Take 10 seconds and count out on your desk or chair with your hand…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. That’s TIME. 10 seconds has passed, there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day…and on it goes. You get the idea.
As I’ve moved through my business days lately, it seems I’ve been engaged in correspondence with apologies from people who have been slow responding. They are traveling and generally just busy. I get that, and it’s nothing new really. Recently, however, I’ve noticed it more. I respond in part that I understand…TIME moves quickly.
This concept of TIME has had me thinking for a while about our crazy busy lives and the importance of managing time. As an ADD type, I don’t do well managing time. And as coincidence would have it, my pastor has recently taught a 5 part series on TIME. I credit Pasto Marty Walker for some of the concepts that I will share here that apply to our personal and professional lives.
It could easily be argued that TIME is our most valuable asset. We make TIME for important events. We take the TIME to be an asset our clients. When we want to do something beneficial for our family or in our community we make TIME for it. Most of us need more TIME.
We can lose track of TIME, but we usually know what TIME it is by looking at a watch or phone. But there is something more important than knowing the TIME. That is, knowing what to do with our TIME. Like it or not our days are numbered. Hours, minutes and seconds tick by. 1,2,3,4,5…
Many of you may want to skip past this paragraph because it’s a bit morbid…but there is an interesting website, deathclock.com that puts a spotlight on mortality: I’d like to say this is just for fun, but how fun is a speculative death date?
Are you feeling at capacity with the TIME you have? We can expand our capacity by determining our priorities. The secret to getting more done is prioritizing correctly. Many of us will prioritize the urgent over the important. We need to determine what’s important to us…really?
The cure to busyness is not to try and be less busy. We become less busy when we set aside meaningless activity, then determining what is important and prioritizing that as our goal.
Everybody has some organizing principle around which our time is prioritized; we all should know and define our organizing principle. What are you actually seeking first? Success, recognition, approval, a lower golf score…or ?? Priority determines capacity. What are your priorities?
What do you wish you had been doing over the last few months with your TIME? What do you wish you had been doing consistently over the past, 5, 10 or 15 years? What is the one incremental deposit of TIME you could make this week that if you continued; it would have a profound impact on your future. For me, one thing is getting in better physical shape.
John Jantsch from Duct Tape Marketing Duct Tape Marketing, published a great article, Is Work Killing Us? Many of us slump over a desk all day. He talks about taking regular breaks and moving around throughout the day. These are simple things that most of us can incorporate into our day. I should have started doing this years ago.
TIME is also a futures issue. It’s about planting trees this year to have shade in the future. What things can we do in our business today that will result in business down the road? Effective networking? Offer content-driven social media that engages people? Nurture relationships with our current clients while harvesting for new clients?
Consider the concept of compounding minutes. Another word for compounding is cumulative. Here in California, we have great weather, but not much rain, so we have a cumulative effect of drought.
There is a cumulative value investing small amounts of TIME in certain activities over a long period. For example, exercise, eating right, learning a skill, paying off debt or saving for the future. There is NO cumulative value to the random things we choose over important things.
A key element to maximizing the effective use of our TIME is to focus on our strengths. Here are three ways we can do that.
1 - Discover what things you do that are not productive, and eliminate those things from your schedule. One thing for me is dumb TV shows. How many times do I need to see the same Seinfeld or a Law and Order episode? (Oh sorry…my wife typed that!)
2 - Identify the areas that will be most beneficial for your personal and professional life.
3 - Give your best time to those areas that will have the biggest impact.
I REALLY need to grasp this stuff! Most of us are very busy with much on our plates. Managing our TIME more effectively is a key to our success. Understanding these basic principles will benefit us all.
As I mentioned, I don’t do a great job managing time, but recognizing that this is a problem for me, will help me focus on change. It would seem that I should have enough TIME to do that!
© 2014 Jeff Solomon, MAS