In keeping with my theme of talking about the currencies of your life, I am back to talk about your most important currency: TIME. Time is THE currency of your life. It is the instrument through which you sing the song of your life. Your relationship with time, therefore, really matters. But why am I telling you something you may already know?
When it comes to you and Time, I am concerned that you two might not be getting along these days. If you find yourself slothful or overwhelmed, distracted or procrastinating, if you are unimpressed by your use of time, something is off. Luckily you have the power to correct it and to fall in Daily Love with your Time! How do you do that?
It’s time to say “no” to more things so you can say “yes” to more high-leverage things (things that will get you to your dreams faster).
Here are some things you should probably be doing less of:
- Drinking and drug related activities
- Sleeping more than you actually need to
Here are some things that will be harder to say “no” to, but that you should be strong about:
- Doing things for your children or parents they could do for themselves
- Doing things at your job that you could delegate and might empower someone else
- Busy-work instead of the highest leverage actions
- Favors and things that make you look really good to others at the expense of what is truly important to you
- Things that cause you to miss sleep or regular meals
- Spending time with someone who is not “the one” for you
- Spending time with friends you do not feel you can be honest/yourself with
Gets you thinking doesn’t it? If you want to know what your biggest time sucks are, keep track all day, jotting down on every hour what you did for the last hour and how you felt about it. After two weeks, do a critical assessment of what you’ve been doing both in reality and in your mind. You will see and feel the changes you need to make.
The best tools we have for changing how you “do time” are:
1) Promises and consequences- design the rules of how you live. This means things like wake-up times and bedtime. This means due dates for when your most important tasks are due. This means planning routines around anything that’s important. For example, I always have an hour in the morning for email, I always have five hours slotted for exercise per week, I always spend 6:30-8:30pm with my kids and always go to bed with my husband by 11pm. If I break my rules I owe a consequence. For example, if I am late to dinner with my kids I owe them $20. I am not late!
2) Difficult Conversations- learn to speak the truth to everyone. Most of us feel inefficient and unfulfilled because we aren’t being honest about how we feel or what we want. When you learn to say how you really feel and what you want, others do the same. Conversations become more efficient and more intimate. The energy you feel from being connected and on the same page with others fuels your accomplishment mindset all day. Whenever I am feeling low energy, I look for a conversation or person I might be avoiding and have that difficult talk. Even if it’s a little gritty, I am always literally energized by the time we’re through. The same will happen for you.
Start filling your days with promised actions that are consistent with your juiciest dreams and deep conversations full of truth-telling and you will find that time becomes more of a friend. It’s simple, but not easy. Sure, you are going to have to say “no” to some things, so you can start saying “yes” to the things that are really important to you. If I didn’t have my rules, I’d still be choosing email over my dream of saving the world. What do you need to say “no” to in honor of your dreams?
P.S.- Join us for our one-hour teleseminar, Mastering Time, on Apr 19, 12-1pm ET. Use promo code TDL10Time to get half off. We will discuss the cure-all for procrastination, overwhelm, the power of saying no and when to say yes. (Even if you cannot attend live, pre-registered participants will receive a recording so you can listen later.)
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Laurie Gerber is President of Handel Group® Life Coaching, an international coaching company, which specializes in teaching individuals to take focused and powerful action in every area of their lives. You can connect with Laurie on Facebook at HG Life Coaching.