Time is something all small business owners appreciate. It’s also something that we all struggle with, as I’m sure you’ll agree. There’s never enough time to do the things you want to do, as you’re so busy doing the things you need to do! But after watching a TED talk by Laura Vanderkam, my view of time has changed, and the question we should be asking ourselves is ‘Are you doing all you can, to put your time to good use?’
Because we tend to have time management backwards. We tend to try fitting in the things we want to do, into the available time we have left after everything else. But if we genuinely want to put our time to good use, we need to be making time for the things we want to do, first.
Be aware of where your time is going
It starts with being aware of where your time is going. This isn’t so you can necessarily shave time off those activities or look to do things faster, by looking to save little snippets of time out of your day. It’s about being aware of where your time is going – and ensuring that you’re using it wisely on the things you want to be doing.
Are you even scheduling time for the things you want to do? Because life doesn’t happen when you have the time – it’s happening now. And as Laura mentions in her TED talk:
QUOTE: We don’t build the lives we want by saving time. We build the lives we want, and then time saves itself. Laura Vanderkam
Successful people know what they’re spending their time on and are making sure they only do the things that they want to do. The things that light them up and are within their zone of genius.
So look at where you’re spending your time and ask yourself ‘are you spending it on the things you want to do?’
Time is set – but where you spend it is your choice
As Laura states in her talk, time is elastic, and it will stretch to accommodate what you choose to put into it. Every minute of every day is your choice. When you look at it that way, your choices determine where you spend your time – so you need to focus on your priorities. Put your time to good use by choosing to spend it on the things that are important to you.
How often do you tell yourself that you don’t have the time? If time is a choice you’ll understand – it’s not that you don’t have the time to do the things you want or need to do. It’s more that you’ve decided the task isn’t important enough for you to choose to do. When you compare it to the other options, you decide it isn’t how you want to spend your time.
Find the time for what matters to you, if you want to put your time to good use
Because we all find time for the things that matter and the things that are urgent. Stop trying to squeeze what you want to do into your available spare time. Instead, look to treat those things that matter to you as a priority – and schedule time in for them!
Drop tasks that aren’t essential. Cut down on your TV watching and start offloading tasks other people can do, to other people!
If you had an emergency to deal with or an opportunity to go to some event you’ve always wanted to go to, you’d find the time. But if you were asked beforehand if you had that time spare, your answer would often be no!
Know what your priorities are and schedule them in first.
Be honest about where you’re choosing to spend your time
And finally, be honest with yourself. Because how you spend your time is a choice. You can continue to use your odd snippets of available time to check emails or scroll through social media feeds. Or you can choose to read something inspirational, spending a couple of minutes connecting in with yourself and how you’re feeling, and focusing on your breathing.
Put your available time to good use. Rather than looking at your career, personal life and self-care as separate entities, look at how you want your life to be as a whole. Use this as a prompt to decide what’s important to you. What will make your life feel good? What good stuff can you do, and when will you do it?
When you focus on what matters to you, you’ll always find the time you need to make it happen. And if you’re putting your time to good use, you’ll have the life you want.
If you’re looking to redress the balance in your life and put your time to good use by outsourcing more tasks, why not get in touch? Let’s see how Elite PA Solutions can help provide you with the solutions and help you need.