When Benjamin Franklin said “time is money”, he was only half right. Time is so much more valuable than that. The reason being is that it comes down to supply and demand. If we lose or waste our money we can make that again. If we lose or waste our time it’s gone forever.
To put this into perspective, there’s a product recently available called the life clock. It’s really more like a computer then a clock. When you turn it on it starts by asking questions about yourself, the day you were born, and health questions concerning you and your family history, when you hit enter the left side of the clock tells you exactly how many days you have lived, the right side of the clock estimates how many days you may have left. You could say it’s a clock with a real wake up call.
It’s important to understand that time is a shrinking commodity. We need to appreciate a sense of urgency that time is constantly ticking away.
Business and sales professionals that quantify results on a monthly basis usually are most productive the last five days of the month because a sense of urgency will always create energy, creativity, and focus, both personally and professionally.
In addition to needing a sense of urgency, the biggest challenge in time management is good ideas have nowhere to go. Our lives are already filled to the brim with activity. The more we try to add good ideas into our life, no matter how important, the more frustrated we get.
We need to be aware of what is called the time benefit ratio. We need to ask ourselves “Is the time I’m putting into this activity equal or greater to the benefits I’m getting out of it.
The Five D’s of Time Management
Design, Disregard, Diminish, Delegate, and Do it!
The first D- design. Make a list of your activities that would have the greatest impact on your productivity and the quality of your life.
The second D- disregard. Start identifying those activities that you can disregard. If you stopped it completely it would not have any significant impact on the quality of your life.
The third D- delegate. If someone else was able to do it for you, the cost of the delegation could offer the ability to reinvest that time elsewhere.
The fourth D- diminish. If you did it less would it give you the luxury of reinvesting that time into more meaningful activities?
For instance, the average person watches 5-6 hours of T.V. a day. If they cut back T.V. watching by two hours, just Monday through Friday, they have ten hours per week to reinvest that time into something more meaningful.
Now this adds up, in a month’s time that’s 40 hrs, an entire work week. In a years’ time that’s 12 work weeks, three months of what would be considered the time it takes to work a full time job.
Once we take an activity inventory, the total amount of hours that can be reinvested over a week, multiply that throughout the year it could realistically be more then what is needed to complete the majority of your most important goals and objectives.
We actually have an abundance of time, if we use it appropriately. From the time we are born to the time we die it doesn’t stop. It replenishes itself every day. It’s our responsibility to use it wisely.
A person that says “I don’t have enough time” is like a fish saying “I don’t have enough water” while it’s swimming through it. Stop by the cemetery those people ran out of time.
D number five- Do it. Taking the designs you created from D #1 and integrate them into your life while you have the time.
Another aspect of time management is called multi-shifting.
Most people are aware that the term multi-tasking means doing more than one thing at a time.
Multi-shifting means accomplishing many important things over a pre-determined period of time by coordinating and focusing on accomplishing one thing at a time.
We wear many hats in our life that makes us responsible for many things. We may be caring for surviving parents, sharing your life with a spouse or life partner, or maybe you have one or more children. We also need to take care of our health and all the responsibilities of being and effective provider. In addition, if you work for yourself or in sales you have to constantly juggle client service, new business development, and coordinating operations, just to name a few.
To best explain multi-shifting all you need to do is look at a game of professional football team. At first glance you see one team, however if you look more closely you will see three distinct teams that make up the one; offense, defense and special teams.
You are not running your offense, defense and special teams all at the same time – that would be multitasking. You are shifting the entire focus on the field on an as need basis one aspect of the team at a time throughout the game. At the drop of the ball the next team takes the field. At any given moment the needs on the field may completely change into a totally different set of objectives.
When we go to work on Monday morning you can’t just tell our families “I’ll see you on Friday afternoon”. Throughout the week we need to keep shifting into our different responsibilities.
The best approach is to have an overall effective plan that we can coordinate and execute throughout the week that needs to be accomplished.
It is the art of designing and knowing how to shift focus and shift again. We need to understand how to integrate several productive activities over a period of time so we can be effective in all the areas we need to get positive results.
Multi shifting allows you to work in your effective zone. That is when we are shifting smoothly from one need to another. The most effective action items are being addressed and acted upon in some sort systematic fashion. You are confidently shifting from focus are to focus area.
We also need to know what it feels like to be operating in our effective zone and when to recognize when we have fallen out of it.
The goal isn’t to be in the zone 100% of the time but to know when and how to turn it on, to be operating there most of the time when it is necessary to be as effective as possible.
Moving out of your effective zone is most commonly caused by disorganization, unclear priorities, or self-sabotaging thoughts.
Mastering the art of multi shifting and working in your effective zone is the point of impact that enables you to turn your dreams to reality.