Guten tag you, beautiful creature...
One of the best indicators of whether you are living a healthy rhythm of life or not is how you use your time...
You use accounting words when you talk and think about time:
Spending, wasting, investing, managing etc. because it's the easiest way to measure its value.
Benjamin Franklin famously stated, 'Time is money.'
You've been following that mantra one way or another for most of your working life...
Some smart researchers at think-tanks have estimated that work takes up roughly 55% of your life...
And, grinding it out, etc...
Ballpark, that's 39.6 hours at work a week.
One of the absolute worst phrases I hear (and used to use) is, 'I am time poor.'
If you're honest, what you are really saying is that you don't know how to freaking say NO.
Repeat after me: "NO!"
Seriously, say it out loud...Again.
The best way to take back control of your time is to properly schedule it.
You have to create an order and rhythm to your day - a routine.
Here are seven scientifically-proven ways to better manage your time...
1. Focus on Three Daily Wins
The best way to maintain momentum and keep your head in the game is to pick three top priorities for the day and kick their ass. Keeping it simple helps focus your attention and gives you a filter for what you can say YES and NO to.
2. Eat the Big Frog First
If you want to stop procrastinating on difficult tasks you have to tackle them head-on. When you do the hard work up front other tasks become easier to handle. So roll up your sleeves and wrestle that bullfrog to the ground.
3. Make a 'To-Don't' List
A big part of productivity is not wasting time on meaningless tasks that are time-killers. Making a short list of where you are self-sabotaging frees you up to focus on what matters most.
4. Chunk Time
You are wired to focus 90-minutes at a time, so breaking your day up into manageable chunks is the best way to plan your work. In a typical working day, you can cycle through five 90-minute windows.
5. Show Up On Time
When you are late to a meeting, work or commitment you not only waste other peoples' time, you actually communicate that you don't give two shits about whomever you're meeting with. Actions always speak louder than words my friend.
6. Plan the First 15 Minutes of Your Day
Investing just 15 minutes mapping your day out can be the difference between success and failure. The old adage is true: if you fail to plan you plan to fail.
7. Schedule Downtime
You need to recharge in order to refocus and operate at your best. Regular breaks for coffee, walking, lunch, and exercise will make a world of difference in the quality and outcome of your work.
I recommend picking one of the seven ideas above (#6 is a great one) and starting there. Keep it simple and for the love of all things good, stop saying: "I'm time poor."
We all have the same 128 hours in a week to make a difference in the world.
Here's to punching procrastination and time-wasting in the face...
PS. Share this with someone you know who needs it...
I promise they'll thank you for it.
And, you'll have something fun to talk about over that extra hot soy latte made by your favourite hunky barista.