Multiply Your Time

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness, how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” Dr. Theodor Seuss

Do you ever wish you had a few more hours in a day to get done everything you need and want to do? I can think of a recent experience in the final push to get ready for our company’s 40th Anniversary, where some extra hours in a day were needed. I even reached a point during the project thinking that we also needed a few additional days to finalize and complete the remaining important tasks.

As much as we may often end our day needing an extra hour, I can think of some days in my life that I wish had been even shorter. I am sure you have had a few of those days, too. Time is a factor we cannot ignore – and there are plenty of books and seminars that speak to its importance.

You cannot really manage your time. You can only manage yourself.  Do you agree?

A Newsweek report suggested that an average person spends an hour a day looking for ‘stuff.’ Even if we do not spend a complete hour, most of us would agree that we do spend some time each day looking for things. One of the frequent items on our search list is probably car keys.  A simple solution to reduce ‘search for the keys’ time is available to all of us.  Yet, many of us will get up, day-after-day, looking for keys. We know it is a problem and yet we may do nothing to resolve it.  Do you currently invest any amount of time searching for things? Does it make sense to create a simple solution to reduce time spent searching and invest this time into something more productive?

In Rory Vaden’s book “Procrastinate on Purpose,” in simple, yet powerful words, he writes: “Just think for a moment about all of the stuff that you’re doing that you don’t need to be doing. And the real power here is that you are looking for things that you can just stop doing. No explanation. No warning. No ramp down time. No apology. What are the things that we can just stop?”

In his paradigm-shifting book, Rory turns everything you know about time upside down. He identifies five life-changing principles regarding self-management that lead to managing our life for greater success:

  • Eliminate
  • Automate
  • Delegate
  • Procrastinate
  • Concentrate

Can you name one thing you can stop today and then use that time for something more productive? All of us have more than just one element. Start today with just one!  Each week, add another item to your list. As Rory points out, there is no “ramp down” time in things that we can stop today.

I have resolved to spend less time watching the news in the morning. After you watch 30 minutes of national news, often the next 30-minute segment is a repeat of what you just heard. As much as I like listening to the news of the day, I discovered that my time was spent revisiting familiar territory.  I intend to invest this 30 minutes in something very productive for me . . . writing! I can start work on that third book and develop a better structure for my newsletter.  It’s a change that needs no discussion . . . no retraining . . . no apology. Reduction of TV time is one example of implementing Rory’s eliminate principle to manage yourself.

We all have the same amount of time. There is no method ever created that will give us more time in any given day. Time is not the issue.

Today, I will not manage my time . . .

I will manage myself.

I will start with eliminating something obvious that requires no discussion.

I will . . .