«Self-improvement and time management» by Pavel Verbnyak

Time is gold. But the whole gold

is not enough to buy the time.

Chinese proverb

To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven:

Ecclesiastes 3:1


Maxim Faldin (Wikimart.ru): time costs money

Now Wikimart.ru is one of the most successful projects in Russia in the field of electronic commerce, and assortment of this online store contains more than 2 million goods. And it is natural that the co-founder Maxim Faldin needed to plan his time very competently in order to succeed. Information he manages this, Maxim shared in our conversation.

He was born and grew up in the 1990th years in the city of Podolsk. Many people remember the gloomy atmosphere of those disturbing years: bandits, crime, just as in the movie «Brigada» (the Crew). Maxim even had friends among such people, but he did not get under their influence due to his education and intelligent family (after all, his mother and the father were physicists).

Maxim loved reading since his childhood. Those days when Interenet was not yet popular, but computer games were already available, he spent his evenings in the libraries instead of playing computer games.

His hobby was to change rules of different games: to amend or modify it at his own discretion. Maxim’s friend even joked that he will change the rules of soccer and hockey soon.

After graduating from the economics department of MSU Maxim worked as the manager in the English insurance company, then as a finansist in «Sibur» and «the person who is responsible for everything» in the American company of direct investments and only after that he decided to begin own business. Later Maxim was enrolled to the Stanford business school, where he and his friend Kamil invented a Wikimart.ru — the website that is nowadays one of the largest online retailers of the country.

Unfortunately, as Maxim says, time is always running too fast and it is not enough sometimes for some things things, so there is no wonderful answer and correct balance.

However, the businessman shared his practice that proved to be efficient.

The first: never to miss your sport trainings. 2–3 times a week you should do sports. Maxim prefers boxing.

The second: it is better to lodge in the center of Moscow. Otherwise, leave the city at all. Maxim doesn’t believe in a talk about clean air beyond MKAD (Moscow Ring Road). When you are engaged in business and you spend 8 hours for a sleep and 4 hours on a driving on MKAD, you would not have time for anything. Maxim spends only 20 minutes on the road to work and therefore he always has energy for trainings and many other things.

The third: time costs money. If someone asks you: «Give me hour», you should reply: «Give a hundred dollars». We easily render our time, but if it costs money — we will think.

(Complete interview with Maxim Faldin you can read here:http://verbnyak.com/pvi-maksimfaldin-nuzhno-deystvovat-a-ne…)

Time management helps to achieve goals

There is a parable about Time.

Once upon a time there was a little boy. He ran, jumped and enjoyed his life. His Time was happy and always followed him. It was big, fat and rosy – there was a lot of it. The boy had enough Time for everything – for playing football with friends, for watching TV. The boy did not have problems with Time and Time did not have problems with the boy. When he grew up he got comrades, colleagues and so-called affairs. Each case required a little time. The boy cut from the Time little by little: to repair a car, to go out with a girl. It followed the boy smiling – he still had Time! Friends and colleagues came to the boy with their problems and concerns. And each of their problems required his Time. The boy did not want to kill Time, but other people helped to do this. Sometimes a neighbor visited the boy in the evening just to talk, sometimes a brother in law asked to join him on trip to the city because he needed somebody to accompany him. And then there were TV, telephone, computer and everything needed his attention. Sometimes the boy looked back at Time, which he cut, which other people tore to shreds and he did not say anything: it was shameful, it was frightful or it was inconvenient. Then the hour of Time’s death came, the boy did not have it any more! One day his son came to him:

— Dad, let’s go to the zoo or to the cinema!

— I’m sorry, son, I have no time!

His father called and asked:

— How are you, why don’t you call?

— I’m sorry, Dad, I have no time.

Time is an invisible but irreplaceable resource.

Learn how to use it and then you will start managing your life.

A day is exactly 24 hours for everyone, we all are equal in this. People differ in the way they use this time.

Time management allows you to balance everything. Otherwise, you will do just urgent things and this will lead to imbalance and eventually to disaster. Do not let others waste your time. You have to be ruthless to those people who steal it, learn to say «no» to secondary things.

The key to successful time management is to do things on time. This is the only way you can achieve all your goals and you will have enough time for important things. Stay flexible because a taut bow may break but remember: you just need discipline to follow a schedule.

Learn to manage your time. If you allocate it carefully and live according to plan it does not mean that you become dogmatic. On the contrary, the proper organization enables you to achieve significant goals while enjoying free minutes. Good schedule frees up more time for rest. You include leisure time in a weekly plan, as well as other things that may seem urgent. You do not have to sacrifice anything.

Develop discipline and stop wasting time on many urgent but not important things (for example, phone calls). Focus on what really matters for your life mission.

The mission implies finding time for self-development, building strong relationships, physical exercising, reading and deep reflection. Learn how to organize you work according to by the top priorities of your life. Effective time management allows you to be flexible, to do what you really want but not what you are forced to do.

Remember: you can use only the time you have right now, you have only this moment.

Things you are doing at the moment determine your future. If you will live every day and every hour of your life to the fullest then you will accumulate the valuable resource, which will work for you later. The Bible says: «Do not worry about tomorrow … for tomorrow will bring its own worries.»

Time spent on things that do not bring a large reward except the fleeting feeling of relaxation is lost forever. You need to rest but choose the most effective kinds of it and engage in productive work, which will gradually get you closer to perfection. Happiness comes along with activity but not inactivity.

Time you find for personal growth in a busy schedule will never be spent in vain. Some people believe that the morning hour they spend watching children playing in a nearby park or walking is lost. But in fact, if you pay attention to the simple joys and thereby bring balance into your life you spend the remaining hours more productively.

