Recently I have been thinking more about time. How little it seems we have compared to how much needs to be done. We all receive 24 hours yet some appear to accomplish much in this time and others very little. I think of world leaders, politicians, producers and the like who more often than not achieve their objectives. I presume they go to sleep just as you and I do therefore they have no additional hours in the day in which to function. Having said that they may well limit their sleeping hours. I read the late Margaret Thatcher, UK Prime Minister 1979 to 1990 slept for just four hours a night. Clearly she was able to function with minimum sleep!
In order to achieve your desired outcome on a project or process, you need to focus and shut off any distractions. TV and social media are major culprits in taking up our time but only if we let them. We are in control of what we choose to give our time to. It is our responsibility to make good use of our time.
Around three years ago I made the decision to stop watching UK soap operas. For those in the UK I am referring to Eastenders, Emmerdale and Coronation Street. My daughter was six year old and slowly becoming consumed by the storylines which were usually rather negative. I decided there and then I did not want these soaps acting as any form of influence in her life so stopped watching them- just like that! I did not miss them at all and even better I got back 1.5 hours of my life every evening to carry out far more constructive activities such as reading, jotting down ideas for my blog and networking on LinkedIn.
Perhaps watching television may not be an issue for you but I have listed some tips below;
1. If you find you spend an hour or two on the telephone each evening, consider making calls during lunchtime or on your commute.
2. If you find you waste time on the internet, consider allocating specific time slots to do this or log out of particular sites making it less easy for you to mindlessly surf.
3. Be confident in declining another ‘night out’ if it will mean you can spend time on a project or task. Whilst socialising is important sometimes you have to weigh up which will bring more value to your life.
So to end, there will be a continuous string of events, people and circumstances wanting to utilise your time. It is unlikely you can juggle them all therefore you will need to prioritise and prioritise some more.
How do you manage your time?
How do you find the balance between work, business and leisure?