Are you at war with time? Many business owners and executives find themselves shocked at the end of every work day by the fact that the day is over and their lists of high priority items are still incomplete. The excuses we give ourselves are always the same; “my time is just too unpredictable, “I ran out of time”, “there is not enough time”.
The ironic thing about our surprise at the end of the day is that time is very predictable. 8am starts at the same time every day and 6pm comes around exactly on time. This leads me to believe that time has been framed. We framed it for our shortcomings. Instead of realizing that we are not as productive as we should be we blame time for all our woes.
If we want to be really honest with ourselves we don’t have a time problem. Figuring out a way to have 28 hour days won’t solve our issues, and working 12 hour days instead of 8 has not solved the problem either. You see, we don’t have a time problem at all. We have a productivity problem. Ultimately we have a priority problem. No matter how few or how many hours we give ourselves to work, there is always something in the way.
Now that we are being honest, let’s face the fact that no matter how rich and powerful we are (or not) we can’t change time. We can’t add any, we can’t rewind it, and we can’t pause it. Everyone lives under these same constraints. I know this seems obvious, but we all use time as an excuse. As long as we continue to believe that complaining about time will help our productivity, our issues we will never change.
What we need to do is not blame time, but respect it. Once we can come to terms with the fact that time dictates our days through its natural constraints we can start to move forward. It is not time that is unruly in our lives. No, we are unruly to the unchangeable facts of time. Now that we have that straight what can we do about it? How do we gain productivity by respecting time?
The answer to this question will be slightly different for every person, but the main point is that we must realize that there are only so many hours in a day. This means that if we have things that need to get done we have to prioritize our tasks, and then block the time out to complete them. If we continue to walk around oblivious to the unyielding power of time it will continue to win the battle. However, if we settle down into a prioritized schedule and sign a peace treaty with time, productivity and a completed check list will follow.
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