“I don’t have enough time!” A common phrase we often hear from those around us when they have a range of priorities they are dealing with at any given time.
Today more than ever, we deal with the ’tug of war for our time.’ More companies, more technology, and more people constantly competing for our time.
It’s no wonder that so many of us feel pressured to get more done more quickly. Sandwiched between family obligations and work-related concerns, it can seem impossible to fit it all in. Yet, the good news is that, with the right approach, you actually do have enough time for everything you need to accomplish.
Rezwan Manji, a 15 year executive in the dental space and former President of Young & Motivated, a series of workshops focused on teaching young executives about the value of time, money and relationships says, ‘ Ever want something done? Ask a really busy person; the busiest people understand the value of time and always get the most done.”
Focusing Your Time
How do we make sure that we are focusing our time on the things that are most important to you? Here are three simple steps to help you ensure that you’re prioritizing vital tasks.
- Schedule the ‘rocks’
You have 168 hours in any given week. Let’s say you work a 10-hour workday, sleep for 7 hours a night, and it takes you 3 hours a day for eating and personal hygiene. That is really time that you don’t have a ton of choice about. This leaves you with just 28 hours per week to deal with the rest of life. It doesn’t sound like much. But, it can enough to get a surprising amount done if you take advantage of the time. Pick three to four things across categories that are non-negotiable to you. It could have to do with family, friends, fitness, or even time specifically allocated to focusing on your future. Get those in your calendar immediately. Scheduling the “rocks” gives you an anchor to work around for the rest of your available time.
- Have a system of prioritization
Things will inevitably come at you every day that are unpredictable and steal your time. If you treat everything that comes at you equally, you will never be able to keep up the pace. It’s okay to let the right things slip. Try using an Eisenhower Matrix that forces you to think about your priorities based on urgency and importance (these are two very different concepts). Writing it down and consistently evaluating urgency and importance within all things that are coming at you will help increase the value of your time significantly. Once you know your top priorities you can ensure that you fit those into your schedule before considering anything else.
- Spend your downtime ‘on-purpose’
Everyone needs downtime and time to re-charge their batteries. So take the time to schedule it. And when you’re in it…be in it. Disconnect from the distractions of the outside world the best you can so you can mentally and emotionally revitalize yourself. Your body and mind will thank you. By being present in the moment, you’ll enjoy quality leisure time that will revitalize you much more effectively than simply marking time, checking your emails and concentrating on work-related problems that leave you just counting down the hours until you can go back to work again.
Time is the one thing that is equal to everyone on this planet. We all get 24-hours in a day. Spend it on the most important things in your life.