It is impossible to do good deeds if you do not feel well. When you are calm, relaxed and full of enthusiasm the efficiency of your work is higher, you think more dynamically and creatively. It is obvious, and yet we are constantly entangled in a web of seemingly urgent cases and cannot see the forest for the trees.

Learn how to manage time. There are 168 hours in a week. This is enough to achieve desired goals. Allocate your resources strictly.

Principles of time management

Principles of time management have been known and used by successful people throughout history; they have been used in all organizations and in all spheres of activity. These are the fundamental laws. They are undeniable and unchangeable.

Devote a few minutes each morning to think about your day.

Plan it according to your priorities and focus on those tasks that are important, though not urgent, because they develop you as a person and as a professional. Important, yet not urgent, things bring serious results; it can be the development of a strategy, the formation of relationships or education. There is only one way to happiness and it implies the achievement of your personal, professional or any other goals. You are more satisfied with life when you feel that you are useful and you move towards a dream. Then you will notice that you have boundless energy and vitality.

Learn to say «no».

Never let the most important things to be pushed into the background by those things that are less important to you.

Do not let trifles distract you from the things that really matter. Always ask yourself: «Do I spend my time and energy the best way?» «How can I use them more wisely and productively now?» «Does everything I do now brings me closer to my primary goal?» Deal with primary issues and push aside everything unimportant.

To be indispensable for everyone is a crazy, unrealistic and impossible goal. The skill to say «No» is not a self-restriction. This is the solid knowledge of what is needed to achieve success faster. It is worth mentioning that discipline also helps your employees to be responsible for their own results.

Set deadlines and focus on meeting them.

Taking control of your time management you should develop the habit of setting a framework for each case and take them into account. When you are planning your day estimate how long it will take you to do everything that you have scheduled, try to meet deadlines.

Set limits for a project without extra time. According to the famous Parkinson’s Law «work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion». This means that if you give yourself two days to make a presentation you will spend exactly this amount of time, if four – it will take you four days. That is why set strict limits thinking about deadlines. It is better to fulfill an order earlier. It will create a positive image in the eyes of customers.

Planning of activities is one of the secrets of successful people!

Plan of activities is a map of the day, which helps to win at least 1 hour of productive time. Every minute spent on creating the plan saves 10 minutes of its implementation. This provides a huge return on mental efforts, emotional and physical energy, which you have invested.

It takes 10-12 minutes to plan a work for the next day. This will save you 100-120 minutes, which provide an increase of productive time by two hours a day or that is a 25% increase of your daily productivity. It turns 2000-2400 minutes a month or 4-5 full working days!

Planning of activity also helps to set priorities. A list of main areas of work will allow organizing time and achieving your goals.

The process of drawing up a work plan programs our minds. When you formulate your wishes clearly they come true. This process helps us to understand what we want and what we strive for. And this makes the universe fulfill your wishes faster.

Time planning methods

You just need a piece of paper and a pen for a very simple plan.

Each night make a list of all things that you need to do the next day in the order you are going to perform them. Some points will be repeated over and over again, day after day, until they finally disappear. In the morning start with the case № 1 and deal with it till the end. Do not move on to the case № 2 until you finish the case №1. Continue working this way with the entire list and do not move on to the next project until you finish a previous one. You can suspend this activity only in one case: if you are prevented by circumstances beyond your control.

Cross out what you have made. The method is very simple and effective. It lets you see and plan your life only for 1 day ahead but it is already a great advantage because 95% of people do not live this way.

For more detailed planning you will need:

You can record useful information and wise thoughts in a diary. Everybody can tell about his/her revelations. You can be struck by a great idea at any time, so be ready for this and do not let good thoughts elude you. Such an approach can change your life. Always have a diary with you, no matter where you are.

Buy an organizer, which can be a great tool for scheduling meetings and recording your plans. Use it for fixation of the main points of the day or week. It has enough space to record important ideas and make other notes. Consider it as the main storage where all the information is stored on a daily basis.

Do not forget to plan every day. It is a priceless element of your life strategy in the way to happiness and wealth.

If you do not plan your day the evening before you will lose at least 2 hours. At worst, you will waste the entire day. A person does unimportant things if he/she does not have certain priorities. At the end of the day it appears that time has been spent in vain.

Planning Calendar
This calendar is used for setting goals for a longer period. When you learn to schedule a day you will be ready to extend this principle to a week planning. The rule is not to start doing things of next week until you finish scheduling them.

Then start making a plan for a month. Ask yourself: «What I have to do during this period?» The rule is the same: do not start a project of next month until you finish scheduling it.

Then you will learn to co-ordinate short-term tasks with your goals for 3-6 months and for a year.

A planning process definitely causes tension and takes some time. But I assure you that doing this you will achieve more. All your actions will be more effective and meaningful. They will become extraordinary clear. You will need to demonstrate a high discipline. But if you do this you will become the master of your time.

The act of planning makes you think carefully about your options. The more you think about them, the more quickly you reach a goal.

Regular planning allows you to spend more time for the most important activities. This will increase the efficiency of your work, whatever you’re doing. The advantage of a calendar is that you can depict a holistic vision of your life writing down your goals for 5, 10, 20 years ahead.

Thus, arrange your life making a detailed list of everything you have to do tomorrow, in a week, in a month, in a year and in several years.

Carefully analyze the list and set clear priorities for each item before you act.

Teach yourself to deal only with the most important things. Do your work well and quickly. If you develop the habit to plan and prioritize your productivity will increase significantly and it will have a positive impact on your career and personal life.

Time management is not just a time recording, it also implies taking care of the right way of life and working to achieve goals.

Your success depends on the efficiency of using the time. Time management implies control of everything, that is why take care of your time.


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