Most people agree that they’d like more time in the day.  Folks seem to think that would make a difference.

It will not.  There are 24 hours in a day and there is no question if we suddenly had 36 hours a day that we’d be right back asking for another 12 because the problem is not how many hours there are in a day…….it’s me.

I really felt for years that managing my time better would improve results.

  • Made changes….
  • Rearranged the desk
  • Implemented systems
  • Been through the ‘aligning priorities’ stuff
  • Got different planners
  • Read all kinds of stuff about managing time.

It simply does not work….I know that and deep down inside you probably know that too.

I felt once someone learned the skills to succeed in their business all they had to do was learn to manage time.

Time for Wifey, the kids, worship, fun, hobbies…..never what I wanted it to be….never enough time.


One sentence changed a life?



Here it is:

You can’t manage time, you can only manage yourself.

It stunned me, I almost fell over.  It was at a Marriott in Peabody, MA.  Just a casual statement I overheard while at a business meeting.

I knew, instantly, that business would go from good to great and it did.

I discovered within a week the 4 keys to managing myself had always been there, I knew them, I was just focused on the clock instead of myself.


Before we get to the 4 keys we must examine the axis they revolve around…..meaning….these keys will not work unless this becomes the context you make your decisions from.

Steve Jobs, [Apple], recently stated this thought at Stanford during his commencement address.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life….Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the NOISE of others’ opinions drown your own inner voice.  “And,” Jobs continued, “most important have the courage to follow your heart and intution..they somehow already know what your truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.”

We were lucky, I knew what I wanted and wanted to become.  The 4 keys to managing ourselves are simple things we will not do if we are not pursuing our bliss…..

This means it’s gotta be about more than the money…..once you find that one thing these simple things to manage ourselves are easy and everything else becomes secondary.

If we manage ourselves we have more time than we ever could imagine….it’s really foundation of the nickname I picked up…World’s Laziest Networker…..we tripled our income and knocked our work week back to 10 hours from 50 plus… me time to do the things I loved that were not work related…..with the people I loved…..and….as a benefit I could not have imagined, I got better at my work.


Keep First Things First

Write out your goal statement and have a family meeting.  Let them know why you are working extra hours and share your vision with them.  Tell them, as badly as you want to make this happen nothing is more important to you than they are.  Prove it by making a date with the family collectively and individually.  Your husband or wife may be shocked at first that you are ‘dating’ again….but ….trust me, they’ll appreciate it.  Do the same with the kids.  These do not need to be BIG things.  A walk, playing catch with your son, an imaginary tea party with your daughter….no matter.

Repeat this every week….and soon the compounding effect will create a new culture in the home….and you’ll need the kind of support they will be happy to bring.  When you are working they’ll know they just came off a date and another one is scheduled….they will trust you value them over everything and they will value you more.  Get them together every Friday and tell them you are getting ready to make your work schedule but need to plan dates with them first.

The reason they’ll trust that they come first and be willing to sacrifice some of you to your new venture is that you are providing evidence of their significance.

You’ll feel better about you and that always makes us more productive.


Be Prepared

The Boy Scout Motto pays massive dividends.  Was supposed to make calls with two news rep one night.  First one tells me he has to reschedule when we hooked up at the appointed time.  I get on the pity pot and wait another hour for the next rep….who makes some lame excuse about not having any names together yet.  I pout some more.  Got nothing done for 2 hours.

I was angry and behind on my objectives.


That stuff happens all the time and you know the stuff that happens in your business all the time that impedes productivity….forces overtime….bang….your time-management is out the window.

That night I was able to see that I was not prepared.  The prepared person would have a list to call if one or both sets of calls went sideways.

About a week later I had an appointment in a coffee shop with a prospect.  They did not show at 1:00 PM.  I had my list with me, got in my car and during that 1 hour set aside for the appointment, I set 3 quality appointments…..I was prepared, not PO’d.

A crucial factor in being prepared is ….and this is HUGE…..taking 20 minutes at the end of the day where you shut everything down, review what needs to be done tomorrow and cleaning up and setting up.

Most people start home-based businesses part-time and coming home to a mess just zaps the excitement out of it and makes us feel like unprofessional losers……no one can produce feeling that way.

Clean up, sort out the notes, look at the schedule for tomorrow and get everything lined up so you can walk in and hammer.  You feel like a pro, like a winner and production goes up, no question about it.



Vince Lombardi is probably the most misquoted person in history…..all that stuff about ‘winning isn’t the most important thing, it’s the only thing’ …and ‘show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser’ is what he said but it is out of context.  He was talking about a game.

