This is a follow up article of the LinkedIn publication, the infinity aspect of time.
I decided to look back into how I spent my time when once again I felt like I lost touch of it. I had a lot to do; work, build my company and finish up a book editing and all these demanded almost 100% of my time if you include my sleeping hours. I had to go back and see what made it possible for me to make things happen back when I was in school and this is the list that I came up with.
Stop Looking for Time and Start Making time
Everyone has a 24 hours allocation of time every day and it is up to you to decide how you are going to spend it. Whether you are an entrepreneur or you work for someone, how you spend your time is entirely in your control. If you have an 8-5 job, you have consciously allowed that time allocation to be for your job and the other 15 hours still lie at the palm of your hands for you to decide what you are going to do with it. When someone says they do not have time for something they are actually saying that they do not want to make time for it. Think about it, if you really wanted to do it, nothing will make you procrastinate unless it was a matter of life and death.
How Bad do You Want to do it?
People driven by passion will understand this better and even those who are not, at one point in your life you must have wanted to do something so bad that you had to look for any time available to do it. I remember when I was young and wanted to lick some sugar (behind my mother’s back of course), I would time her and wait for an opportune time to do it. Even if she was around all day, there was definitely that time that she was not looking and then I would mischievously open the sugar dish and steal my way into my desire.
What do you want to do, and how bad does it mean for it to get done? If it is not that important to you, you will definitely look for excuses to pass time and never get to it. If you want to finish writing that book, even five minutes in the lavatories are enough to get at least three paragraphs done.
Prioritize, Goal Setting
Of course there are things that are more urgent than others. How do you plan your time around this. When you are led by a goal, for example,”By the end of the week I should have gone for at least three gym sessions.” You will make time around your week to make it happen. Now, this will require point number 1 and 2 to accompany it. You have to want to do it bad enough and you have to make time for it. Treat your goals like rituals that have to be done and you will be surprised by how much you could accomplish. It does not have to be constant times every day. You can play your schedule around your goal. Say, on Monday after work, on Thursday during the lunch break and on Saturday morning. For me, the more diverse the activity is planned out, the more I look forward to it.
At the end of the week, have you performed your rituals as you had planned? How did you feel after doing that and where do you need to improve. Goal making goes hand in hand with account taking. This way, you are able to follow up and tick out what you have accomplished. You can as well go ahead and add a gift to every time management goal you set for yourself and accomplish it just to appreciate the efforts that no one else will notice.
Know Your Best Hours
It is very helpful when you know what times work best for you. For example, I used to have my reading sessions in the morning on my way to work since this was the time that I was most alert. The motivational time where I listened to a speaker came during lunch break as my concentration was not quite good for a book reading at that time but worked well for listening to something to keep me on my toes for the remaining half of the day. Something like blogging I had to make time in the evening when I needed to unwind and writing helped me do that. My time allocation is a bit different now that I work from home but I listen to myself to see what should be done at what time. It does not have to be the same time as yesterday but at the end of the day, it has to be done.
You can test yourself to find out when your super power time is and allocate something that needs a lot of concentration there. Always remember that you are in control of your time. Time is not a limited resource, you do the limiting yourself. Study other successful people’s behavior around time and you will realize that all of them have one thing in common, they are intentional on how they spend their time.