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Most of Us Have a Bank Account, but Very Few of Us Keep A “Time Account”

Most of Us Have a Bank Account, but Very Few of Us Keep A “Time Account”

Are you investing your time or spending it? Is this something you have even thought of before? If not, you should. As Roger Hamilton stated in Wink and Grow Rich,

“When you invest your time in yourself, it is time invested on your health, on quality activities that enrich your life. New experiences and greater energy and vitality that make you stronger every day.”

Time is an asset in our life that we should value more than money. Once wasted, we can always earn more money. Yet, time wasted is lost forever. Once we understand the importance of time, wealth seems to follow.

So how do we invest our time? And how can we visualize it?

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We can do this by using a method that was originally developed to calculate an employer’s payroll, a method called Timesheets. However, let’s not look at Timesheets as a simple time card or punch card. Instead, think of them as Productivity Boosters. Think of them as your own personal Life Dashboard. Let’s look at some different types of Timesheets, then we will take a look at how to use them.

Now let’s take a look at how to create your Life Dashboard.

Creating Your Life Dashboard

It doesn’t matter if we are developing a Timesheet for our business or our personal life, we must get better at investing our time. Here is a simple way to use a Timesheet.

1. Pick the tool that suits you

Find an approach that you will stick with.

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Easiest way: Microsoft Excel

Here you can get creative and create your own Timesheet application.

    Toggl

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    This is an easy to use iOS, Android, Linux, or Windows application for tracking time. You can use this app for free or you can upgrade to the Pro version. Some of the free features include: tracking reminders and time, creating a timeline, a team dashboard, a Pomodoro timer, and project management features.

    Timely

    Timely is an app that is great for turning your calendar into a time tracker. It is available on iOS, Apple Watch, Android, and Windows applications. This app is free with a Pro version available as well.

    Everhour

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    Here we have a web-based Timesheet designed for team management. Everhour allows teams to seamlessly integrate project management tools, such as: Asana, Trello, Basecamp, GitHub, JIRA, or Pivotal Tracker. Additionally, you can create custom reports, task dashboards, and watch in real time with a live dashboard. This is a great option if you are looking for a technological upgrade from Excel. Everhour is free to use with a Pro version available for upgrade.
    [1]

    2. Use a Timer

    Tasks always appear to be more manageable when we break them into chunks. Similarly, by breaking time into bite-sized chunks, we can accurately track time spent on every activity. Additionally, you must use a timer. If a timer is not built into the app you are using, then you must use a separate timer.

    3. Review your personal data

    Start looking for time traps that are taking away productivity. The only way to identify a time trap is to track your time which is your personal data.

    A Timesheet allows us the ability to visualize how we spend our time. Just as an online banking account allows us the ability to visualize how we spend our money, a Timesheet helps us visualize how we spend our time. We all know that we should invest more of our money. Time is no different. In the end, we are all the product of our choices in life. Using an analogy from Wink and Grow Rich, think of a watering can,

    “The more you sprinkle it, the more you grow. Directions for use: Apply, Rinse, Repeat.”

    Reference

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    Dr. Jamie Schwandt

    Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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    Last Updated on August 4, 2020

    How to Make Time Go Faster When You’re Having a Bad Time

    How to Make Time Go Faster When You’re Having a Bad Time

    Standing at the front of the room, your heart is pounding as people stroll in, and you’ve been up since 5 am rehearsing. You’ve spent weeks preparing for this moment. Your slides are perfect, and you’ve memorized your talk.

    As the clock shows 9:30, you begin with a customary “good morning” and then zilch. Nothing. Your mind goes blank. Suddenly, time seems to stop. Everything goes into slow motion, and you can feel your face begin to burn.

    For anyone who has done presentations in front of a live audience, freezing at the wrong time is a nightmare waiting to happen, and when it does, if feels like time has frozen. The feeling of helplessness drags on, and you just wish the clock would fast forward so you can escape from the nightmare.

    Of course, the reality is that time does not speed up or slow down. Time is constant; only our perception of passing time changes[1]. This is a good thing, too. What is happening is that your fight or flight response is kicking in, and you have become hyper-aware of your situation. Your brain is recognizing you are in danger and responding in the best way it knows how.

    This perceived slowing down of time is an illusion[2]. It is your brain creating and processing more memories of your current environment and searching out the threat it has detected. It’s searching for the predator that has decided you look like an exquisite meal, and it is doing this incredibly fast — much faster than it typically would. It is how we protect ourselves, and, in most cases, it is a beneficial response.

