You are not a helpless victim of time. It doesn’t run away with you. You choose how to spend your time, who you spend it with, and you need to take responsibility for what your choices create in your life and business.
Will there be times when these statements don’t feel true? Definitely! You might deal with health issues that reduce your available time to work. You may have had time seemingly stolen by weather, power outages, delayed flights, and other people. You don’t get to control everything in life.
But when you don’t get your first choice, you still have one. You can control how you play the cards you’re dealt.
It Starts with Shifting Your Mindset
Changing your relationship with time and owning your responsibility for it starts with awareness. Pay attention to your thoughts this week. See if any of these thoughts bubble up for you:
- I don’t have enough time.
- There’s ever enough time.
- Time got away from me.
Now, what would happen if you took ownership for your time? You might replace those old thoughts with these new ones…
- I choose how I spend my time.
- This is important to me and I will make time for it.
- I made a choice about time, I will evaluate the impact and make the best next choice.
Don’t Give Regrets Space
Owning your time means owning your choices and that is not about making something you’ve done bad or wrong. Shame and guilt are rarely productive emotions—instead leaving you stuck in the mire of previous choices.
Remember, there’s no value in dwelling on regrets. The fact that you’ve put your focus so much on what hasn’t worked well is the exact reason you’re thinking of yourself as a victim of time.
Batch Your Time
Time batching or calendar blocking is one way to make the most of time and sort your activities into zones. For example, bookkeeping might be a Zone of Incompetence activity for you and while you have it largely outsourced, it does require some of your attention.
Instead of dreading it, just block a chunk of time on your calendar and batch tasks that need to get done. This way you’re facing this tedious task only once a quarter rather than more often.
Batching applies well to upper zone tasks as well. Once a month block time for topic development. You can decide what topics to create content for and create an outline for each.
Create Space on Your Calendar
If you’re a service provider, you probably block your calendar for client projects. But are you doing it for your own projects, too?
Say you want to release three new courses in the next 12 months, you’ll need to do a lot of work. If these courses are a priority, you’ll add them into your schedule – just as important as any paying client.
Entrepreneurs who deliver services by the hour to others are successful because they’re diligent in sticking to a schedule and driven to meet or even beat deadlines. The underlying motivation that makes this possible can be applied to your own goals – if they want it bad enough.
Remember, none of this is about what you ‘should do’ or what you ‘ought to do’. This is all about what you ‘want to do’. When you become deeply aware of what you want to do, you’ll make it happen.