Your Time is Valuable
Your time is one of your most valuable resources. It’s the currency you use to do everything. You trade your time to work, to watch tv, to eat, to hang with friends, you basically trade time to anything, even NOTHING. There is an infinite amount of things you could do with your time but there’s only a finite amount of it available (unless you’re immortal). This is the human condition, we could do anything but don’t have enough time to do everything. Understanding the burden/responsibility of having finite time is heavy, yet here’s how you can cope:
Make the best out of the time you have.
I know this sounds simple, and that’s because it is. Don’t complicate this, time management is vital to your life, it’s the stage upon which your life plays out. If you don’t manage your time then someone else will, don’t be an actor on someone else’s stage, you need to come up with your own script.
Identify Your Priorities
Time management becomes laughably easily if you have your main priorities in life identified. They key is to write out a list of the most important activities in your life & then simply schedule whatever available time you have around accomplishing those activities. The issue most of us encounter is when we spend time on distractions instead of things that are important. Like when we spend 2 hours on Instagram instead of going to the gym, or go out partying on the weekend when we know there’s a test Monday. To minimize distraction you need to schedule time doing your important activities, feel free to be distracted after the important work is done.
Life Hack: Preventative Action
Preventative action is a powerful concept and here’s how:
There are 4 types of ways that we could spend our time:
I. Do important things that are urgent.
Example: You have a paper that’s due in 2 hours that you haven’t started. This causes you a lot of stress because you waited until last minute but you manage to get it done anyway. (Chronic Procrastinator)
II. Do important things that aren’t urgent.
Example: You have an exam coming up in 2 weeks, rather than wait for the last minute and let it become something urgent you study for 30 minutes a day everyday before the exam. By time it’s test day you don’t feel nearly as stressed as other students because you’ve been consistently preparing.
III. Do things that are urgent but not important.
Example: It’s Friday, you just finished classes, your friends are going out in the city at 9 pm so you don’t wanna miss out on the fun.
IV. Do things that are neither urgent or important.
Example: You go to see a new movie that just came out.
The productivity matrix describes the 4 types of activities (examples above). In order to master time management you generally want to avoid activities that fall on the bottom half of the chart (in red) and prioritize activities that fall on the top half (in green).
This is powerful for a few reasons:
- It prioritizes the important work in your life.
- It prevents problems from becoming problems (preventative action)
- You cut distractions out of your life by minimizing exposure to them.
- You have control over your day to day activity (direction/purpose)
*Use this matrix to eliminate distractions and prioritize important activity.
CUT OUT THE NOISE & TUNE INTO THE SIGNAL
What this all looks like:
Here are a list of my priorities:
- IT Consulting/Outreach
I make time to exercise 4x a week
I make time to meditate for 20 minutes a day everyday
I make time to read for an hour a day and post blogs 3x a week.
I spend whatever free time I have left doing entrepreneurial pursuits.
This is my stage, my daily activity that keeps me on a path to greatness. These are the ways I’ve chosen to spend my time and how I’ve been able to be consistent. Doing these things consistently gives me a sense of purpose. I feel like I’m constantly improving and growing when I stay on my grind like this. You can substitute these with any activity and spend your time doing the things that matter to you most. This is how you exert control over your life and get it in order. By spending time doing the things that are important to you.
Remember: Your time is all you’ve got, be selfish with how you use it.