There may only be 24 hours in a day, but that’s enough time for us to do what is important to us.
Marc is running out of steam: “I need an eight-day week”, he says. He feels like a dog chasing its tail. He is dissatisfied and feels he will never finish all there is to do. His wife and children also feel left out. “He’s never there for us”, they say. Does this scenario seem familiar?
What would you do with an eighth day in the week? When some were asked that question by me, some of the responses were as follows: “I’d provide more time for myself and my children.” “I’d exercise.” “I’d get involved in leisure-time activities.” “I’d rest.” “I’d cook great food.” “I’d take music lessons.”
In all probability you wouldn’t do any of those things! With an extra day per week, you would only do more of what you have been doing. Those who succeed in doing the things they enjoy, are those who do not feel constrained by time, and who do not have an eighth day. They have simply established priorities for their activities. The problem is that we don’t take the time to determine what is truly important to us. When everything is important, nothing really is. When we have 100 priorities, we have none. Our priorities have to relate to our core values. The question you have to ask yourself is, “What matters most to me?”
Producers sometimes ask me for “tips” regarding better management of their time. We do not manage time; we can only manage our use of time.
We often say, “I don’t have time for X.” It would be more correct to say, “I don’t have time for X because I’ve decided to do Y.” We have time for what truly matters to us. Consider the following example as the proof. If one of your children or your spouse had an accident or illness, would you find the time to go to the hospital for days, or even weeks? For most of us, of course we would. Why? Because that would become “THE PRIORITY.” You would postpone all meetings, be a bit less zealous about housework, say no to fixed-price contracts, or have different production goals. In short, you would find the necessary time.
To manage your time, you must:
- Identify your true values. In what areas are you investing your time, energy and money? This indicates what is truly important to you.
- Review and question your values, if necessary. What will truly make you the proudest at the end of your life? Are you investing in the right areas? Do you balance work, family, spouse, as well as your social, personal and spiritual lives?
- Be aware of how you really spend your time. (Keeping an agenda for a few weeks will help you track how you spend your time.)
- Identify those things that ‘rob’ you of your time, such as: your inability to say “no”, by being out of shape, by procrastinating, by never looking before you leap.
- Set maximum work hours for yourself and force yourself to respect them.
- Stop looking for culprits. You either choose to do something, or you don’t. You are responsible for your choices.
- Be realistic. You can’t do it all, nor do you have to.
Finally, remember that cemeteries are full of people who thought they were irreplaceable.
Work Psychologist, professionnal speaker, author and business coach