Of all the feedback I have received in the last 6 months at the Entrepreneurs Master Class, the most commonly asked for topic is ‘time management’. And whether we run our own business or not this is a topic that resonates with most of us because time is something we never seem to have enough of.
One of my favourite quotes is from the late Jim Rohn who said “time is more valuable than money, you can get more money but you can never get more time”
To understand the true value check out this video
Time is the greatest equaliser
What we learn from the video is that the clock continues to tick for us whether we are active or inactive, whether we are productive or unproductive so in this sense, when it comes to time, we are all equal.
While controlling time is impossible, managing what we have in front of us is possible. So the real issue is not about time management but rather, self management because really we can only control ourselves.
Isn’t it a lot more powerful to think of it this way? We are powerless to control time but we have all the power we need to take responsibility for managing ourselves around time.
Busy versus Productive
Are you busy or are you productive? Often, we tend to think that the only way to get more time is to speed up. Let’s face it, if we saw someone walk past us right now with a phone to their ear, juggling a pile of papers, their iPad and a cup of coffee we would probably get the impression that they were really ‘busy’ and it’s almost like we wear busy-ness as a badge of honour.
Unfortunately speeding up can actually slow us down because it often results in oversights and errors that then need to be re-done and causing more use of time than it would have originally.
Speeding up not only affects efficiency, it also impacts upon quality – have you ever eaten something without tasting it, read something without absorbing a word? Hurrying up doesn’t give us more time but it does take the pleasure out of many experiences.
The only way to do more is to actually do less
Do you fully understand how you spend your time? Maintaining your own record for a few days will give you a pretty good estimate of how you spend your time. As you review a typical week’s activities you can total the amount of time spent on the phone, reading the mail, eating, socializing, working, and so forth. This will reveal patterns that you may wish to change and others that you wish to encourage or start earlier in your day.”
Have you ever kept a log of how you spend your time? It’s a *really* powerful way to bring awareness to your routines. The simple act of logging your behaviour dramatically alters it!
For now, think about keeping track of your day and see if you can notice the events that precede negative habits. Simply knowing what events trigger the negative habits is a huge tool in switching to more productive activities.
Stay tuned for my next post where I will talk about the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 Rule.