One sobering truth for me that has guided a good portion of my adult is that every person shares one commodity equally: time. When I think of the people who do great things, accomplish amazing feats, and leave a lasting mark on this world, I am quickly reminded that every one of those individuals had the same amount of time I have each day.
24 hours…the great equalizer.
We can argue some people have more money, more education, greater network, or whatever, but you can never argue someone has more time. It all comes down to how we use our time. How do you manage your time, and do you leverage it to increase your success or do you allow it to rule you and overwhelm you.
Today I want to provide you with a couple things…but we will get to that.
What I have learned from my own struggle with time is this: there never seems to be enough, and others have a tendency to determine how I spend my time. How many of you can relate to this?
Life has a tendency to creep into our schedule and take it over. Demands from our kids, our employers, our family members, and anyone else with an opinion of what we should do with our precious minutes. Unless we are intentional about scheduling our time, we fall into the trap of reacting to everything that seems urgent, which is almost everything. Working with people I have learned that since I have a desire to help people when someone finds themselves in an emergency I take on that emergency as my own and drop everything to deal with whatever the situation is. What I learned over time was that just because it was an emergency in their lives didn’t mean it had to be in mine. Often the emergency was not that the situation was dire, but that their emotions couldn’t handle it. I am sure if you look in your own life, people come to you with ’emergencies’ that when we step back and take an objective look at them, they aren’t emergencies at all.
Today, I wanted to give you a little tool to use to get a handle on what you do with your time. This is not an easy exercise, but it is an eye-opening exercise. The tool is a daily time tracker. Now, this is not revolutionary, and I am sure there are other time trackers out there that look prettier or have more bells and whistles. This one is designed to simply help you get a snapshot of your days. What I want to encourage you to do is use this time tracker each day for at least three days…five would be better…and it will give you a great perspective on how you spend your time. Having an idea of how you spend your time will empower you to start making a ‘not-to-do list’, or a list of things you need to stop doing.
If you want to go a step further, sign up to be a part of the Modern Inklings Community and tomorrow you will receive another tool that will help you assess the time you tracked. If you do these two things this week, you will be ready for next week when we will look at the time matrix.
Have a wonderful rest of the day, and remember to always look ahead to the horizon, otherwise, you will miss the sunset.
For further study on this area of time management and becoming more productive with your life, I want to encourage you to read Ordering Your Private World by Gordon McDonald. This book helped me figure out my daily rhythms and understand when I should do what tasks for the best use of my time. When I was in college, it changed my life. Thank you, Craig Cunningham!