Right now, what is the number one thing that is preventing you from creating the business you need to support the lifestyle you want?
That’s a question I have asked many people over the years and I usually get one of two answers: people either say ‘I need more time’, or ‘I need more money.’
Time. Hmm, how do we get more of that?
Thinking back over the years; if I had all that time to live over again, would I do anything differently? I hate how much time I’ve wasted, how much time I spent firefighting, and how much time was spent faffing about.
Much of my life I wouldn’t change, although I could certainly make improvements. Would I risk and reflect more, would I plan more, would I relax more? It’s all very well being highly productive but we need to balance that with rest, relaxation and being kind to ourselves. When you’re tired in body and mind, you won’t ever be productive.
‘The way you do anything is the way you do everything,’
At the end of the day you are either really chuffed with yourself for what you have achieved or you are shattered because you didn’t do what you set out to.
And now you’re faced with two choices, either work late tonight or set the alarm and start early in the morning.
And then something strange happens, come tomorrow evening, you are faced with the same thing. Because you’ve formed a habit, a way of operating, that keeps you stuck in that unproductive loop.
Something needs to be different. You know this is not where you want to be but you are not sure how to change it. So you keep on doing what you’re doing and blaming time for your lack of productivity.
When things in your life need to change, it often means you need to change too and change makes us uncomfortable. However as the discomfort of your current situation rises, it reaches a tipping point, the point where you say to yourself, enough is enough.
You are now so uncomfortable where you’re at that you are now willing to do something about it. And that’s when change happens.
But for some, the level of discomfort where they’re at never outweighs the challenge of doing something about it and they struggle on; blaming time, money or something else for their lack of progress, productivity and results.
What could you do differently?
You could google time management tips and get overwhelmed by multitude of advice, options and suggestions that claim to help you get your life under control and tame this thing we call time.
Let’s face it though; time has been flowing without your intervention long before you, or even the human race arrived on the planet. It’s not something that can be managed.
Instead we can learn how to manage ourselves within the context of time. The least of which is planning the day better. Even better is to have a clear focus on what you want to get done each day and how that drives the achievement of your long term plans.
When your daily activities aren’t linked to your long term plans, your business will not grow and neither will you. I talk to people all the time who work hard every day but aren’t going anywhere.
If you work alone, there comes a time when you need to switch your thinking from doing the work to getting the work done. For example if you are an electrician, to encourage your business to grow you need to start thinking like the director of an electrical company.
That’s quite a shift and one that you may not think you’re ready for, but what if you are?
Just this one shift in your thinking can have a huge impact in how you use your valuable time, and can shift your results.
How do you manage yourself better within the context of time?
To answer that, it would be good to have the answers to these questions first.
- What is your long term vision for the company?
- Why is that really important for you?
- What targets can you set to take you there in stages starting with the next 3 months, 3 years, 5 years?
- How do you measure your success?
- What are the important tasks that must be done today to stay on target?
In considering these questions, remember these are your questions and your answers. The business needs to give you the life you want, not the life someone else is living that looks good from the outside. Shape your world and don’t let someone else do that for you.
To do this properly you need to give it time. You can return to your plan over and over again, give it room to breathe and grow.
You need to give it some time.
Then you can structure your day in such a way that you start seeing real progress towards something bigger, something better and something so exciting that when you wake up in the morning, you will be so eager to go to work, because you’re working on your future and your future now looks great. Because you took the time to create it and you know exactly where you are going.
There’s been no change in time, but there has been a huge change in the way you deal with it.