“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” ~ M. Scott Peck
We all lead busy lives – we have jobs, responsibilities, all things that take up a lot of our valuable time.
But how much of your time is taken with doing things that is aligned to what’s important to you? To the goals you are trying to achieve?
How far do you take a proportion of your day to do something that your future self will thank you for?
The feeling of being too busy will stifle your growth. It will stifle what you want to achieve leaving you feeling despondent and demotivated when another year passes and you’ve have yet to make the progress you planned for the year before.
The more you do the things that are important to you, the more you take the time to do things that you really want and then the happier you become.
The happier you are the more energy and motivation you have to achieve the things you have always wanted to do.
To do this, however, calls on you to be disciplined with your time and have more awareness of where there are opportunities to use it better.
There are lots of things you can do to take back control and reclaim your time, but here are my 5 personal favourites:
1. Determine what is important to you and what you would love to achieve
You cannot take control of your life and make the progress you want if you have not spent time thinking about what’s important to you, what you love to achieve and the crucial bit, how you can find the time to make it happen.
Whatever your personal or professional goals, you need to be ready to take small repeated steps to make them happen. Check out Achibé Cards which were created just for this purpose.
2. Underestimate what you can achieve in a day
Do you love a to-do list? I do. I find it relaxing and motivating to list all the things I still need to do. I take extreme pleasure in ticking those things off. But occasionally I get carried away. My to do list is too long and knowing full well I will struggle to achieve anything on it, it gets abandoned.
Instead make a master list and then it is easy to pick 3 or 4 things you can achieve in a day. If you find time and space to do more, refer back to your master list and have a go at something else
3. Commit to getting things done
The amount of time we waste putting of the things that we don’t want to do or don’t feel motivated to tackle. No harm in that, you might say but when we are procrastinating are we really spending our time doing alternative tasks of value? I guarantee you the answer is probably no. Let’s make a deal to commit and in the spirit of reclaiming our time back to do the things we love, procrastination has no part to play in our daily lives.
4. Find out when you are most productive
We all have times of the day when we can blitz through work. Take the time to uncover your power hours as I call them and make sure you organise your day to get the harder things (the tasks that need the most concentration) completed in this time. These power hours can also be used for planning your goals, personal or professional and doing the things that are most important to you.
5. Limit time drainers
By time wasters I mean the menial or draining things we do that add no value to our lives whatsoever. I’m talking about television, checking emails constantly, scrolling through the various social media channels with no other purpose that to ‘see what’s going on’.
Keep a log for 7 days of everything you do. From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. That includes your habits, routines and making a note of how long you spend doing each thing. You’ll be surprised as the number of time drainers you uncover.
You will have to sacrifice something
If you want to reclaim your time, it’s because you’ve realised there are other things you would like to achieve and you are struggling to find time and energy to make things happen.
We can’t get what we want if we keep on doing what we’ve always done. But some of the sacrifices are not big sacrifices we have just to learn how to reapportion our time.
Now is the time for you to evaluate your daily routines. Why? Because I guarantee you that you will find space. You’ll find space to put yourself first, you will find space to do what you love to do and you will find space to prioritise the things that matter. Anything that is not contributing to the life you want to live needs to be eliminated. No question.
This means that you are in the right place to achieve all the things that you want to achieve.
Time is valuable. It’s a luxury because we don’t have an infinite amount of it. Think of time like a haul of gold bars. One for every hour and minute of the day.
Would you waste gold bars?