Time is Your Friend
Imagine you are holding $86,400 right now. Quite a chunk of change, right? What if you could actually receive that chunk of change—$86,400—every day for the rest of your life with just one stipulation? You must use ALL of the money every single day. Would you jump at the challenge of spending that money freely and entirely?
What would you do with $86,400 every single day?
When asked that question, many people turn on their Responsibility Radar and begin spouting off what they’d pay off: student loans, auto loans, mortgages, credit card debt, etc. Others become Dreaming Divas (or Dudes) and share travel plans, house purchases, charitable causes they’d support more than they currently can, daily random acts of kindness for others, etc.
There’s something interesting about that number 86,400. The number represents the number of seconds we are given every day. Big, big number, right? And yet, how often do we hear people say, “I just ran out of time,” or “Time just snuck up on me, and I wasn’t able to complete that like I said I would”? Worse yet, how often do we make those excuses ourselves? Do we treat time like it’s our enemy, or are we using it as fully as we can each day to get the best results possible?
While some people have figured out how to make time their friend, others of us probably need a few tips to allow that ‘friendship’ to flourish! Here are a few to get you moving in the right direction.
1. Know when you’re at your peak performance.
Are you a morning person? If so, schedule your most important tasks first thing in the morning because that is when you are at your best. Mornings aren’t your friend, you say? Wish you could skip them all? Then putting together the super important client proposal at 7:30 a.m. isn’t the best idea for you! Know when you’re at your best so you can utilize that time for your most important work which results in you knocking ‘em dead with your greatness!
2. Create a daily must-do and should-do list.
When creating your to-do list (or schedule or calendar or whatever you use to keep track of YOU), divide it into two categories: Must Dos and Should Dos.
Just as we typically slice that piece of cake larger than what we should, we also create unrealistic goals for ourselves when we have 68 items on a to-do list and a work day that will account for only nine of them! Must Dos are those tasks that absolutely must—no matter what—be completed by day’s end. Should Dos are those items that would be fabulous to get to, but if you don’t, the sky isn’t going to fall on you, Chicken Little.
Life will go on, and some of those Should Dos may end up on your Must Do list tomorrow.
3. Find how best to keep track of you.
I shared a few options above for how some people keep track of their many to-dos. I work with people who use written lists, electronic calendars, task lists within programs, Day-timers, etc. If you’re keeping track of your to-dos and you’re getting them done on time, you’ve found the secret to keeping track of you. Congratulations!
If you find yourself missing deadlines, being a no-show at meetings, and forgetting about Happy Hour with your college friends, it’s time to find a new method. Ideally, the way you keep track of you is with you at all times. Many people keep their obligations, scheduled events, and tasks-to-do electronically which means they can access those items on their computer, tablet, and smart phone. If you prefer a written method to track your schedule and to-dos, keep it with you whether you’re at your desk at work or sitting at your daughter’s soccer practice. You never know when an invitation might come from the other soccer moms and dads to celebrate the team’s winning season. Checking that schedule right then and there ensures you’re able to suggest days and times when you’re available.
I mentioned cake earlier. Remember that? I thought you might! This article is just piece number one of your delicious Get It All Done/Time is My Friend cake. Next month we’ll be ready for piece number two. In the meantime, do your best to implement these three tips if you’re not using them already, and ask yourself if you’re more productive and less stressed as a result. That’s what we’re all looking to achieve so open your mind, work on those Must Dos at the right time using the right method, and let’s make it happen!