Let’s face it, time is becoming the most important currency and we all need some more, daily. Now, how do we go from the forever “I have no time’ to “I have time” or maybe better “I have time for the things that are important and relevant to me”.
At work, the higher we go on the hierarchy scale the more we will be, interrupted or pulled in different directions.
While we cannot eliminate interruptions, we do have a say on how much time we will spend on them. Even more, if we preempt part of these interruptions by having review meetings with our teams before they find a need to interrupt for clarifications, we will see that easy the number of interruptions decreases and as a result the time available in hand increases.
We also have a say in how much time we will spend on the thoughts, conversations, and actions that will lead to success. Actions, being the key word here …
I used to think a few years back that I can only concentrate on one division we had at that time in the business and give it the whole 100% if we want it to be successful. Forget about time for myself, that was not even in the discussion. My schedule was simple; it would start at 7 am and finish by 1 am . Many days were spent in the office until 9 pm. And do not get me wrong I enjoyed every bit of it and remember these times with pleasure.
In time however, I realized that there are so many more things that I want to do, both for my company as well as for me as an individual. And I always thought that there has to be a way if there is desire to do it.
Funny enough, few years down the line, I now manage to find additional time for few divisions in the business and few other ventures as well. On top of that, I also travel and enjoying taking the time to plan my own trips, go to the gym maybe more than one who says “gymming is my hobby” does, read and do many other things that are important for me.
This, however, happened only when I really truly wanted to make the shift.
You see time is mostly a matter of the mind, so the good part is, we can control it if we want to.
So what would be the key to finding time for all the things that we want to do..
First and most important we need to sit down and put on a piece of paper all the things that we want to do and then accordingly start scheduling them. If we were to ask ourselves today, what is it that we would want to do if we had more time, most of us would not even know what they would want to do…Try it.
It is no rocket science, just better planning. We are so engaged in our daily routines that we rarely take a step back and consider what we are missing.
To summarize, here are few key things which in my opinion can get us to find the time we need. Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work but doable.
- Mindset. We will never have time to do everything we want to do unless we are determined to find the time
- Daily job/task list. Taking the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day. The most important time of the day is the time we schedule. Lots of the things we would want to do are missed are not because of lack of time. They are missed because of lack of planning and prioritizing.
- Focus -there are usually 20 different things going on around us at the same time. Let’s leave them for now and concentrate on the issue at hand. Yes, multitasking is , brilliant; however, one of its negatives is that it affects the productivity on the issue at hand.
- Communication – we need to be clear and precise while communicating. It can reduce a lot of confusion and thus save a lot of time.
- Cut the extra fluff in the office. It’s amazing how much time we can lose on irrelevant conversations and social media. Let’s concentrate on why, how, what, rather than who. (More on this later)
- Monitor what we are doing once we have finished our work day. Yes, 6pm-12pm matters and it can change a lot of things for us. It is almost an entire half a day in which we can do lots of other things we want to do. Let’s not waste this time on tv alone, please.
- Learn to say no: How many times we have done things we did not really wanted to do or just did them for the sake of doing them. Instead of that let’s just ask ourselves, am I here because I want to be and is the time spent here going to help me achieve my goals.
- Ask for help. Help from other people at similar levels with similar concerns, help from apps which can make life easier.
That being said, I by all means do not consider myself an expert in managing time. It is all work in progress, however what I do know is that I have much more time in hands now with more things to do than I used to have 8 years back with less things to do…so some of the things mentioned above are just working.