Category Archives: Time management

live a longer life …

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
C. JoyBell C.

What if you could live longer?   Would that be something you would be interested in?   Some people would be.  Some people would love to live a few years longer.

Jane McGonigal, a game developer would argue that playing games can add time to your life.   She uses the premise that people who are at the end of their life often have some regrets.   The Guardian reports that people do have end of life regrets.  They regret working so hard. They regret not spending time with friends and family.   They regret not the person they weren’t meant to be.   They regret not being happier.

If you could do your life over again what would you do different?   Well today is that day you can start living the life you want to do.     Yeah, yeah, yeah, there are reasons you can’t do what you really were meant to do.   There are reasons you can’t live a happier life (you like being miserable).   There are reasons you can be the person who you really are (you’ve developed a persona that every one knows and you don’t want them to know the real you).    There are “buts”, lots of buts why you can’t do what you really want to do.

Think about it.   How many times during the day do you use the word “but”?    Just try observing the number of times you use the word “but”.     I could …. “but”.    How many times do you use the word but?     But’s become a convenient way for not something that would move you forward in life.     But …

If you can live without “buts” then you can live a longer life.

Now, what can you do to add more to your life?   Take a look at Jane McGonigal’s TED talk,  and add minutes to your life today.  TODAY!

Where did the time go?

“It is the idle who complain they cannot find time to do that which they fancy they wish. In truth, people can generally make time for what they choose to do; it is not really the time but the will that is wanting.”   Sir John Lubbock

“I don’t have enough time.”

“I’d like to live a balanced life.”

Procrastination often anchors people’s dreams and desires to the shore of inactivity and results in regret. It takes a burst of energy to move out of the depths of inaction and often that energy is lost in the thoughts of fear and failure.

When there is more activity pushed into a days worth of time than can be consumed it can result in a sense of failure.   Sometimes it is packing into the minutes things that are of low value, easy to do and complete but they may be things that don’t really matter.

1. What really matters?

2. What value will it produce?

3. What will it feel like to accomplish those goals?

Success is about making every effort to complete the goal.

Now more than ever there are tools that can help you use time to your advantage.

1. Simpleology

2.  Evernote

Having your tasks, goals and activities are in one place can help you organize your day better and improve the opportunity for results.

What time management tools do you use?   How well are they working for you?

focal point … the daily goal

“He well knew his mind’s natural tendency to be endlessly on a thousand subjects at once, to flit from this to that and to the next thing to no particular purpose–indeed, he called it his “butterfly mind.”   Eric Metaxas

Focus – on the one thing.   Our society is turning more and more into a society with more ADHD like attributes.  People are being asked to do more than one thing at a time and it is killing productivity.   You’ve read the hiring ads, “must be able to handle multiple tasks” or “handle multiple interrupts and work on several projects in parallel”.   Study after study show that the mind can not do more than “one” thing at a time.   What employers are asking for are people that are willing to fail to deliver results.

There are people who say they can multitask, that can do more than one thing at once.  Try solving 2 math problems at the same time in your head.   Try typing and listening at the same time (really listening).   If you’re typing and listening then try repeating back what you heard.   Type at your normal rhythm and then listen to something with some level of thought required, what happens?  Now try that same exercise only focusing on the typing and then just listening?   What were the results?    Try that exercise and time it.   Time how long it takes to do the typing and listening alone.   Then do those same two tasks at the same time.   What was different?

Focus, the brain works better when you focus on completing just one thing at a time.    Perhaps some of your day is going to be interrupt driven, where requests  come flying at you from all sides.   Dedicate a part of the day to being inefficient. Also dedicate a part of the day where there are no meetings, just focused, one objective at a time results driven work.    Make the chunk of time to dedicate to focused work about 90 minutes.   If possible get two 90 minute blocks of time to focus only on getting work done.  No calls – no email – no interruptions – just focused work.

Experiment – just try doing one thing at a time.

Write down the key goal for the day.   Why are you doing that one thing?   Is that the most important thing that should be done today?   What will it take to get it done?    When is it going to get done?  And then break down the big goal into some tasks – things that are easier to digest and attack them with all vigor.   Note the results, what was the outcome and did you achieve the intended outcome?

It’s about time

‘Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”   M. Scott Peck

Lost Goals

Many people are putting together thoughts about what they will do “next” year.   In January there are all kinds of plans that are set in motion and in a short amount of time the momentum has turned into a trickle of energy.    The ideas, the dreams and the thoughts of achieving something remarkable blend into the cacophony of everyday life.   The dreams fade, the goals vanish as well as the energy to make life vivid.

Fading Dreams

Why do dreams fade faster than a western sunset?   It might be all the noise that surrounds daily life.  Those little energy drainers that suck just enough out of each day that when it is time to dream and to think of big goals there just isn’t anything left.   It is those life leeches that attach themselves to our lives and continually suck the dream out of us.

Finding Energy

Distractions eat away at the energy to do what you really want to do and eventually there is nothing but distractions and there is little time for focus and doing the things that move you forward.   What are the distractions in your life?

Write down what is distracting you and rate them from 1 – 10 in terms of the energy that they take away from you.   Which distractions can you dispose of?  What can you just get rid of today?

Forget it

There is stuff coming at you from all angles.  Some of the stuff is useless and yet there may be a tendency to hang on to it.  How much of the email you receive each day is of no value at all?   More than one message for sure.

If there is no request that you have to respond to in the email message and the value of the information is low, get rid of it, don’t file it, just flush it and forget it.

