- Dr. Brian Kleinberg
4 Ways to Become a Time Millionaire!
“Time = Life; therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life!” – Alan Lakein
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is, you’re the pilot!” – Michael Altshuler
“I don’t have enough time!!” Do you say this to yourself or others? Do others say this to you? People are so caught up with the necessities of work and life, they may feel that they never get to spend time on their own well-being, personal growth and important projects. People tell me they know it’s important to exercise and take better care of themselves, but they just can’t find the extra time to do it. I often wonder if that’s actually true.
Imagine if you had the ability to travel backward in time to look at how you spent the hours and days just past. How efficient were you in the use of your time? Did you use your time wisely and focus on the most important things that needed to get done? Or did you find yourself getting distracted by a myriad of emails, social media posts and other interruptions to your daily routine?
If you could do a 'time audit' on your daily routine, you might be very surprised and disappointed with the results. You might find that there are a lot of inefficiencies and distractions that add up to minutes and possibly hours of what I call 'time leakage'. You may think that you’re using time efficiently, but an honest assessment may have you conclude that you could do much better. To succeed in changing poor time management you must have this self-critical awareness of your 'time deficiencies'. At this stage you can start to build a new approach to managing your time and your life by placing an important value on your own time.
If you’re talking about value, you often think about your possessions and money. You may not think to compare your valuable assets to the time that you have but let me point out to you why they are so similar. Your money and precious assets have value and you work hard to make money so that you can purchase the things you want/need. Wise investments in money can lead to strong financial security. By extension, if you spend your money carefully, you show responsibility and attention for your valuable assets. You spend a tremendous amount of energy preserving the value of money, but do you do the same thing for your personal time? How many of you invest wisely in planning your time wisely and spending the time that you have on the very important concerns in your lives?
It’s often said that “time is money”. What if we were to modify this by saying that the value of time is just as important if not more important than the value of money. In other words, if you invest wisely in your precious time the returns will be huge in terms of better health, better productivity and better satisfaction of life. In fact, research has shown that better planning and control of time will enhance happiness and productivity. The more you invest in your own personal time planning, the more you will realize returns and dividends from your efforts. I am using the same language here as I would in talking about financial investments. And that is the strength of this argument. It’s time to start valuing your time no differently than you value your money and possessions!
Once you have internalized this idea of the value of time you should consider some practical steps towards creating your personal time investment and gaining back the precious minutes and hours that may be evaporating on a daily basis. These ideas could include the following (and there are plenty of others!):
1) Manage your social media time better: Most of you, if not all of you, have been captivated by the allure of social media and the constant stream of information that it provides. Daily doses of tweets, feeds, posts and WhatsApp messages consume incredibly significant amounts of time and take away from more important uses of time. For many, this has become an uncontrollable addiction. Some of you have cut back or even gone cold turkey and can honestly say you are not suffering from FOMO. But for many of you, the seduction of social media continues. The good news is that there is help out there and you should seriously consider some of these excellent apps that will help you at least manage and control the amount of time you spend on social media.
2) Prioritize your goals and activities: Basic time management requires that you firmly establish what is important in your life and what has to come first. Complaining that you have no time for yourself, your significant other or your family is just a symptom that you have not investigated your personal priorities. Create a quiet space and time for yourself to reflect on where you are applying your energies and where you are missing out on the most important things in your life right now. Make a list of these priorities and start making a commitment to these important core needs in your life. The value of your time is reflected by the importance you attach to your personal life goals and activities.
3) Make time commitments before you act on the priorities: Once you’ve established the most important priorities and needs in your life, which should likely include your personal relationships, time for your well-being including exercise and developing your lifelong learning, you have to look at the calendar. People tell me excitedly that they have joined a fitness centre. Great, I say, so when are you going to go there? Frequently, the answer is unclear because they have gone about this backwards. Before committing to the action, which in this case is joining the fitness centre, you have to seriously explore your weekly calendar and decide when exactly you’re going to do your exercises. You will have to factor in all the other time commitments that you have to your work and family. You will have to discuss with your significant other how this will impact his/her schedule. Do the blueprint and then build the structure, not the other way around. This should be your template for all your regular scheduling. The failure in time management for so many people is that they actually don’t explore the issue of when exactly it will happen in their busy lives but instead, consume themselves with whatever activity they’re about to engage in.
4) Be creative with your time: Time management doesn’t have to be stiff and rigid. It’s important to be flexible and variable in your routine as well. You shouldn’t feel like the clock is governing everything that you do. You should always feel that you’re in control of your time but you are using that time with such efficiency that you can complete all your important tasks and still have time to read, to socialize and to enjoy your life in general. You can walk and talk. You can also be on the treadmill while you are watching a Netflix movie. You can listen to a podcast or lecture while exercising. If you are a corporation planning a retreat, you can balance the program with training seminars and yoga classes. Allowing employees to work from home 1 to 2 days a week is an excellent way of improving their time management and the productivity of your company.
If you can apply some of the ideas I have presented here and work on the value of your time then you will realize returns on your investment which will include better health, stronger relationships and more satisfaction with your life. You will learn how to control your own personal clock and not the other way around. You will achieve the title of a “Time Millionaire”!!