Chapter 7: Expand your time frame
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
Time. What is time? Time is defined as the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. Time is one of the most difficult properties of our universe to understand. Time is a primary concept and is not made up of, or dependent on, anything else. I like to see time as only a unit of measurement to calculate the seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and decades that make up our lives.
We all use this measurement of time in our lives. We all get timestamped when we are born and when we die. It is all about the dash in the middle and what we do with our time on earth that counts. This precious gift of time we have been blessed with to live and experience life. How you spend your time, what you spend your time doing and with whom is up to you; it’s your life and your time. What will you be remembered for, and what will you leave behind when you are gone? Really think about this question of legacy. Think about the legacy you benefit from today thanks to the people before you who have come and gone.
What mark will you leave on this earth when you are gone?
Time management 101
Time management rule 101 is there is no escaping time; there is only time. The clocks don’t stop ticking and tocking. The sun continues to rise each morning, and we are reminded every 12 months that we are getting older and aging. We cannot escape time; we can only use time. We all spend 24 hours a day, no exceptions. What makes us all different is how we spend those 24 hours.
Answer the following questions. On a typical day . . .
- What time do you wake up in the morning? __________
- What time do you go to bed at night? _______________
- How much time do you sleep on average? ___________
- How many hours do you work a day? _______________
- Do you spend enough time with your family? _________
- Do you spend enough time with your friends? ________
- Do you spend enough time having fun? _____
- Do you spend enough time relaxing? _______
- Do you spend enough time learning? _______
- Do you spend enough time working out? _________
If you take the time to answer the questions, you will come to the realisation that there are not many free hours left in the day once you wake up, shower, have breakfast, go to work, work the job, come home, have your evening meal, spend time with the family, watch TV, and go to bed – only to do it all again the next day.
If you want to make your dreams and goals come true, you will have to make room for them in your life. Period, full stop. End of story. You make room for them by scheduling what you do and when you do them. For example, I am a morning person and love waking up a few hours before my wife and at least three hours before I start work. This habit has allowed me to get at least two hours of deep work in a day. Two hours a day times seven in a week is 14 hours. In a year, that’s 738 hours, and in 10 years, that’s the equivalent of 303 days of deep, focused work on my goals and dreams. If you are a night person like some, flip the script: two hours a night after the kids go down, get to work on your goals and dreams.
Using your journal will help you to see that the trick is to map out how you spend your time and then plan your days in advance by creating blocks of time in your life for the things that you can do that moves the needle forwards in your life. If you can’t create time or manage time, you have no life. Get in control of your life by controlling what you do with your time. Prioritise your goals in your schedule, and work on them first. As Stephen R. Covey said, ‘Fill your bucket with the big rocks first, or you’ll never get them in at all.’ Replace the things in life that waste your time with the things in life that make your life, and you will be on the fast track to your personal success.
I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.
Exercise. Map out below a near-perfect day for you three years in the future.
- What mark will you leave on this earth when you are gone?
- There is no escaping time; there is only time.
- If you want to make your dreams and goals come true, you will have to make room for them in your life.
- Prioritise your goals in your schedule and work on them first.
- Focus on creating chunks of uninterrupted hours which you can use to work on your goals.
- Protect and guard your time like the precious resource it is.