First, I want to give a big shout out to Laura Vanderkam who inspired this piece.
Listening to her on a podcast and watching her TED Talk this week reminded me that my very first product other than my first book was a time management course I created for my network marketing team… and since then I have taken dozens of time management courses over my life, so I wanted to take that information, put a new spin on it and show you how much time you REALLY have if you want to use it…
Blowing the time myth out of the water…
The Math- There are 168 hours in Your Week
And of those 168 hours, we typically spend them as follows:
- 40 working
- 56 sleeping
- 72 hours left for everything else – (and if you’re saying “Wait, I work more than 40 hours every week… here’s the breakdown, 50 hours = 62 left; 60 hour = 52 left; more… really? Are you really working more than 60 hours a week? A 2011 study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that people who say they are working more than 60 hours a week really aren’t being honest about that).
- That means (assuming a 40-hour work week) over 10 hours every day available for everything else!
Switching costs – the concept of switching costs is usually a reference to customers switching brands, both from the companies’ perspective and the as well as the customer. But it also refers to productivity, time management and psychology. The bottom line is that is take time and attention away from your primary projects if you are switching your attention from one thing to another throughout your day. Think about it… the best example is that phone… when it rings, or pings or buzzes, and it’s in your field of hearing or vision, you jump to it like Pavlov’s dogs! We all do… until we choose not to…and that’s when you are going to start getting more things done, be more creative and take control of your life and business.
- Start Your Day With an Empowering Routine
- Drink a big glass of water
- Writing/journaling – thoughts, ideas, strategies, emotional rants… whatever you need at the time.
- Plan Your Week… on Friday… up to now I always subscribed to the “Plan your week on Sunday night” strategy…because… well, because that’s how I’ve always done it. Are you doing anything in your life because that’s the way you’ve always done it? Friday afternoon makes so much sense! It’s the time most people are winding down their week and activity tends to slow down a bit.
- Set specific goals for work, play/self-care and your relationships
- What do you want to accomplish in each area?
- When are you going to do each?
- Schedule EVERYTHING – if you’re not doing it already, start using a calendar that can travel with you… whether you use an electronic calendar like Google or Apple Calendar or another app… or just an old-school planner, USE IT!
- Track Your Time – Start with a day of tracking your time in 30-minute increments.
- At the end of each day, add up the time you spent on the various activities of your day
- Do that every day for a week…and then tally it all up… you will see very clearly EXACTLY how much time you really have for everything else besides works and sleep….OR you’ll see ever-so-clearly how much time you are wasting doing things that don’t add to your life in any significant way (at least if you’re being honest).
- Turn off notifications on your phone… Facebook was down on Wednesday. I had my notifications turned off anyway because I was working on a project, but interestingly, I got so much done that I have started putting my phone in airplane mode when I’m doing anything creative. OK, I get it… you have kids and people that need to be in touch with you throughout the day…that can certainly be a reality for many of us… if that’s the case, use the 1 hour on/5-10 minutes off response schedule. Stay 100% focused on your project, task or whatever you’re busy doing being productive for 1 HOUR… then take 5 to 15 minutes to respond to texts, emails, Facebook messages…whatever you need to do.
- Make good choices – because how you use a lot of your time is choice, not a mandate. Everything you do with your time is a choice… even being at work… and you are constantly dealing with the consequences in your life and with your time for every choice you make. Again, like we always talk about… awareness is the key and our goal is always to help you raise the bar for awareness of the things that are working… and not working in your life and business.
So there you have it! The 7 Time Mastery Hacks you can use to Regain Control of your Life and Business.