"I don’t have enough time. If only there were just a few more hours in the day!” Does this sound like something you’ve said recently? I remember when I used to constantly curse the day for being too short. There was a time in my business when I was “in the truck.” I ran service calls myself, answered the phone, returned client’s calls, and completed invoicing and paperwork once I got home. At this point in my young career, I believed there was not enough time in the day for me to accomplish what I wanted in my life and business.
I later found this to be a myth. In fact, time is one of the only resources that everyone shares 100 percent in equality.
That’s right! We all have exactly the same amount of seconds, minutes and hours in the day. However, the choices we make regarding how our moments are spent and how we focus our attention defines who we are as business leaders. It’s very important to understand the power of time and realize that if you don’t learn to control your time, you’ll never have control over how your day unfolds.
What about you? Are you managing your time or is it managing you?
I know what you’re thinking. Time management is a topic you’ve read about before, and is the best use of your time reading another article about it? Well, these simple time-management strategies helped me create the freedom I had always dreamed of in my life. Therefore, this is a topic that deserves our focus as we continue our journey toward the companies and lives we desire.
Time management is an issue many of my coaching clients struggle with. I think it’s safe to say most business leaders struggle with managing their time effectively. It seems like there are so many things pulling at you daily, demanding your attention … where do you begin? Let’s look at a few simple strategies that will help you regain control of your precious time, or at least remind you of areas where you could be more effective.
I don’t disagree that most business leaders are very busy. I just know many are very busy … doing the wrong things. Analyze your priorities and start working on what really matters moving forward, and watch your results begin to change for the better.
Tom shared a great strategy with me to help start the process of doing the worst first. First, take a look at your stack of phone messages that require return calls. Then, pick the very call you dread the most. It might be an unpleasant conversation, task, person or thing you don’t want to deal with. Regardless of the reason, make this call first, and it all gets better from there.
Fundamentally, time management comes down to consciously controlling your activities and doing what you value most. If you tell someone you don’t have time to do something, you’re actually saying you value doing something else more than whatever you “don’t have time to do.”
Here’s an example. If you tell me you don’t have time to go to lunch with me, you are really saying, “Thanks, Kenny, but I value a prior commitment more than I value lunch with you.” This is the actual truth. There might be a myriad of reasons why you can’t go to lunch with me, but it simply comes down to the fact that something else is your priority. This is perfectly fine.
Don’t ever feel bad about prioritization; you’re simply making smarter choices. In fact, use it to your benefit and realize that time issues are actually prioritization issues. You will begin to effectively plan your days, finding you have more time and freedom than you were previously aware of. Maybe you do have time to take that vacation you’ve been talking about!
It takes dedicated effort and practice to regain ownership of your time, but it is possible if you make the commitment. I believe in you. With focus, you can create more time in your day, and ultimately your life. Remember that we all have the same amount of time; we just manage it differently based on our choices.