    However, in many cases, it can be torturous to be in this situation, feeling helpless and frozen and being hyper-aware of our unfortunate situation. So what can you do to speed up the perception of time?

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    1. Have a Backup Plan

    If you cast your mind back to the situation at the start of this article, your brain has frozen and your carefully crafted words are lost somewhere inside your head: What do you do? Most people panic, and, despite their careful preparation and rehearsal, one part they did not rehearse is when or if something goes wrong.

    Freezing on stage can happen to even the most seasoned presenter, and having a script or a set of queue cards on hand can quickly refresh/reboot your brain to get you back on track and avoid the torturous feeling of being in a slow-motion crash.

    Steve Jobs was a very experienced presenter. One of the best. Yet even though his preparation was meticulous — often taking as much as six months to put together a keynote presentation — things still went wrong. In this famous clip of a keynote Steve Jobs gave back in 2010, the WIFI network was very slow. When you watch the clip, it feels like it goes on forever, yet it only lasts around two and a half minutes. For a presentation that lasted about two hours, two and a half minutes is around two per cent. Not at all long, yet for Steve Jobs and the audience, the whole incident felt a lot longer.

    Fortunately, as a seasoned presenter, Steve Jobs broke the tension and the feeling that time was slowing down by using humor and eventually moving on to the next part of the keynote. He had a backup, and his backup was to quickly, and without fuss, move on to the next segment.

    Always have a backup plan and an exit strategy. Be prepared for the worst and be ready to switch to your backup plan if things do go wrong.

    2. Focus on What You Have Control Over

    You have control over three things: your thoughts, your emotions, and your actions. Nothing else. You cannot control events, how other people judge you, or whether another person will get upset by what you say or do.

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    Most bad days are a result of the way we react to something we have no control over. A client takes their business to your rival. You had no control over that. That was a decision your client made based on a set of circumstances and the way they felt about those circumstances. The only control you have in this situation is how you feel about losing a client. You could be angry; you might look around for someone to blame or for an excuse. But in the end, none of that will change the fact you no longer serve that client.

    In these situations, always begin by reminding yourself about what you have control over. Are there any positive action steps you can take that will solve the problem? Are you allowing your emotions to influence your mood? Are you thinking negatively or positively about this situation?

    In all these scenarios, you can instantly decide to change your thoughts, your feelings, and the action you take. You have to make that decision.

    If you do lose an important client, and there is no solution, you can use the experience to learn. Use it as an opportunity to analyze what went wrong and implement changes to the way you do things that minimize the chances of a similar situation happening with your other clients in the future.

    Dwelling on the loss will prolong your suffering, slowing down perceived time and making you feel dreadful. Using the situation to learn from your mistakes will help you to get back on track and keep time moving forward at a pace you are satisfied with.

    3. Take Full Responsibility for the Situation

    Accepting full responsibility for your life allows you to overcome adversity and difficulties. While a massive viral pandemic may not be your fault, what you do in the circumstances is your responsibility.

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    Being in lockdown, where you must remain in your home, is something beyond your control (see number 2), but what you do with your time, how you manage your work, and how you maintain your health is your responsibility.

    Governments may order you to stay at home, but what you do with your time while you are at home is something you are responsible for.

    In these situations, you have a choice. Use the extra time you have positively, or pass responsibility for your life to the daily negative news cycles.

    When you take responsibility for your life, you take back control[3].

    Complaining about the situation only ensures you stay stuck in the same miserable place. Accepting responsibility for your life gives you so many more options.

    You could take that online course you have been thinking about doing, or paint that picture you have wanted to do for years. You could clean out your old clothes, do the spring cleaning, or clear out your garage. There are hundreds of things you could do that, before this global pandemic, you always complained you had no time for. Now you do have time.

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    Busying yourself with these tasks turns any bad situation into an opportunity, and time will no longer seem such a drudge; instead, it will feel like a godsend.

    Key Takeaways

    There are many inevitabilities in life. One of those inevitabilities is that you will have bad times. Dwelling on your lousy situation, complaining, and reliving the experience over and over will only cause time to slow down perceptually.

    Accepting the inevitable, approaching it with a “cest la vie” mindset. and looking for the positives will soon pull you away from the difficult times and back to more fertile areas where you can thrive and grow, and time will begin to feel much faster.

    More to Make Hard Times Go By Easier

    Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

    Reference

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