“Time is an illusion.”
– Albert Einstein
Often, I hear people remark “there just isn’t enough time.” They omit, what I believe is, the end of the sentence “… to get everything done that I want to get done.” The fact about time is that everyone has an equal amount. There are 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week, and 8760 in a year. Every person on the planet is given the same amount of time to work with. How we choose to fill that time is up to us. We must prioritize the things that truly matter in order to maximize our use of this fixed time resource.
In order to prioritize the things that truly matter, you must first define what those are. For individuals and organizations alike, this means getting really clear about what you value, what you want to achieve, and what actions keep you on the path toward those goals. If you make this a very long and extensive list, then you will be spreading thin your available time. If you define a small number of things, you will be able to spend more time on those few things.
Defining your values will assist you in defining your goals. Defining your goals will assist you in defining the activities you will engage in. Once you have these activities identified, you can begin allocating your fixed time budget. Planning your time is actually the easy part. Guarding your time to ensure you can utilize it to your advantage is much more difficult, as life is full of interruptions and distractions. Whenever you feel that “there isn’t enough time”, stop and ask yourself “Is what I’m doing right now consistent with my values and goals?” If they answer is “no”, stop immediately and evaluate what you can do to get back on course.
Through clarifying values and goals, defining how your time is to be spent, and diligently adhering to those plans, you can take control of your time and use all 168 hours a week to create the life you truly want to live.
“Do anything, but let it produce joy.”