Here is the context all Lombardi quotes need to be heard from….

“Gentlemen” he would tell them constantly, “Take care of your relationship with God, then your family….after that you belong to the Green Bay Packers.”  It is this quote that is left out all the time.

Take care of your spiritual life….first….we’ve talked in Key 1 about your family and then it is work.

Take 15 minutes every morning ….get up early….and sit for 15 minutes still in a state of gratitude, grace and connect with your spiritual life, guide, beliefs…..whatever they may be.  The better you get at this the better you get and a better you produces better results.



It is never about talent…..OK, OK….playing 3rd Base for the Boston Red Sox takes some talent….but there are plenty of guys who had the talent but lacked the discipline.

In the home-based arena…’s never about talent.  Believe me, I have very little if any talent….nothing that would cause people to pause and say  ‘wow, that guy is really good at that.’

Discipline yourself to make the first 3 keys a ritual….to Balance, Preparation and Family.

Discipline yourself to keep first things first….while you are working….surfing the web, checking things on eBay and what movies are coming out this week is not working.

Discipline yourself to attack the part of your business that creates traction and income first… stay in income producing and goal advancing situations.

Discipline yourself to learn the skills you need to talk to people more effectively.

Discipline yourself to practice.

Discipline yourself against distraction


We think we do not have time now… can we think we can add a couple dates with the family, 15 minutes a day to connecting spiritually and 20 minutes a day to clean up and prepare?

Simple… investing in your spirit, your family and your preparation…… you improve …..and… being better all around we don’t need to distract ourselves looking for short cuts……

BIG BANG ::::> The short cut is managing yourself.

Those who have recently joined the Master Key Master Mind Alliance are already learning this skill.


mark januszewski

world’s laziest networker

About the Author

  • Mark,

    I loved reading your email first thing this morning regarding Time Management being a waste of time.

    In my relationships with other people I learned that we cannot control and/or fix other people and that the only person I have control over is myself.

    But I never thought of that in the context of Time Management. You managed to change my paradigm thinking today and I want to thank you. I’m looking forward to your next email.


  • Mark, really inspirational help. Working from home I know all to well how hard it can be to be efficient, productive and not distracted. Thanks for the post!

  • I Love the first section of your article Mark,
    Keep first things first.
    What an Amazing Idea !

    Than You So Much For Sharing This Information !

    I Greatly Appreciate Your Wisdom,

    Your Lifelong Friend,

    Steven Squillace

  • Mark,

    Great post! It’s kinda sad that inside we all probably know these things, but rarely do we take control and attempt to actually take the first difficult steps (mind-set) to improve our self-management. ‘all things are difficult until they become easy’…


  • This post IS VERY INSPIRING. I have read it re-read it summarised it. And it is now in point form on postit notes on my computer.

  • Mark, this post is spot-on (as usual.)
    We are all given the same amount of time in a day, but it’s up to us what to do with it! And it is surprisingly easy to fritter it away.
    I liked what you say about talent, too…a small factor compared to the discipline to actually DO productive things. It is amazing to me how most businesses (small and large alike) simply don’t EXECUTE.
    I admittedly have very little talent, though I have a Ph.D. You know the secret to getting a Ph.D.? Have a definite goal, and then WORK. Fully 99.9% of a Ph.D. is just brute-force doing what you need to do. It’s not rocket surgery! Ha!
    I always enjoy your posts, you absolutely make my week. I wish you a great week as well!
    Warmest regards,

  • Hi Mark,
    This really makes sense, sometimes the “noise” is so loud that you lose track of what’s important.
    Having tried working 36 hrs in 24 hrs and wishing for more time…and then following the suggestion of yours with the 3×5 card with the three things that must be done. Wow!! I’ve had a very productive few days and even getting to sleep more than few hours is pretty cool! By the way, I have a used TV for sale…know anybody that wants one? LOL!
    Thanks for everything,
    Dan Myers

  • Mark, Great Information as usual. I’m starting to get it.just reading Scroll 1, 3 times a day has made a difference. Can’t wait for the first assignment

  • Mark

    Another great post with information that is timeless. Thanks for putting great ideas to paper.


  • Hi Mark,
    I like the lesson to prepare the night before. This would really help my day. Family- Prepare- Balance- Discipline. Family First! Prepare 20 mins- Balance Faith. Great lesson. Thank you!

  • I used to believe that 36 hr days were the solution. I’m also bacame a master of working hard. Neither of these have given me the results that I desire.

