I work with so many clients that want help with “Time Management” and the first thing I share with them is that it really is not possible to manage time. Time keeps on ticking no matter what, and we can’t do anything about it.
What we can do however is manage the activities within the time that we have been given. We have all the time there is, it’s what we do with it that is important.
Many times when we feel like we don’t have enough time, it’s because we get bogged down in activities that are not serving us. We tend to be drawn to the things that are easy, comfortable and fun. When we spend too much of our time doing these things, we run out of time for the important things that will ultimately allow us to create the life we truly want.
Let me give you an example, lets say that you have set some time aside to do something that is important but not necessarily urgent. Suddenly just as you are getting ready to start this project you find yourself side tracked and doing something else like checking email, surfing the Internet or checking voicemail. These are the “easy, comfortable and fun” things that eat up that valuable time that we say we don’t have enough of.
Many times, the reason for getting distracted is simply that we do not enjoy doing what we are about to do. Think of something you absolutely love doing, imagine that you are just about to get started. Do you think that anything or anyone would side track you from doing this? I doubt it!
This is why it is so important to do what you love to do and defer or delete everything else. I know you may be saying, “I can’t afford to defer or delete some of the things I need to do” maybe you really can’t afford not to.
Now we all have urgent and important things that come up during our day that must be addressed, the question is, who can address this and is this really urgent and important? The more disciplined you become at asking yourself these 3 questions, the more time you will free up to do the things that you enjoy doing!
Here are the 3 questions:
- Is this really important to me?
- Can someone else do this for me?
- Will this move me closer to what I want?
Is this really important to me or is this just important to the person that has handed it to me? Sometimes what’s important to someone else isn’t necessarily important to you, but you may associate the sense of urgency with being important. Most people never stop and think about the distraction, they just react and get side tracked.
You have to slow down and ask yourself, is this really important to me?
Can someone else do this for me is a question that when you answer yes to, will open up blocks of time in your day that you never realized existed. Ask yourself, who is the best person besides me that I can defer this to? If you don’t have that person, start looking for him or her!
Many times we just think that we have to do it or it won’t get done right. The most productive and successful people have others helping them do what they don’t enjoy doing so they can focus on what they love to do.
I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “how can I afford helpers?” My answer is, once you have helpers, you will be able to afford them. See, when you free up time to do what you love to do, you become much more efficient and productive, this creates a great return on your investment of time!
Will this move me closer to what I want? This is the critical question to ask as you are deciding what to do. If the answer is no, you have make a change. The only way for things to change is for you to change. As this comes up and you realize that what you are doing does not move you closer to what you want, it is time to brainstorm ways to change the situation.
So it’s not the amount of time that needs to change in your life, it’s you that must change. Ask yourself these 3 questions and make the changes necessary to spend most of your time doing what you love to do.
You only have one go around, one journey, why not make it one that you choose?