We all have the same amount of time to use in a day and yet I always hear from people I talk to that “I don’t have enough time!” or “I wish I had more time!” We all have 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in every hour and 60 seconds in every minute. We all have 86,400 seconds per day to invest in making our lives and businesses more meaningful and productive.
Another way of looking at it is if the average person lives 80 years then there are 4160 weeks to make the most of. Ask your self this interesting question . . . how many weeks do you have left? Are you interested in making better use of the time you have left? Remember, you can spend all your money and tomorrow you can make more but once you spend your time it’s gone forever.
So, have you ever wasted an hour, a day or even a week? Of course we all have. How did it make you feel? What pressure did it put you under? What makes it worse is we have done it when we are working 40, 50, or even 60+ hours per week. And yet we continue to complain, “I never have enough time for my family.” How much sense does that make? To quote Steven Covey you need to prioritize and put “First Things First.” This is one of his seven habits of highly effective people and actually he wrote an entire book just on this one habit titled “First Things First.” You might want to pick it up and read it.
There are many other books and courses regarding time management. The truth be told, you cannot manage time. You can only manage yourself and how you use it. So how well do you use your time?
Here are some helpful hints to get you started on managing yourself better:
1. Complete a time audit to determine how your use most of your time now. This will identify time stealing activities and give you an opportunity to reallocate, delegate or stop certain activities all together to manage more effectively.
2. Establish a default calendar of your ideal week. Allocate set hours for routine tasks and activities for each day. Then structure the use of the remaining hours around those other activities like meetings and sales calls. In the event that something cancels, you will have a better idea as to what you should be spending your time on.
3. Apply yourself to your most challenging tasks and activities when you are at peak energy. If you are a morning person then do them then etc…
4. Where possible, establish systems for all those routine tasks so that you eliminate duplication of effort. Start by writing out all your daily, weekly and monthly tasks and then begin to write the systems starting with the daily ones.
5. Always schedule time for yourself for your own growth and development. This could be for exercise, a hobby, reading or a training course.
6. Set time targets. For example, how many hours you want to work a week or how much more time do you want to spend with your family and by when.
7. Reward yourself for your time successes and have FUN!
There are loads of other hints, tips and tools to help you take ownership of your time so that you become more responsible and accountable for how you use and invest your time. Just think how much happier and in control you will feel when you get a handle on yourself? What are you waiting for . . . don’t waste another minute and get into ACTION!