Quick question…how much do you know about time? Think about it for a moment. Shouldn’t you really know? After all, whether you realize it or not you’ve spent a very long time trying to manage it. How’s it working out for you?
Most likely when you get up in the morning you think about your schedule or the things you need to get done that day. You’ve prioritized your list in your day planner and you’re ready to go.
Be honest, by the end of the day you’re amazed at how fast the day went wondering why you didn’t get much done. The answer may be simple. Maybe everything you’ve learned about managing time is a complete waste of time.
Time To Understand
“Time is an illusion.” – Albert Einstein
The gurus of time management seem to have an edge. The 4-Hour Workweek Author, Tim Ferris seems to know a great deal about time management. What does he know that you don’t? Let’s try to understand time first. In simple terms, time is when stuff happens. We tend to limit our definition of time to a clock. But time is more sophisticated than that. The other type of time is real time.
Clock time is measured in minutes, hours, days, etc. With clock time, all time passes equally. When someone turns 20 they are exactly 20-years-old, no more, no less. With real time, all time is relative depending on your point of view. 2 hours spent at the dentist can feel like 5 years. 5 hours spent at a beautiful beach can feel like 10 minutes. You get the picture.
Are You Living In Real Time Or Clock Time?
Which type of time do you live in? If you’re using time management tools and gadgets you’re living in clock time and clock time is irrelevant. You live in real time. The good news is real time is mental and you create it. And anything you create you can manage. Now you have to power to remove those self-imposed limitations of “not having enough time” or “it’s not the right time”. So stop looking at the clock every time you need to get something done.
Time Is Of The Essence, Spend It Wisely
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” – William Penn
Becoming the master of your own time requires an understanding of three ways to spend time: thoughts, conversations and actions. No matter what business you’re in, your work will always encompass these three things.
To better understand this concept, think of what you normally do to manage your time. Planning your tasks within blocks of time during the day does not work. Your focus is on clock time which is irrelevant. Chances are you won’t get much work done because you’re limiting yourself to a timeframe.
Instead of putting a time schedule on the things you need to get done, focus on the real time productive thoughts, conversations and actions that will produce the most results. For example, your thoughts are the tasks you need to get done, the conversations are the plans you create to accomplish them and the action is what you do to get them completed. There is no timeframe to concern yourself with because you are working in real time.
Here are some techniques you can follow to help you master your own time:
- Carry a note book and write down your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week. This will give you an idea of how much you can accomplish during the day and where you time is being spent.
- Every day spend 30 minutes to plan your day but don’t assign timeframes.
- Allow time for interruptions and plan time to be taken away from what you’re doing.
- Spend 50 percent of your time committed to the thoughts, conversations and activities that generate most of your results.
- Only assign a time to any conversation or activity that’s important to your success.
- Understand that it is impossible to get everything completed.
- The odds are good that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80 percent of your results.
Mastering your time is a worthwhile endeavor. By removing your thoughts from the limiting influence of timeframes you’re free to manage your time through creative thoughts, conversations and activities that produce measurable results. Everyone is different with their creativity so give it a try and see what your creative mind can come up with.