Do you want to be more productive?
Do you want to make the most out of the time you are given everyday?
I know I do. I am always looking for ways to become more productive.
What about productivity in your finances?
It’s productivity week here at MoneyMiniBlog and I was fortunate enough to be able to interview the Productive Superdad himself: Timo Kiander (you can read more about Timo at the end of the interview).
Let’s see what he can teach us. Here is the interview…
1. How can somebody apply time management and greater productivity to their finances?
I like to automate things. For instance, there are certain bills which are taken care of automatically on a regular basis.
I also like to convert my paper bills to electronic ones as much as possible so that I have less paper clutter in my home.
Finally, I have implemented two simple habits to manage my monthly finances.
The first one is an automatic money transfer to my savings account. This way I don’t have to do this manually, nor do I forget to do it.
The other one is paying myself a monthly salary. Each month, I take a look at the bills that are about to be paid and I move that amount of money to one of my other accounts.
That way my expenses are covered for the month and the money I have left is the money I can spend.
2. How would you describe your goal setting process for short-term and long-term goals?
I plan major milestones for the coming week each Sunday. When I have reached those goals, I know I’m moving forward with the important stuff. Those big goals are somewhat related to my online business and they build it further.
I also do yearly planning with my wife (at the beginning of each year, a follow-up is done 6-7 months after that) and in that planning I also decide the big targets for the new year.
I like to get started with my goals as easily as possible and the process I use is something I like to call the “20-20-1-1” method. I still haven’t figured out a better name for it, but in essence, you focus only on the most important goal (which makes the biggest difference in your life) and try to make it as easy as possible to get started with.
3. How do you stay on track and stay motivated to reach your goals when you get discouraged?
This is a good question and this happened to me last year – in the middle of writing a book and growing my blog.
For some reason, I wasn’t motivated to continue with blogging and writing my book anymore.
Fortunately my business coach helped me to understand that I had done a lot of work already and that it would be silly to quit the game now. That’s how I understood that I must keep on going.
No matter how much you love the work you do, there are times when you start questioning your motivation. In that situation, it helps to get the opinion of others and understand where you are right now related to your goal.
In other words, seeing the big picture definitely helps. Also, knowing your “why” (Why I keep doing what I’m doing) is another thing you should have a clear answer to.
4. If you had several tasks to accomplish that were equally important, how would you organize and accomplish them?
I would probably analyze them first and then try to see their long-term impact.
Say, if task A has a short-term impact, task B’s impact is little bit bigger and task C brings the biggest rewards long-term, that’s the one I would tackle first (then task B and finally task A).
5. What does a typical work day look like for you and what are some of the daily time management techniques that help you the most?
I wake earlier than my family and I work 1-1.5 hours in the morning. However, the main working time depends on the day of the week.
On Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays I work in the morning (from 9am till noon), while on Tuesdays and Thursdays I work in the afternoons (from 2pm to 5pm).
I also do work when our son is having his afternoon nap, so the total number of hours is anything between 4-6 hours per day.
On weekends, I spend the majority of my time with my family, but when they are sleeping I tend to do work on my computer.
Right now, our son is not in a day care, so me and my wife split the babysitting turns (so that both of us can have our own personal time on a daily basis).
Naturally, when he goes to daycare later this year, this will give me more time to spend on building my business.
6. The book “Getting Things Done” by David Allen is definitely one of the most popular books on productivity right now. Have you read this book, and if so, what are your thoughts on it?
Yes I have and in fact, it was the first time management book I ever read (back in 2007).
I think that it has some great ideas and strategies when it comes to time management. However, I’m not a hardcore GTD follower and I’d rather pick the things that work best for me and then implement them in my own life.
This is really how I approach time management in general: All the advice is personal at the end of the day and everyone is responsible for tweaking and modifying the advice so that it works best for them.
I don’t think any time management system is “ready” out of the box – rather, you have to add your own tweaks until you can fully take advantage of it.
7. What are some of your other favorite time management and productivity books?
There are a few, like:
- Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management (Mark Forster)
- Attack Your Day (Mark Woods, Trapper Woods)
- How to Be a Productivity Ninja (Graham Allcott)
There are plenty of other books I have read, but those three are my favorites.
8. Other than sitting in front of the television, what do you think is the biggest time waster that most people engage in?
Worrying about something they can’t control and not being responsible for their own lives.
There are certain things in this world that just are (like weather) and there is nothing you can do about it. That’s why it would be easier to spend your energy on things you can change.
Also, too often people blame others for their situation, while forgetting that if they were to take positive action, things would be different. For instance, one’s job may suck but yet it’s his/her responsibility to take positive action to change the circumstances.
9. What are some good time management techniques to apply in the home after work during personal and family time?
My top five are:
- Eating the frog. This means that you do the most difficult or most boring task first, so it’s out of the way.
- Plan your day. It helps to plan your days in advance, so that you get to do the tasks that should be done. This also helps you to maximize your time outside office hours.
- Get enough sleep. It doesn’t matter if you are an early riser or not – you need to sleep enough (how much depends on the person) so that you function properly. There is just no way around that.
- Exercise. We tend to sit too much (watching TV, on our computer), so doing physical exercise is a good way to bring balance to your life.
- Gratitude. Appreciate the people around you and feel grateful for what you have.
10. What is your favorite time management technique that you have implemented in your own life?
I guess it has been waking up early. That way I have been able to focus on things that matter to me (exercising, building my online business, writing my book) without distraction. By waking up early, I have also been able to spend more time with my family.
I know that this technique may not be for everyone, but it has definitely helped me to achieve a lot of great things in my life.
More About Timo Kiander
My name is Timo Kiander and I’m in my forties. I live in Finland and I’m married to a beautiful woman named Leena. We have one child, a son named Aaro.
I’m living a busy life with my family, sports, a day job and building my blog.
Even though my life is quite hectic, I’m grateful for that because this helps me to test the time management techniques I have learned, and also see if they work in real life.
I’m very happy that I can pursue my passion for time management, teach you the stuff I have learned – and thus improve the quality of your life.