“I don’t have the time.” How often have we all heard this common excuse? The truth is that we each have the same 24 hours in a given day, so why is it that some seem to be able to maximize this time, while others spin their wheels and fail to accomplish much? It’s a question worth delving into, because if you can find the answer for yourself, you open the doors of unlimited possibility. That’s where greatness awaits.
The Most Precious Commodity
Time is rightly regarded as the most previous commodity in that we all have a finite amount available to each of us. Learning to master time has probably been the most important factor in my success over the past few years. However, it hasn’t been an easy road. I’ve faced the same roadblocks that many of us do; procrastination, fear of failure, overcommitment, etc. The good news though is that it’s never too late to start making the most of the time that you have.
Learning to Terminate Excuses
One of my favorite books is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story. Schwarzenegger is arguably one of the most successful individuals in recent memory who has risen to the top of not one, but THREE different professions. None of that came by luck. One of the most insightful stories in the book talks about how he came to America in search of fame and fortune. While he was already a renowned bodybuilder at the time, and he was training diligently, he had even greater aspirations and he dedicated the time it would take to achieve those goals. Not only was he training 5+ hours a day in the gym to push his body to its ultimate limits, he was also working constructions jobs to make money, taking college classes to improve his English and business savvy, and taking acting workshops to further his quest to conquer Hollywood. Did he have the time? Would it have been easy to make excuses? Of course, but that’s not the way you accomplish big dreams. They take sacrifice and hard work. The point he likes to make is that there are 24 hours in a day and we all have those same hours, so really it comes down to creating a game plan for using that time as efficiently as possible.
God Given Talent?
Consider also this truism about one of the greatest Swordsman ever, Miyamoto Musashi.
This quote has always been one of the most impactful to me. A lot of time we tend to look at successful people with admiration and envy at what they have, without taking the time to consider all of the sacrifices which pay the price for that success. One of the greatest secrets to my personal achievements has been the ability to multi-task and use my time efficiently. It’s how I was able to start a successful writing career, while working a full-time job. Learning to develop this skill could be the most important factor in realizing your goals or simply dreaming about them.
Best Ways To Maximize Your Time and Productivity
So here are some handy rules to consider when trying to make the most the time in your day:
- Don’t just do something to check off a task on the list or to seem like you are staying active. Make sure you make the most of your time by striving for quality achievements or actions that build to something meaningful. You see this a lot with people in the gym. They wander aimlessly from machine to machine without a clear purpose for what they are trying to achieve in a given workout. Get focused on the important things and make those your priority each day!
- Find the best ways that you can concentrate at the task at hand. Personally, I like to have lots going on around me. When things get too quiet, I find myself getting antsy. Others tend to zero in on a task when they have no distractions. Know yourself and find the best way for you to work. Because no two of us are exactly the same, being self-aware will serve to help you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to productivity.
- Block out time in advance for the important things. At the end of the week, I make a calendar for the week ahead with all the key tasks I need to accomplish in the coming days. These are the things that Is et in stone, and everything else needs to worked around these things. Not only does this lock in the biggest items on my agenda, but it offers a visual for the free time I do have and then like a puzzle piece you can fit in other things as needed.
- Learn to say no. Personally this has been one of the most challenging rules for me to follow. As a super-achiever, I like to think that I can “have it all”. Never one to pass up a great opportunity, I tend to fall into the trap of overcommitting with the mindset that I will figure out a way to get it done. While in most cases I can, I have often fell short of my best work while working under impossible time lines. Save your time for the most meaningful tasks and make sure you give them your best effort. The results may astound you!
Don’t Let the Hourglass Slip Away
In the end, it’s pretty simple, do not wait for the time to come, or else you will be waiting for a very long time. In this day age, our lives are busier than ever and “free time” is something that eludes even the best of us. If you have a big dream or goal, make the time to do the things it takes be successful. That way, whether you succeed or fail, you can go forward with no regrets about not trying.
You may just surprise yourself with all you can accomplish when you stop making excuses why something can’t be done and instead start to focus on finding solutions to ways to make things happen. Not only will you be a lot more productive, but you will also gain confidence and an assurance that all things are possible! Then you can take these wins move on to seeking great challenges to accomplish.
I will leave you with the following motivational video that sums it up pretty well: