Here’s something I’ve realized that I think has helped me in the way I plan my life: no one wakes up having accidently achieved success. Every successful person worked at it, planned for it, sacrificed for it.
In 2019, you likely wished you had more of something. Maybe more money, or more friends, or more gains at gym…. it could be a fairly long list. I think most of us would agree – we wish we had more time!
There are only 525600 minutes in a year – and we are all allocated the same amount of minutes. Some people seem to be able to do so much with their time, while the rest of us struggle though? How is that? Well – I’m not one of the former, but I have learned a few things that I think will help you if you apply them to your life this year.
Make the most of every opportunity
So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
Most of us have far less to do with how we spend our time than we would like. We either work for a boss who dictates how around eight hours of our day is spent; we have young children whose needs dictate much of our evening schedule; we have spouses who have added time pressures – again, the list goes on.
But what about the time we do have control over? How do we actually control that time? I want to suggest a few things:
know how you spend your time
Find a way to record how you spend your time each day. Do this for two or three weeks and you’ll soon see where you are able to improve
plan to plan
You must take time out at the beginning of the week to plan your schedule. Craig Groeschel has a brilliant podcast on how to do that based on your energy levels at different times of the day, week, month and year.
plan to evaluate
Just as you take time to plan what’s coming, take time to evaluate what’s happened, and how you spent your time. This will help you plan better next time.
find the gaps
Coming back to “making the most of every opportunity”, there are probably a number of ‘dead zones’ in your week – time where you’re doing something menial that doesn’t require much energy or focus, but which could be used as good multi-tasking time. Some obvious examples of this would be using your daily commute to listen to podcasts; the 5 minutes between meetings to answer a couple emails; the 30 minutes on the treadmill to listen to an audio book or watch a series on Netflix (Catching up on Netflix while you’re on the treadmill or sitting in the train, means you’ll be more present when you’re home)
be okay saying ‘no’
Learn to say no Be okay with saying no. Here’s the difference – many people have learned to say no, but spend the next few hours, or even days, feeling guilty. You can’t do it all! Don’t expect that of yourself, and don’t entertain others who put that on you. Here’s how you’ll know you’ve become okay with saying no: when you no longer feel the need to give a reason for your ‘no’.
Here’s how you’ll know you’ve become okay with saying no: when you no longer feel the need to give a reason for your ‘no’.
Put these into place in your life and I suspect you’ll start having a lot more control over your time, and you’ll find yourself designing your life more than having your life designed for you.
Anything you’d add? Comment below.