Goal Reaching Activity: How to Fully Utilize Your 1440

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Do you struggle with how to prioritize your day? Often at the end of a day, do you think, “Where did the time go? I feel like I haven’t gotten a thing done!”

If this sounds like you, I recommend a book I’m reading now, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, by Kevin Kruse.

A successful entrepreneur and a New York Times best-selling author, Kruse studied the habits of ultra productive people. He surveyed or interviewed seven billionaires, 13 Olympic athletes, 29 straight-A students, and 239 entrepreneurs and distilled their collective practices and experiences into 15 “secrets.”

Your 1440

Author Kruse starts off by introducing the idea of ‘1440,’ and the importance of keeping an eye on our 1440 minutes of the day.

As Kevin states: “We can never get time back again. Unlike money, it is irreplaceable. Once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.”

Step one in managing your time is to recognize that time is your most valuable and scarcest resource. By acknowledging this, you can start to count down the minutes from the moment you wake up. Every minute counts when you are spending time every hour of the day—time that you can never get back.

What does this mean in real life?

It means that you may not be able to spend 30 minutes chatting with your co-workers in the break room if you’re scheduled to meet with two donors today plus you are on deadline to write a press release and you need to prep for tomorrow’s board meeting…and your children will be waiting for you to pick them up at 3:30 PM. Every minute counts.

Goal Reaching Activities (GRAs)

Kevin talks about MITs or Most Important Tasks and suggests you identify your most important task and then work on it before anything else. As Kevin states, this is a key task-based action plan for defining what is the most important thing, and then getting into it first thing in the morning.

I like to think more broadly about what I call Goal Reaching Activities or GRAs. Say your goal is to raise $50,000 from major donors this year. When you are considering your tasks for the morning, choose tasks that will move you closer to this goal.

What does this mean in real life?

It means that, rather than spending time editing and re-editing an email to your team members, you may need to spend your valuable—and limited—time making calls to major donors or prepping for your Ask visit with Ms. Smith, your organization’s largest donor.

Bottom line: when it comes to choosing which tasks to spend time on, ask yourself: will this task move me closer to my biggest and most critical goals? These tasks are your GRAs and should be prioritized over all others.

Efficiency tip: Rather than reading Kruse’s book, consider listening to the audio version. That way, you can be driving to work or walking your dog while “reading.” And you can listen again and again to reinforce lessons learned. For audiobooks, I like Audible.

What are your suggestions for prioritizing time to reach your goals? Please share your thoughts, tips and advice in the Comments box below!

Special gift for you: Conquer Your Fear of Asking for Money, a step-by-step guide, is available here (click).