I know you’ve seen these. Especially in craft or novelty stores. Those signs that have the last 3 numbers in a zip code or possibly the navigation coordinates (the longitude/latitude) setting for exactly where you live. Well guess what? Here comes a light bulb moment for you…we all live in the 168. Yep, no matter where you are on the planet or what you’re doing right now, we all have this in common.
What or where is the 168? So glad you asked. This is the exact number of hours we all have in a week. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, how much money is in your bank account, the position you hold at work or you station in life. We are all equals in the 168. So what makes us different? It’s all in how we use it. Yep, just that simple. Why? Because I don’t like complicated. And under the theme “let’s get better at something”, today make a conscience decision, a choice to get better, and not just better, but become an expert at using time…your time! And here are the main things to consider in this quest.
First, decide to quit making excuses. Begin today by stopping the use of, “I’m just too busy, I have too much on my plate, or there simply isn’t enough time to make this happen”. Again, since we all have the same number of hours, how do you think those excuses square with people like, Walt Disney, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Steve Jobs, Mother Theresa…I mean this list of who we call successful people is endless. And as I look at the folks just mentioned, there’s not a “born with a silver spoon in their mouth” person in the bunch. Just ordinary people. But ordinary people with passion and a dream they made time for.
Second, decide that time management WILL be a priority in your life. Remember, “What gets scheduled, gets done”! And this doesn’t mean go out and buy a big white board to post up in your house or a huge “to do” list. NO!!! This requires a calendar…you know that thing with dates, days and times on it. And don’t put it on your phone. You need paper and pencil for this. Something you can see, refer back to and adjust as needed. An accountability partner that not only sits on your desk, but can be carried anywhere you go.
Third, calendar. Yep, stop, get in a quiet place, think and then decide how and when to prioritize your time. A combination of short and long term goals or activities. And by the way, do NOT just look for quick and easy things to check off. NO, look for ways to improve your life and do hard stuff as well. There is so much satisfaction in setting goals and making a way to achieve them.
Next, build in some margin. Just because there may be 24 lines on the calendar that day, does not mean every one of them needs something in that space. You need time to let your brain and body rest or recover. And you cannot do that working 14 hours a day…every day. Machines may be able to, but the human body and brain were NEVER intended for that. In fact, machines can even break down, if not properly cared for.
But I know, there are some of you still not convinced this is true. You can’t see the truth, even though it’s right in front of you. So, let’s complete a simple math project. And as we do, be prepared for a great surprise at the end. Let’s begin with the number 168. The total number of hours in a week. And we’ll say you have a full-time job working 40 hours. Now let’s subtract the 40, giving us a balance of 128. But we also need to sleep. And it’s still recommended that we get 8 hours of shut eye every night. That’s 56 more hours, but we still have 72 left in our bucket…72 hours! How about family time. You remember those other people living in the same house? Giving them 3 hours a day or 21 in a week, leaves us with 51, to use. But, we still need to eat, exercise, have quiet time and run some errands. Let’s give ourselves another 30 hours for this. Well guess what…we still have 21 left. Twenty-one hours of “Me time”, additional margin or one of the greatest benefits…blue sky. Yep, the opportunity to dream about doing something different with our life, time to get better at something or create a new business opportunity. Just imagine what your life can be like…not in a year, but just 3 to 6 months from now. All because you made the best decision of your life. The decision to take control of your time!
Now, choose exactly how to schedule and use those 168 hours. Maybe your calendar won’t look just like mine, and that’s ok. Oh, and the spoiler alert, things happen, and life will need to be adjusted from time to time. Remember that whole margin thing?
But here’s the point. Most of this is totally within your control. You get to choose. You get to choose today. Will I continue to let life happen in and around me? Will I allow the clock to dictate my world? Will others determine my destination in life? OR, will I make the conscience decision right now, and take control of my 168. Only you get to make that decision. And by the way, it comes with an accountability partner. Your very own Day-Timer.
My challenge is simple. DO IT! Do it today! And post a picture to one of my social media sites of you and your new best friend. Your calendar! What gets scheduled…gets done! Now go! Times a-waste-in.