage to convince Your Subconscious Mind to drive you in the direction you want to go, he has the power to make you unstoppable! The power that can keep you on course through the storms of every day distractions and interruptions.

But how? How do you convince Your Subconscious Mind to help you? You need to learn how to communicate in the way he accepts and understands. That special way of communication with Your Subconscious Mind is what goal setting techniques and skills are really all about.

While there are finer points that you can pick up in books or on my site, here is the core essence of goal setting techniques as a way of communicating with Your Subconscious Mind.

The most critical element of goal setting is WRITING your goals. For a number of reasons, this writing process is absolutely necessary for Your Subconscious Mind to take them seriously. Writing is the basis of the communication. Anything less than a clearly written goal will be discarded as unimportant noise.

Note that the goal writing process is a two way communication. When you write your goal, if Your Subconscious Mind does not accept that goal as reasonable, he will try block your hand until you actually write something more realistic.

The second critical element is about the way you formulate the goal when you write it. You want to get your point across to Your Subconscious Mind most directly and effectively, in the language he understands best. That's why you need to follow certain rules of goal writing.

In particular, formulate your goal in present tense, as a complete sentence that starts with "I". Make the goal as measurable and specific as you can. Correct and rewrite it until it is crystal clear.

Set a specific time frame. Set it by finishing your sentence with a deadline that you honestly think you can meet.

Keep those notes in a safe place and come back to them often to review and correct your written goals. Keep thinking about them throughout your day.

Finally, take a few minutes right now and actually write down three to five of your most desirable goals. Reconnect to that important partner of yours and start communicating. Right now, and from now on.

Sergey Dudiy, Ph.D., is a time management writer and web entrepreneur, founder of, the definitive guide to personal time management and goal setting.

He also publishes free Time Management Fortress newsletter, dedicated to building a stronger foundation for your success skills. Subscribe today and get a free copy of his report Getting Unstuck When You Have Too Many Things to Do or Under Pressure.

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