Let’s start with a simple self-assessment in regard to how you currently view time.
1. I commit to completing a task or activity by placing it on my calendar for an exact date and time. T or F
2. I track and measure how long each of my activities takes and what result I have gotten from them in relationship to my highest-level outcomes. T or F
3. I, my team and my closest family members are clear about what I want to achieve this year and in the next 3 years. T or F
4. I properly prioritize my activities each day. T or F
5. I have been told I am skilled at delegating to others those tasks and activities that they can do better than I can. T or F
6. I am able to focus on my most important activities and don’t allow myself to become distracted from them very often. T or F
7. I rarely procrastinate my highest 2 priorities each day. T or F
8. I rarely feel or think that I have “taken on too much”. T or F
9. I rarely feel “overwhelmed”. T or F
10. I reach my highest priority goals consistently, and in a way that brings me deeply satisfying accomplishments. T or F
So, how did you do? If you marked more than 2 or 3 as false, it’s possible to improve your view and use of time in a way that will get you better results.
Steve Jobs didn’t get more of it than most of us to build a company, Elon Musk didn’t get more to build a rocket ship, Warren Buffet didn’t receive more to make his first billion, and Nelson Mandella had to manage his with incredible focus and certainty in order to have the impact he did.
People who have 5 kids get the same allotment as those who have 1 or none. CEO’s get no more to manage thousands of employees, customers and problems than managers who have dozens.
So, why do we make designing our time so complicated? Why do we consistently blame time? Time has such a bad reputation and it doesn’t have a way of defending itself. Maybe that’s why we frequently blame it when something goes wrong. It can’t argue back. Time can’t stand up and say, “Why are you attacking me for YOUR lack of planning and execution?”
It’s time to give time a break and begin realizing that it may not be it’s fault. What if it is our lack of designing it properly that is causing the results, good or bad, that we are experiencing? Could it be that time has been getting blamed for our shortcomings in knowing how to use it properly? It’s not the hammer’s fault when it hits the wall instead of the nail. Oxygen itself isn’t to blame when it ignites when a spark gets near it. Is it our bodies “fault” when it responds better to spinach rather than a donut?
Creating a relationship with time in which you respect and understand it is key. We must stop thinking we can make more of it. We have to have realistic expectation in regard to it. We can’t think we can slow it down or speed it up. We don’t control time and it doesn’t control us. Time is time. It’s a fact. Our feelings about it won’t change it’s rules and principles.
If you want to create a better relationship and understand it better, you need to surrender and accept it’s rules and principles. Here they are:
Time is fair. It doesn’t matter how unfair it feels sometime, no one on the planet gets any more or less of it in a day than anyone else.
Time does not discriminate. Time could care less about your race, gender, age, ethnicity, income, educational background, or anything else you can think of that creates separation between us humans.
Time is consistent. Yes, it may vary by a fraction of a second each year or a whole minute within centuries, but overall, we get 24 hours in a day 7 days a week.
Time is not effected by how you feel about it. Cursing about it, blaming it, or wishing you had more of it will not effect it’s volume.
Albert Einstein once said, “We can not solve our problems with the same thinking that we used when we created them.” I haven’t met very many people that would argue with that and yet most don’t seek input from qualified individuals when they continue to get the same results over and over again. This is a classic example of something that is common sense but is not common practice.
The first step in getting better at designing your time is admitting you might not be doing it optimally. It’s okay. Designing your time is a practice. There’s no way to get perfect at it. There are too many factors involved in designing it to think that you can “set it and forget it”. To master time design you’ll need to follow these steps and check in regularly to be sure you are still on track.
To make this process as simple and easy as possible let’s start with showing you the 7 simple steps to time mastery based on the latest research and information gathered from thousands of clients, books, brain science, articles, and seminars in the last 10 years.
Step One. Focus on your richest outcomes.©
Step Two. Create and commit to your non-negotiables.©
Step Three. Increase your Time Metabolism.©
Step Four. Map, measure, and monitor your time.©
Step Five. Delegate or eliminate what you procrastinate.©
Step Six. Operate in short sprints.©
Step Seven: Build in rest and recovery periods.©