At ActionCOACH, we like to say that time is your most valuable asset. After all, as a wise man once told me, you can always make more money, but when your time is spent, its gone foreverâ€¦â€¦.
So, how do you think about time? Can you really manage it or does it manage you? Why is it that some people seem to get so much done and others just spin their wheels accomplishing little or nothing in the course of a week? How often do you find yourself saying â€œI donâ€™t have time for thatâ€¦.â€?
Everyone has the same amount of time â€“ 168 hours per week. The average person spends 51 hours sleeping, 50 hours working (including commuting), 15 hours eating, another 24 hours relaxing, reading, watching TV, 4 hours at church or other commitments- for a total of 144 hours. This leaves 24 hours of â€œspareâ€ time each week â€“the equivalent of a whole day.
How do you spend your spare time? Do you plan how to spend it? Is it spent on important things that will further your goals and objectives? Or, are you just reacting to the urgency of the moment? How do you distinguish between whatâ€™s important and whatâ€™s urgent? How clear are you on what your priorities are?
There are some great books on the subject that I always recommend to people who struggle with this issue (mostly everyone). However, one of the first steps to improving your self management about time is to understand your relationship with time. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Whatâ€™s working? What are the things you always find time to do? For which you are never late? About which you never procrastinate? What do you easily delegate? How realistic are you about how long things take? Do you measure the time spent on routine tasks?
- Whatâ€™s not working? On what do you spend too much time? When do you underestimate how long something will take? When and about what do you procrastinate? For what kinds of things are you always late? What do you have a hard time finishing? Saying â€œnoâ€ to? Whatâ€™s something you wish you could do every day or week?
- What are your time management preferences? Would you rather work independently or collaboratively? Do you like to exercise / relax alone or with others? Do you concentrate in short bursts or long stretches? Do you prefer to focus on one thing at a time or to multi-task? Do you like tight deadlines or long lead times? Do you prefer to work with noise (music) or in silence? Do you prefer to mull things over or make quick decisions?
- What are your energy cycles and sources? What time of the day is best for what kinds of activities? Complete the sentence: Morning is the best time for me to _____ and the worst time for me to ______. Do the same for afternoon, evening and late night. Just planning your day according to your energy cycle can make a huge difference in your efficiency and productivity.
- How do you replenish / recharge your energy? Some people stretch or take a brief break. Some play music. Some exercise. A drink of water or high energy snack works for others. What works for you?
When you understand your relationship with time, you can build your schedule and your life around your individual needs and desires. Managing yourself more effectively around time is one of the most important self improvements you can work on because it is the foundation of achieving your goals in every aspect of your life.
Brad Sugars founded the brand Action International in 1993 when he realized there was a disconnect between business advice and implementation. The answer was Action! Brad Sugars created a business coaching company so that business owners throughout the world can realize their goals in business. Today the company is known as ActionCOACH. To learn more about business, visit Brad Sugars Review blog!