For success in life, spend time finding tactics that work

On the road to success in life, it's worth the time and effort to find tactics that work for you.

Kim Foster/The State/MCT/Newscom/File
For success in life, find tactics that work for you, like portion control. By using smaller plates, and limiting what you eat to that plate, you cut down on food consumption.

Of all of the parenting tactics I’ve tried, nothing has worked better at facilitating good behavior and a trusting bond like floor time. Simply getting down on the floor and playing with your children builds trust and good relationships like nothing else.

Of all of the dieting tactics I’ve tried, nothing has worked better than portion control (coupled with not keeping “junk” snacks in the house). The “saucer” strategy, in which you eat nothing at a meal except what will fit on a saucer, works like an absolute charm.

Of all of the saving tactics I’ve tried, nothing has worked better than simply automating it. Ordering the bank to simply scrape a small amount from my checking each month and put it in a savings account means I don’t have to think about it, and that means I won’t forget about it or talk myself out of it. The money is just there when I need it.

Of all of the time management tactics I’ve tried, nothing has worked better for me than the “inbox.” I keep a pocket notebook with me and whenever I think of something I need to do, I fill a whole page describing it (big words over several lines). I toss these pages in my “inbox” at home and go through them once or twice a day, making sure each one is dealt with.

When I stick to these singular tactics, I usually succeed. When I go away from them, I fail.

In fact, I’d say that finding tactics for success in life and money that actually work is well worth investing quite a bit of time.

Why? Because the ones that work make your life flow so much smoother that you quickly make the time and money back.

It’s worth the time to read through a list of 100 money saving tactics and try out fifteen of them just to find one tactic that genuinely and consistently saves significant money for me.

It’s worth the time to try every kind of easily-available fresh produce because the more fresh produce I actually like, the easier it is to have a very varied diet while still eating really healthy.

It’s worth the time to try all sorts of time management tactics because when I find one that shaves ten minutes off of an average day, I’ll make that time back over the long run.

The key to success is investing the time to figure out what really works for you. They might not be the same things that work for me – in fact, they probably won’t be.

I’ll close this message with a few challenges.

If you’re looking to spend less money, spend some time going through this list of 100 money saving tactics. Identify twenty that might just fit in your life and give them each a genuine shot. You’ll probably find that fifteen of them don’t fit you. The other five? They’ll be valuable enough that the entire time will be worth it.

If you’re looking to spend less time, use the same approach with my upcoming series on Getting Things Done, which will be loaded with time management ideas. Read the series carefully. Pick the elements that you think might work for you and give them a genuine shot. The ones that do work will stick and they’ll end up saving you so much time / making you so much more productive that you’ll flip.

Whatever that area in your life is that you want to work on, start trying some tactics. Go on a daily walk. Eat only the food that fits on a saucer. Read a challenging book for an hour a day.

Just try something instead of sitting there wishing it could be better.

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