Imagine for a second that time could talk. It’s a scary thought, right?
But let’s say you looked forward to a regular chat with time. You’d probably start with a little small talk — discuss the weather, a recent vacation, and maybe a new recipe or two. Then, the discussion would quickly turn to what you really want to know, like:
“Why can’t you just slow down?” or “Why can’t I find more of you?” Better yet, “Could you please just stop? I’d like to get more done.”
Whatever the question, the answer wouldn’t likely be all that easy to stomach.
Time isn’t about to sugarcoat things. It’d tell us exactly how we’ve been using our allotment, and this type of truth-telling can sting. So, we’d slough it off, convincing ourselves that time is too old to understand. After all, it doesn’t know what we’re going through, and we’d probably go about doing things the way we always do.
When the idea for my book, Tide Turners, came to me, I was in a deep conversation with time. I was on a plane coming back from Baltimore, and I was telling time, “Don’t you understand? My company just laid people off and I have more responsibility. I’m too busy! I can’t get done what I need to get done for my job now. How can I find time to write this book?”
Here I was having this intense conversation, and time was responding, “You have me! You’re just not using me in the right way!” William Penn said it best, “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
I didn’t like what I was hearing, obviously. I was upset, and the only words I could muster were, “Show me!”
Shouting at time isn’t productive. Nor is it wise, as a laundry list was shown to me in my mind. Time wasn’t about to mollycoddle me and tell me what I wanted to hear. If I was going to write this book, I needed to change my use of time — and that’s exactly what I did.
Time revealed to me what I needed to change. It was the first step to becoming better with using time. I began to understand what I was doing by becoming self-aware, and then I made the decision to change.
Do you know what changes you need to make to better utilize time?
There are tools available to help you understand how effective you use time. If, of course, you have that conversation with time and choose to make changes, you don’t need to utilize a tool. I guess I’m a geek given I love to see numbers and how I stack up, so I took this little quiz I found online.
For those who complete this quiz, I’d like to make a special offer. The first five people to send me an email with their score, I’ll send them a free copy of Tide Turners — and I’ll send it to you prior to its release (it’s set to come out January 2017).
Time — we all have it. And we often blame time for not allowing us to get what we want accomplished. As long as you keep checking in with time, and listening to what it tells you, you’ll be more apt to make better use of it.
I mean, wouldn’t you like to hear, “I’m proud of how you’re using me.”
Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much can be done if we are always doing.
Again, here’s link to the time management quiz: http://bit.ly/2dhXfFZ
And don’t forget send me an email at email@example.com to receive a free copy of Tide Turners. The first five copies are up for grabs.
Those that are intentional don’t wait for the moment. ~ Cardiff D. Hall
Raise your hand if you’ve ever taken a time management class. How about read a book on the topic? Or maybe just downloaded an app to help plan and organize your day?
Now, put down your hands if you still feel like you can’t get everything done.
The problem with these classes, books, and apps is that they often act as Band-Aids. They’re not getting to the root cause of your use (or misuse, really) of time.
But before you can start managing your time, you must understand what it is. Time is a guiding figure in your life. And like any person, it has the ability to communicate with you — as long as you’re listening.
Ask yourself, “What is time saying to me?” Is it chastising you for being wasteful or patting you on the back for your productivity?
I’ve past the 45-yard line in terms of age and when I look back to my earlier years, I know time was sometimes upset with me. I wasn’t using time wisely, and I definitely wasn’t picking up on its cues.
To master your own time, try the following techniques:
1. Get 50 more minutes of sleep a night.
It may sound counterproductive to spend more time sleeping, but studies show that increased sleep can help you be more productive. A study by the Journal of Vision found that the length of time it takes to complete tasks often increases as you become more sleep deprived.
I was getting about 5 ½ hours of sleep a night and thought my productivity was at its peak. Once I decide to up my sleep to 7 hours, I started accomplishing more. Heck, I even wrote a book — those sleep studies can’t be wrong, right?
2. Work in 50-minute increments.
Have you ever sat down at your desk only to look up to find that hours have passed on by? It’s happened to me on more than one occasion. While it may sound counterintuitive, you’ll often accomplish more by working in 50-minute increments of time with scheduled breaks to help you recharge.
But what if you have meetings, patients, or clients all day and no breaks in between? I’d tell you to find for a new job… kidding, of course. Now, what I’d recommend is to become more self-aware with your time.
What would happen if you didn’t attend that meeting, see that client, or ask to shorten an appointment by 10 minutes? Never assume without asking the difficult questions. You may be surprised at how accommodating people can be.
3. Move the body 50 minutes a day.
I’m no doctor, so consult your physician before you amp up your level of activity, but exercise can give your body more energy. As a result, it can provide more fuel in your day—not to mention create a path to productivity.
I know I haven’t always felt like I should take time away from what I’m working on to exercise, but I certainly have more energy for the rest of the day. After all, the human body wasn’t made to sit all day.
4. Take 50 minutes of breaks in 10-minute increments.
Use these 10-minute periods to clear your mind, stretch, walk, or just get some fresh air. Implementing these intentional periods throughout your day will refresh you mind, soul and spirit.
To help ensure I stick to my 50/10-plan, I use focus@will, which allows me to set the time and play background music to enhance my productivity. Having a reminder set to prompt me to take a break is necessary. Consider doing the same for yourself.