File it

Sometimes there are things that are informational, that will have value in the near future.  It might be something that you are passionate about that you can use to move you forward towards you goals.   Even though the material isn’t useful for you today it could be shortly.   File those things and get it out of your mind.

Finish it

Now if you have filed or put it in the trash you should only have things left that are directly related to you achieving your goals.   Now it is time to work on those goals and get them done.  Now that all the distractions have been dealt with all you have left is you and the goal, finish it.

Do it

It does seem like the best time is the New Year to start on a getting life in order.  Why wait?   What is the benefit of waiting?   There is no benefit of waiting.  The time to take action is today, not tomorrow, not after the holidays, not later, it is today, right now.    The right time is right now.   Toss aside the excuses and engage in doing what will bring you positive results today.

Look at and use a tool to help you focus on what you really want.  Decide on what you want to do and start doing it.  Use a tool to track your progress or send you reminders.   Have someone hold you accountable for getting you closer to what you want.   Procrastinate not a minute longer.  Right now, take that first step and start doing what it will take to experience a better life for you.

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.”
Karen Lamb

where does the time go …

“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”
M. Scott Peck

Are you being robbed?    Most people are being robbed of time.   Time bandits steal chunks of the day away from you in many ways.  Some are disguised and others are very noticeable.   What are the time thieves in your life?

Some people are easily distracted by email, by the news, weather, or a simple game.   Before long a good chunk of time has been removed from your day and once it is gone there is nothing you can do to bring it back.   The best you can do is optimize what remaining time you have in your day and make the best of it.

To make the most out of your time look at the value of your time and the satisfaction that the time brings.   For example something could have of high value (paying bills) and low on satisfaction.   There are things that we must do that aren’t very satisfying and there are very satisfying things that we do that are of low value (watching TV ).

Take a look at your day and write down all the things you did, all of them and then rate them in terms of value. ( 1 = Low and 10 = high).   Then rate them based on satisfaction (1 = Low, 10 = High).    Take the two numbers and multiply them together.    What tasks produced the highest numbers?   Those would be things with high value and high satisfaction.     What are you doing that has both high value and high satisfaction?    How much time are you doing those things?   Are they the focus of your day or not?

What tasks are low value and low satisfaction?    Should you be doing those things?    If low value, low satisfaction tasks are removed from your day that gives you more time to do high value and high satisfaction activities.

More and more people are desiring to get more out of each day.  To do that the focus should be on doing things that have both high value and high satisfaction.   What do you think?

What is of  high value and high satisfaction for you?   Write those things down.  Are you doing them?   What is stopping you?

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”   John Wooden

i’ll start tomorrow …

“We intend to take action when the idea strikes us. We
intend to do something when the emotion is high. But if
we don’t translate that intention into action fairly soon,
the urgency starts to diminish. A month from now the
passion is cold. A year from now it can’t be found. ”
Jim Rohn

Tomorrow … that is when I’ll start, tomorrow.   It is easy to put off for another day, another week, another month, another year the things you would like to do.  Somehow something else slips in the way.   Maybe it is a good TV show that you really like to watch.   Of course it is easier to watch the show than to exercise.   Maybe tomorrow.

Tomorrow never arrives.   It is a placeholder in our lives, it is an excuse to put off the hard work it takes to really make the difference in  your life.  I’ve met a lot of people who have put off today the thing that would make their life better. I’ll get to it tomorrow.    Eventually after many years the stories change from the things I did to the things I could have done.   “Only if …,  only if I had more time …, only if I had more money,  only if I was in shape, only if I knew more, only if …”

The “only if” story is the story about putting off today and believing it will be done tomorrow.  Really, tomorrow!    Is it really going to start tomorrow.

One of the greatest regrets that people have is that they “didn’t” go for it when they could have.   That means taking action on the idea when you are passionate about it.   Waiting for tomorrow for most people means not doing it at all.

A great idea can’t wait for tomorrow.   Take action today.

“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer. ”   Robert Browning

time … where does it all go?

“I believe in the force of time, the impetus of that dimension that seems to have baffled even the physicists, the power of that force that will, in time, cure every ill, solve every problem, fulfill every nightmare. Time. I see time all about me, like a substance. I see it in the clutter of my apartment, in the fabric of the city, in the lessons that I teach. The tyranny of time, as dictatorial as any god.”  Simon Mawer

There is never enough of it and you can’t buy more of it.   You can’t take it back nor can you give it away.  You can watch each silent tick when waiting or try to slow them down when you are late.  TIME. 

Each day the pace of the world seems to increase.   Each day demands more of who we are.  Each day demands more attention and each moment craves more of you.  If there was only a little bit more time to the day, imagine what could get done.

We either use each moment or waste it.  How do you use your time?   What would you want to do with each moment if you could?  What is the best way you can use each moment?

Marcia K. Hornok wrote,
“The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest.
 It makes me lie down only when exhausted.
It leads me to deep depression.
It hounds my soul.
It leads me in circles of frenzy for activity’s sake.
Even though I run frantically from task to task,
I will never get it all done,
For my “ideal” is with me.
Deadlines and my need for approval, they drive me.
They demand performance from me, beyond the limits of my schedule.
They anoint my head with migraines.
My in-basket overflows.
Surely fatigue and time pressure shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the bonds of frustration forever.”   

Is that your story?  Is your day filled with frantic activity that just doesn’t stop?  What do you want your day to look like?

What are you racing against?   When would you like to get off the treadmill of life?  When would you like to stop competing with the rats?