What is the single best time management tool out there, probably one you are under-using? That’s right: Clarity.
Clarity allows you to know exactly what you want so you can "move the needle forward" everyday. Clarity makes your thoughts focused on a specific outcome that you have articulated in great detail. To the extent you have a clear picture of what you want, you can give clear directions to other people – that way tasks get done right the first time, and don’t have to be done over again.
Clarity helps you to be concise so meetings take shorter time and people know what you want from them. Clarity allows you to put 100 percent of your energy into moving forward instead of constantly questioning and having your attention wander.
Clarity enables you to know the three most important things to get done during the day, rather than have a to do list of 10 things but you don’t know where to begin (and therefore you feeling guilty about what they haven’t done).
Clarity helps you to know when to say “yes” and when to say “no” If you are requested to put your efforts into something else, you can keep their focus without feeling badly (to help you say “no” effectively, read the Power of a Positive No by William Ury). When others pile on you to do more, you can persuasively state what your time is going towards and push back effectively.
Clarity comes from having thought through exactly what your business model is, to the point you could defend your choice of ideal clients, your revenue model, your marketing plan, etc. in front of knowledgeable questioners.
Here’s a big one that comes from not having clarity: Many people feel deep inside that they are not "enough." In the absence of a clear written description of exactly you mean by what it would take for you to be "enough," no matter how successful you are you may assess yourself as falling short of an abstract ideal. You will not have a clear set of target goals that when you reach you can finally tell yourself "I’m enough."
Do you have clarity?
If you are not clear on where to get started, here is a quick strategy you can do: Write down the big picture result you really want. Even if you have a few, start by picking the one goal that if you achieve that it that will help the most towards getting all the other things you want. Then write down all the obstacles to getting there. Turn those obstacles into new objectives to accomplish, and then list out all of these objectives. Establish an order for which objective needs to come first and then second, etc. You can do this by writing down each objective on a post-it note and then laying them out around you. Arrange them in the order in which they need to happen, so that you create a hierarchy of objectives.