    I’m already seen improved results using my index card of 3 things to accomplish each day. I eagerly anticipate becoming a master of managing myself. Instead of the popular myth that the quality of life declines as we grow older, I’m looking forward to my best years yet.

    Thanks Mark for your wisdom & belief is us.

  • Great post Mark! I already know discipline and organization are two of my greatest areas in need of improvement. Making the list has been helpful. Looking at it that next night and knowing you have done what was on the list is a good feeling. I get a sense of accomplishment and am more willing to continue the practice. Thank you.

  • Mark,

    Thank you so much for waking my inner soul and inspiring it back to “life” It’s all up to us to take control of one’s journey to make that decision and to start believing that you can do anything if you allow & accept and most of all … “Trust”.

  • Mark,

    You are so right. It is when I have been purposefully focused and massively busy with little or no extra time that I can find the time for the things that are important.

    These 4 keys show why: Busy people get things done and bored people never get anything done.

    Ready to go and grow,

  • You hit the nail on the head with this one, Mark. Couldn’t have hit any closer to home for me! ‘…you can only manage yourself’. Boy do I need to work on discipline…self discipline.

    Thanks Mark.

  • As I get ready to fly north tonight for the arrival of our next grandchild tomorrow, I’m preparing a list of things to get accomplished . In years past, this coming week would have been totally lost but not this time. I’ll be using those little nooks and crannies of time to work on my mental vision of where I want to be in 6 months. For me, it’s the distractions of emails, texts, phone calls not related to work….so easy to get off track. I took one day last week, turned it all off except for what I was concentrating on and in those two or three hours, got more accomplished than in a week with distractions left on. Focus!! Common sense……Thanks Mark!!

  • Mark, you continue to be a light along my path. Every time that I begin to lose sight of the path, voila, there is your light showing me the way.

    Thanks….. Dave W.

  • I read this at 130am in my hotel room, thought about it and got up and copied 2 copies this morning this is a great message of ways to change and think thanks Mark

  • Great post Mark! I have worked from to-do lists for many years, just never wrote my list on an index card and in all caps before! Making sure the important things get done and maintaining balance is truly the only path to success. So glad I found your wisdom!

  • Hello Mark,
    You hit the nail on the head again! What you wrote increased my awareness of the importance of self discipline that I always thought that I have. 4 simple keys and yet so many of us not doing them.
    Thank you again for sharing this.
    Kim San

  • Mark,
    Are you reading my mind? lol


    I was discussing (similarly) with an associate what you touched on here…

    Only adding that SO MANY people use the FREE time WASTED in from of the Television in turn allowing this device to mold there vision into time wasting.

    Have an AWESOME Decade!
    Tony “TelecomSlayer” Profit

  • Makes so much sense when I hear someone else say these things! So excited about your words of wisdom and your advice….have already started putting the “FPBD” into practice. Thanks for sharing
    Mark 🙂

  • I was brought up in a family/generation that taught it was selfish to think about your own needs and that it was also selfish to want more, that we should be thankful for what we have. Okay, can clearly see that at my age (old) that a few major step in this information were left out. #1, I am a big beliver that God wants us to live a life of abundance, doesnt’ matter if it’s money or having the time to take a walk alone. He has given us everything we need in the world to be the best we can be. After years of being a great student of helping others I never learned how to help myself or put myself as a priority.. So, that being said, it has been a challenge learning that I need to come first so my dreams can come true and I realize that it doesn’t mean that I need to stop being there for other people. My list of 3 things to do is a major help. Baby steps. The greatest trainer in the world can not help anyone until that person realizes that they must learn how to help themselves first and make themselves feel important.
    You always say, “believe” I believe you are teaching people skills that should be taught in elementary schools so people realize the are important. If you can’t make yourself better then how are you going to help other people

  • Cindy, I am so proud of you. I know how tired you are being an airline stewardess 6 days a week and always being in a different city… Your taking your first steps in life to learn how to make yourself a priority and leaving the excuses behind.

  • 36 hour days? How about 40? or 50 or even 60 hour days? 🙂

    This hit me right between the ears –
    You can’t manage time, you can only manage yourself – LOVE IT!

    And you are right on — make wifey and kiddos happy DOES lead to more productivity as it makes you better!

  • Hello Mark ++,

    Just finished reading ‘Time Management’????

    Great Information! Again, Thank You and those involved bringing up these lessons. Index Cards are working. . . . . . .

    Bill W.

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