Years ago, I had a young guy working on one of my teams who just was not cutting it. His excuse for all his missed deadlines? “I didn’t have time.” I remember telling him, “Everyone in this world, from the President of the United States to a homeless guy on the street, has the exact same amount of time in the day and decides how to use that time.” He didn’t get it. And he didn’t make it on my team.
It’s one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves, “I didn’t have time.” This is a fundamental problem that has worked its way into our culture and we have the responsibility to keep it from taking hold of us. The problem: we feel busier than we ever have while accomplishing less and feeling less satisfied by all we’re doing. So, what’s the solution? How can we change our way of thinking? Here are three questions you can answer to help you manage your time better.
- When am I most energized? All hours of the day are not created equal. Have you noticed sometimes you get incredible work accomplished and sometimes it’s like you’re pushing against a brick wall? What’s the difference? Well, it may have to do with the type of work you’re doing, but it probably has much more to do with when you’re doing it. Are you taking advantage of your natural rhythms or fighting against them? Are you a morning person? Are you an evening person? Does the afternoon feel like a burst of energy or a crash? It helps to figure out these types of questions, and know how you best function during the day. If you know you have a time of day that is going to be ultra-productive, try to schedule your most important tasks during that time. If you know what time of day is going to be sluggish, why not do the mindless or menial tasks then? Don’t just plug tasks into any ole time of the day. Know your personal rhythms during your day and plan accordingly.
- What am I doing with my downtime? You have way more natural downtime than you think. What do you do during the two hours before work? Is sleep the answer? What about the four hours after work? Is that your “veg-out” time? That’s great if your goal is to be a vegetable. But, if your goal is to live up to your potential and accomplish your dreams, you must look at your downtime as opportunity time. We’re talking about hours each day that you’re just giving up because you’ve told yourself you need all that downtime. The truth is you need some, but probably not as much as you’re taking. Examine your patterns and make some changes. Plug in productive work into some of that excess downtime. There are many people who have started profitable businesses in their downtime. It’s not a myth. It’s about intentional discipline.
- How might I be wasting time every week? How much television do you watch? How much time do you spend on social media? How many YouTube videos do you watch each week? These questions could go on and on and the answers, for most of us, are embarrassing. The point is, you are wasting a tremendous amount of time during any given week. What if you were intentional with 30% of that wasted time? Identify it and schedule it. The results may surprise you!
You manage your money carefully. Your time is a way more valuable commodity. Why not manage it too? If you’re ready to get started now, one of our coaches will help you build your time management plan. Just click here to get started. When you’re ready, we’ll be ready to help you get there.