What would you do with an extra hour in your day to invest in creating your ideal life? How about that project you just can’t seem to get around to, the quality time that always seems to elude you or the changes you know will improve your life but can never quite find the time to implement?
Our perceived lack of time is so often quoted as the major reason for us not being able to take the steps to achieve what we want in life, and with a juggling act of mortgages to pay, mouths to feed, kids to organise and countless other obligations, it’s likely we can make a compelling case for having very little choice in the matter. So many people will readily inform you that their days are bursting at the seams with busyness, whether they’re successfully creating extraordinary results in their life or seemingly getting nowhere, yet as Dr John Demartini observes:
“If you don’t fill your day with high priorities it will automatically become filled with low priorities”.
When we step back and look with fresh eyes upon our ostensibly packed schedule we can often be surprised at the solutions that are there to be noticed and how easy it can be to free ourselves from the many “time vampires” that are hijacking the hours of our most valuable resource.
Follow the five simple steps below to monitor, make better choices and reclaim control over the hours of your life.
1. What really matters?
If we’re to sift out the gold from the sand, we firstly need to know which is which.
Get clear on how you’d ideally like things to be – what is truly most valuable to you in life, what would you consider as time well spent and what are you ultimately wanting to use it to achieve?
2. Monitor your investment
It’s as simple as this – closely monitor and objectively record how you use your time over the next 7 days. Commit to honestly accounting for every hour you’re spending, noting the insights and opportunities that present themselves along the way.
Challenge yourself to look beyond just the surface level of your schedule into how effectively these hours are actually being utilised. Even take a peek under the hood to develop an awareness of how much valuable time your attention and focus are caught up in thinking patterns that may not be serving you or assisting your progress. Just through these observations, you’re likely to find your long-held beliefs around how much it’s actually possible to fit into a day begin to loosen considerably.
3. Reassess your strategy
“It’s been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.” – Henry Ford
Take a good look over your results for the week.
How well does the way you’re currently utilising your time align with what you identified as being most important to you?
How many of the activities into which you’re investing your time are actually moving you forward or leaving you with any real sense of fulfilment?
Where did you notice there would be far more efficient and effective ways of achieving the same – or even far better – outcomes if you were to adjust your approach to the way you do things?
What dead wood and distractions are you ready to let go of from your old routine?
Where could you find the time to get ahead if you truly decided to?
4. Make better choices
Stephen Covey tells an insightful tale about a lumberjack furiously hacking away at a tree with a blunt saw and getting nowhere, who considers himself far too busy to stop and sharpen his blade. This is where you stop and really sharpen up your tools. List all the simple changes you can implement right now to take back control of your time and focus.
How could these resources be most effectively directed toward creating the results you’d like to be experiencing in your life?
What easy and sustainable measures are you going to put in place to ensure these beneficial new ways of being become deeply integrated into your life?
“First we form habits. Then they form us.” – Jim Rohn
5. Use it wisely
When you map out and collate all your saved minutes and blocks of reclaimed hours, how much extra time does this give you in the bank each week?
Where will you spend or invest this to most powerfully enrich your life?
Remember, this shouldn’t just be a one-time process but a constantly evolving journey of progress. Rinse, repeat, and continue to refine as you enjoy more and more benefits from reclaiming control of your days.
Here is a great video that expresses the importance of making the most of the time in your day:
We’d love for you to share your discoveries!
Where did you find your extra hour(s)? What were your biggest time vampires?
What simple changes gave you back the most time? How are you better using your most valuable resource to create a life you love?
Let us know! #extrahour