“So much of our time is preparation, so much is routine, and so much retrospect, that the path of each man’s genius contracts itself to a very few hours.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are just 24 hours in a day. Just 1440 minutes. Just 86,440 seconds
In 1 year, there are 12 months, 365 days, 8760 hours, 525,600 minutes.
How often do you intend doing something but find you just never have the time to get around to it? How many things have you started but never had the time to get them finished? Have you ever wished that you could have more time to follow different activities and goals?
Too often people feel like there really isn’t enough time in the day to do everything they need to get done. If you’re feeling this way then this article is for you.
So come on, tell me, have you ever felt like there just weren’t enough hours in the day?
A common theme I read from other bloggers is that they really struggle in getting everything done. They just never seem to have enough time. They’re always busy doing something. There are so many things they have to do as bloggers. Research, writing, publishing, search engine optimisation, social networking, commenting, replying to comments, design… the list just goes on and on. There’s no doubt that blogging is an extremely demanding activity. As your ranking goes higher, the comments your articles receive increases, the more things you find you need to do. Your blogging to do list seems to spiral out of control, getting bigger and bigger. Most bloggers I know, also have a full time job, as well as many other responsibilities, so they end up staying up into the early hours of the morning trying to squeeze in what needs to be done for their blog. This doesn’t make them able to be at their best when they then go to work a few hours later. I wrote about this in a previous article called Is Blogging Good for Your Health.
It may seem like there aren’t enough hours in the week to get everything done. That may be true or it may be that you are not using your time as efficiently as possible.
Of course if you could add a few hours to the day, wouldn’t things be great. You could get so much more done. You would simply have much more time to do the things you wanted to do. Everything you do now in a typical day could be done for a little longer: you could sleep longer, work longer, spend longer with your family and friends, and have more leisure time, and still have time to blog, blog, blog.
Alas, no matter what you do, you can’t find an extra hour or two, you got 24 hours, and that’s it. But something has to change, you can’t keep diving in and working like a maniac to try and get everything done in one day, because as you have already found out, you will quickly find out it’s impossible and you will only be worse off at the end of the day.
Everyone struggles with using time effectively. So, if you can’t find any extra time, you have to decide how to use the time you already have.
You know you can’t carry on with every day jam packed with time consuming activities, running around like a headless chicken, going from one thing to another. Constantly trying to get one thing done, while your thoughts are stuck on focusing on all the other things you need to be doing. Add to this the stress of guilt you feel about not being able to spend enough time with those people you love.
Your ‘To do List’ is crammed full of job after job that needs doing. More than you, or anyone could handle in one day. Putting yourself into this type of situation, ensures you never have enough time to actually en joy life. You work from maybe 9am to 9pm, Monday to Friday, get home, have an unhealthy meal, and then go to bed. The next day, up you get, normal time, off to work and go through the same old routine. Before you know it the week has just hurtled by, then the month, the year, suddenly five years have flown by, and you’re still stuck in the same rut, doing the same things day by day.
If you feel that you are being unproductive , you need to ask yourself a question. Are you really sure you want to do what you are doing at the moment? Are you 100% happy about the direction you are moving in?
Don’t beat yourself up about not getting enough done. If you’re not as productive as you want to be, it’s probably more about direction and desire than your ability to use time. In my book, the best way to make time work for you, is to have a clear direction and be totally determined to achieve it.
Once you figure out what you really want to do and start working towards it, everything will change. The answer I found to manage my time most effectively was to ensure I had a clear direction, and spending my time taking action, instead of researching, assimilating information, planning. Because once you have a clear direction, it’s all about execution, producing results. It’s remarkable how much you can get done each and every day once you know what you want to achieve, and then multiply that over the course of a month or year, when you are working towards clear goals each and every day.
In a previous article – Live Like you Were Dying I said that a dying man would live more deliberately, laugh more joyously, celebrate more happily, give more generously, serve more freely, love more intensely. Isn’t this better than the way you live right now? So that when you are drawing your final breath you will have no regrets. You won’t look back and say, “I wish I had…”
Many years ago I started to use the Anthony Robbins Rapid Planning Method. The basis of this system was to develop a new psychology based on consistently asking and answering three simple questions.
YOUR TARGET: What Result are you committed to achieving? What is your Outcome?
YOUR REASONS: What is your Purpose? Why do you want to do this?
YOUR MAP: What is your Massive Action Plan? What are the specific actions you need to take in order to achieve this result?
Whether you are planning a day, a week, or a project, your plan will be based around asking and answering these three questions. If you did nothing else but start asking and answering these three questions, you would immediately begin to see a radical shift in your thought process and therefore the results you are producing in your life.
In no time at all you will move towards removing what’s not important, what you dread doing, what doesn’t make you feel good about yourself and where your life is going.
By changing the questions you ask when managing your life, you will immediately change your focus, gain access to new resources within yourself, and produce a better quality result.
Focus is the ultimate power that can change the way we think, the way we feel, and what we do in any moment. When we change our focus, we change our lives. What we focus on determines the direction in which we move.
In fact, whether you are succeeding at what you’re doing right now in your career, your personal life, your health, or your relationships is largely a reflection off what you are focusing on in these areas of your life – or if you are even focusing on those areas at all.
At night, before I go to bed, I make a list of all the things which need to be done on the following day. I keep a “running” list of “things to do”. From this list, I choose what needs to be done and/or what can be accomplished the next day towards my goals.
Time is all we have. Most of us can feel time running away. The older we get the quicker times seems to go. Many of us are slaves to time, living my the movement of the hands on your watch.
By formulating a purpose to your life, having an inspiring future vision, a mid-distant goal en route and some immediate objectives to start working on at once will empower your life, and help you manage time.
Don’t get me wrong. I know how difficult it is to organise yourself. I certainly am aware how many distractions you can get, and the number of mundane tasks you feel that you must carry out. Yet when your focus is driven by an ultimate goal, a picture of how you want your life to be, it seems that your time gets to be structured far better.
If organising yourself is a weakness, then a brilliant system can be discovered in “Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen.
“When you start to make things happen, you really begin to believe that you can make things happen. And that makes things happen”. David Allen.