“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.” Jackson Brown
There is one wish I constantly keep hearing from entrepreneurs, working parents and top executives. It’s the wish for more TIME. The yearning for more time is not only limited to working professionals. Everybody has this yearning – even stay-at-home mothers and fathers complain about not having enough time to get everything done. Our generation is the busiest generation ever! Our schedules are packed with activities, many of which drain us and stop us from being our most productive selves. We have many gadgets to save us time in our homes and businesses, yet we are still overwhelmed by the amount of work that we allow into our lives.
Personally, I could do with more time, but I have come to realise that the problem really isn’t always about needing more time because we’ll just fill any extra time we have with more activity, leaving us exactly where we were. I believe the idea that time is all you need to get more done is limiting. It’s a limiting belief because it stops you dead in your tracks by focusing on something we all know you cannot manufacture any more of. Time is our most asset because it is in short supply and each moment is a gift you cannot claim back. You can buy more of everything but time. That is why you need to decide to spend it only on things that are valuable to you. You can make more money if you need to, but you cannot buy time. The idea that you need more of something that is clearly irreplaceable and in very short supply hinders you psychologically because you start to believe that there is not much else you can do with the time you have on your hands. You feel like a victim and out of control.
I had the most productive year when I worked only one day a week due to family challenges. I can’t believe it myself when I look back. During that year, I wrote several e-books, more than 52 articles, trained for and ran a half-marathon while looking after my one-year-old son.
I was also consistently growing my consulting and coaching practice, taking on new and better-quality clients, and laid a lot of the foundation of the business I run today. I didn’t realise I was doing all these things until a few people asked me how I managed to fit it all in. Looking back, I don’t know how I managed it, but I believe I was in a different mental space and my mindset and singular focus had a lot to do with what I achieved that year. I have read a lot of books over the years. Pretty much any book on time management and productivity that I could lay my hands on, I read. I read them and applied their principles but what I found – as you will find – is that it is difficult following somebody else’s approach to the T because we have different lives, different habits and different personalities.
I have written my own book on time management but this book is not prescriptive – it is not to tell you how to manage your time. I will not tell you to do it as I did it, but I’ll share some broad principles and give you some strategies and ideas that you can adapt to fit in with your life. It’s not about innovative ideas, but about going back to basics to see what has worked over the years and continues to work today for the highly productive people I our society. Although I have learnt a lot from the tips and techniques offered by the various productivity gurus, I found myself coming back, time and time again, to basic principles that are very simple yet effective. These principles are overlooked by most people in their obsessive search for the ever-elusive ultimate time management tool or technique. These simple techniques have stood the test of time and technology and will continue to do so because time management is not dependent on any of them.
If you want to find out more about it click HERE to get my ‘Rip Up Your To-Do List’ book.
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