5. Nourish the mind for 50 minutes a day.
Be it in thought, reading, or journaling, set aside at least 50 minutes to nourish the mind. This habit isn’t about surfing the web or checking social media, it’s about intentionally
Take journaling, for example. You can learn a lot about yourself by writing down how your day went, what you learned, and what you’re grateful for. You can boost your mental capacity by reading that book you’ve been putting off, or you can grow personally by attending that an online webinar. Try to feed your brain at least once a day.
If you choose to implement these 50-minute daily habits, you’ll often become more productive. You’ll start using your time more effectively, which can definitely help in reaching your goals and life dreams.
Can you hear time whispering in your ear, “Nice, you’re finally using me the right way. I’ll reward you for your efficiency.” That voice can be heard, all you need to do is decide.
Please let me know if you decide to implement these 5 habits. I’d love to feature you in a future blog and share your success story.
You can not see what you choose not to see and once you decide to focus, it will become in view. ~ Cardiff D. Hall
Enjoy our latest podcast, Things You Do to Lose Time.
Plan for today and take action so your future will tell you: I expected you. ~ Cardiff D. Hall
With most people using just 60 percent or less of their available time, time management has become a serious problem at work. Time moves whether we like it or not. You can’t stop the clock from moving forward — though you may try. And you certainly can’t make it go faster. The clock just ticks and moves ahead.
So, the question remains: Is there a way to be productive in the amount of time you do have in your day?
Yes, I believe you can be productive, and the following can help you make friends with time:
1. Remove self-limiting belief. Many people believe they must work as many hours in the day as possible to be successful. That type of thinking isn’t accurate, and it’s often self-limiting in what you think you can get done in the time allotted to you.
In fact, overwork can lead to difficulties with interpersonal communication and making judgment calls — not to mention, it increases the likelihood of mistakes and losing sight of the bigger picture.
2. Plan your day. It may sound simplistic, but preparation is key to ensuring you utilize all available time effectively. You can either allow the day to escape you by having others directing your day or be intentional by taking command of your day.
Before you even open your inbox, write down what you want to accomplish. Make it measurable (and reasonable, of course). Brendon Burchard sums the idea up perfectly, “Set your agenda each day or the world will do it for you. Don’t decide on your next move on the demands of your inbox but on the directions of your dreams.”
3. Follow through with your plan. Being purposeful in planning your day is only half of the equation. You must also commit to following through with your plan. Direct your day, and be mindful when things don’t go as planned.
For example, don’t schedule a full day of meetings hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute. Rarely will things go exactly as planned. Allow some room in your schedule to provide flexibility in your day. Otherwise, you could find yourself derailed by the slightest of bumps.
4. Look to others for inspiration. Watch how others make use of their time and implement those principles that fit you. One entrepreneur says he plays golf every morning to start his day. This doesn’t fit with my lifestyle — nor does it fit my high handicap for the game. But it might work for you.
Look for ways to manage your time more wisely. I found “15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management” helpful, and you might too. If you’re not up for a book, consider asking a colleague or two what they do to keep themselves on task.
Do you hear the clock clicking in the background? It ticks no matter what you decide to do, and the responsibility is yours to determine whether you direct your day or you let others do it for you.
You can choose to believe in the naysayers or you can choose to believe in you. ~ Cardiff D. Hall
Roadblocks, they can be frustrating if you don’t pay attentions to the signs. There is a freeway under construction here in the Minneapolis area and the Minnesota Department of Transportation will post signs for road closures early in the week, to notify drivers the freeway will be closed on the weekend. Of course I see the sign every day, but fail to read it until I depart on the weekend and thus become annoyed and frustrated. These type of sensations are sure to stop your progress and delay the path towards success. The same can happen in your journey of life if you do not realize the roadblock signs.
Here are five roadblocks which can be block your progress.
- You do not having a clear vision or clarity of where your life is heading. A vision is a road map, which you create, which provides vision for the future. In the Michael Hyatt’s book entitled, Living Forward, this book offers readers a proven plan to stop drifting so they can get the life they want. With purposeful intention, you create a vision for your life, while it will require a four letter word called “WORK”.
- You feel yourself stuck in the “WHY ME” highway. I know I’ve used this phrase before on several occasions after an event would occur. One such event was when I failed to get into graduate school. I can recall saying this over. If you are on the “Why Me” highway, the only way to get off is to restate the question into something positive, like ‘Why Not Me?” This question will force your mind into responding positively.
- You wait for perfection. Once I have everything perfect I will start and then? Have you ever said this? One you make the choice to wait for perfection, this leads to procrastination and eventually what you want to do, just doesn’t get done. Remove the word “Someday” in your vocabulary given this word is waiting for perfection.
- You lack focus. Last month highlighted focus, so I trust you were able to review the topic blogs. When you lack focus, this leads to not getting what you want accomplished or a much delayed accomplishment. Every start a task and then jump in social media and then, BOOM you are traveling on the social media highway and the task you started somehow just gets lost? That can happen when you are not focused.
- You don’t write down your goals. I was one to think having goals in my head was good enough which simply isn’t good enough, if you want to accomplish the goals you desire. If you live your life on the “Wing it freeway”, you go wherever the highway takes you without regard to if you truly want to end up there. Written goals provide direction and a path to achieve. Here is a great article reinforcing why you should write down your goals.
Freeways at times will have closures and if you want to arrive at your destination, you need to know when the roadblocks will be and what you need to do, so you can reach success!