If I gave you R100 today and told you that you had to spend it by the end of the day, what would you do with your money?
If I asked this of 100 people, I’d get so many different answers. Some would spend it on themselves, either luxuries or necessities. Some would spend it on others. Some people would save the money for a rainy day.
We’re all different, and we all have different priorities.
It’s the same with your time. We all use it differently, based on what we prioritize in our lives. You can spend time on yourself. You can also spend time on others. However the big difference between money and time is that time cannot be saved.
If you want to live your life by design then the key resource that you have to learn to manage is your time. Here are 5 Key Principles for Effective Time Management:
1. Acknowledge that the Root Cause is Poor Habits – Developing habits is the base from which all our successes and failures in life are built. Establishing good habits with how you use your time is just as important as establishing good eating habits for your diet.
Action : What Bad habits do you need to change this week to stop wasting precious time? For example, smoke-breaks, Facebook stalking, lying in bed for an hour before getting up, office gossip sessions, TV!
2. If You Don’t Control Your Time, Others Will – When you have a defined plan for how you will use your time each day, then you set the pace. When you day is filled with productive appointments, then others will need to fit into your week. When your time planning is loose and left unstructured, you will find that you are pulled around by others.
Action – Sit down and plan your week into time slots, or appointments. Its called Time Blocking. Remember to schedule in time for yourself (personal), your family and your business. Break your business time down further into order of priority and plan to do the most important stuff first.
3. You Can Only Spend Time, You Can’t Save It – Time is a resource that cannot be replaced. When you procrastinate, or you waste time, you lose valuable moments and you miss opportunities. It’s probably more important to plan your time than it is to plan how you spend your money. Money lost, can be earned again. Time cannot.
Action : Understanding the scarcity of time, rank your priorities in life based on 1) Yourself 2) Your Family 3) Your Business 4) Your Community
4. It is Necessary to Say No – You don’t have enough time in the day to keep everyone happy. Once you understand the value of your time, and you can place a monetary value on your cost per hour, then you will become better at saying no to the requests on your time that do not serve your priorities.
Action : Work out your value per hour. Take your desired income for the year, and divide it by the number of hours you have to give towards your business. When you have calculated the number, you’ll know who to give your hours to, and when to say no.
5. Time is Your Greatest Life Asset – Surely this doesn’t need explanation? You can earn more money, you can work on your health and create a better body, but you just cannot do anything to generate more time. It’s your gift to use to the maximum so that you can live a life of fulfillment and no regrets.
Action : Write a list of all the things that you want to do before your time on this earth is over. Every year set a goal to tick off at least 2-5 of those points, and be sure to review the list annually.
If anything, I hope that this email shifts your focus to what is most important in your life and how you can best use your time so that you live your life by design. Not by accident.
Have a great week.