The life of an entrepreneur is one of the greatest adventures imaginable. It is filled with highs and lows and venturing into the unknown. You take risks and pioneer through brand new, uncharted territories.

But as I’ve travelled the last thirty years of my journey into entrepreneurship, I’ve realized something that should be obvious to everyone: the longer I live, the less time I have to accomplish all of my dreams. This haunts me every day. It is a sobering reminder of the fragility of our stint on earth.

Most people avoid thinking about this topic. But I believe it is one of the greatest motivators to get things done. The more I think about what my tombstone will say, the more laser-focused on my time mastery I become.

When it comes to your time, you have only a few options. You can spend it, you can waste it, or you can invest it. Want to learn how to master your time? Check out my methods here. Social and Email end here.

Time management takes a passive view. You look at the time that you have in the day and take steps to minimize waste. But in my opinion, this is a half measure. Simply minimizing waste is not good enough. When you get to the end of your life, will you think about how efficiently you were able to get work done? Of course not.

Time mastery is a more aggressive approach. It is a radical mindset. Instead of thinking of ways to reduce wasted time, mastery focuses on how you can invest your time to dramatically increase your work rate and reduce the amount of hours spent working. What can you do to minimize waste and cut your workday in half?

Time management shows that time is running you. Time mastery shows that you run your time. One of the greatest disciplines of a successful entrepreneur is continually improving their mastery of time.

“Whoever controls your calendar controls you.” – Bob Shank

Action: Think about which 20% of your efforts, products, or work, produce 80% of your revenue? What if you trimmed all the dead weight? If you focused more on the twenty percent, what would your life look like? How would you feel about your day? How much of your time is spent doing what you actually want?

Tip: Those who are willing to invest in time mastery force themselves to work the same amount in a shorter time frame. They are willing to do whatever it takes to free up more hours with family and valuable relationships. The goal is to hack your time. Instead of working an eight-hour day, give yourself three hours to do the same work. You will guard your alerts, interruptions, and distractions. You will learn that most of your time has been wasted or stolen by time bandits. Agree that the time bandits one should go before this one

You will not get back the minutes of today. So invest them.

This blog post is an excerpt from my latest book, 31 Disciplines of Highly Successful Creatives. Click here to get your copy!

Interested in learning how to build a creative business from the ground up? Click here.