What's up fam, Derek here! Today, I want to give you guys my tips on managing your time in the best way possible. As I've been through the military, college, and business, my time management system and process has evolved quite dramatically. Each of these points are ones that I use every single day in running IRONWILLED and mangaging all of the other demands that life requires.

1. The Power List

  • The Power List is a framework that I learned from Andy Frisella, so I take no credit for this, but it's the single most important thing I do every single day and week. I follow it exactly how he lays it out, and have learned that trying to do any more or any less is less effective than the way he designed it. The framework is simple: Plan and execute on 5 critical, needle-moving tasks every single day. These are not to-do list tasks, like "check and reply to emails", "get up at 5AM", etc. They're to be important tasks that drive you forward towards your goals. 5 a day, every single day. If you finish all 5 by 1PM, you're done for the day and can rest assured you set out to do what you said you would for that day. If you try to do more, you'll get caught up in the often destructive thought pattern of "there's always more to do". Believe me, I have a tough time with this too. Set 5, execute them to the best of your ability, then rest and prepare for the next day. Do this every single day and watch how your life and career transform.

2. Saying No

  • When you're on a mission, you don't have time for distractions. The unfortunate reality is that most people are simply just that - a distraction to your mission. They want to talk about shit that doesn't matter - the game, politics, the past, whatever. They want to send memes back and forth. They want to ask you endless questions. There's a time and a place for this stuff of course, I'm not saying remove everyone out of your life that doesn't want to talk business 24/7. But you have to protect your energy. You only have so much to give. What happens if you talk to everyone that tries to talk to you? If you go to everything you're invited to? Will you have enough energy for your mission, your personal matters. your family, and everything else that's important to you? You have to be willing to respectfully decline invitations, remove yourself from conversations, say no to unimportant meetings, etc. You simply cannot be available for everybody while staying focused and on the path. Obviously, don't be an asshole. It's a hard skill to learn, to respectfully say no. But it will increase your productivity, focus, and time management immensely.

3. Leave Openings for the Unexpected (And For Yourself)

  • As a high-performer, things will always come up that weren't expected. Your tire goes flat. An employee is having a hard time and ends up talking to you for an hour. Your child needs to be picked up early from school. Relating back to tip #1, we often try to pack our day entirely with tasks and initiatives. Not only can this lead to burnout and high-stress, it leaves no room for the unexpected. And often times, what arises unexpected is often urgent and requires our immediate attention. If it doesn't get it, the consequences can be deadly. So when planning your day, don't plan five things that take 3 hours each. Be smart and strategic. Focus on 1-2 longer tasks, and the other 3 ones that don't take up so much time. And leave a bit of time for not only the unexpected, but for some room for yourself to breathe, zoom out, calm the mind, and continue on refreshed and energized. 

I hope you find these tips valuable. While there are definitely more that can help with your time management, these three are some of the most essential, in my opinion. Feel free to list any more tips, or any questions, below in the comments! 

Black Friday is around the corner. Hope y'all are ready!

Derek Slack, CEO/Founder


November 13, 2023 — Derek Slack

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