“My normal New Year’s resolution was not going to cut it. I was going to have to build new habits if I wanted to change my life.” -Patsy Lim, certified John Maxwell Team coach, speaker & trainer
How many times have you heard someone say “I NEED at least 36 hours a day?” Well, that is the one thing we cannot change. We all have just 24 hours a day whether you’re rich or poor, smart or not so smart, pretty or not so pretty. Even people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have just 24 hours a day. I don’t think they became successful because they somehow miraculously conjured up 36 hours a day. There’s no doubt that they just happen to have learned how to manage their time better than the rest of us.
What is the biggest time killer for most people today? I would have to say social media. If you let it, Facebook can just suck the life out of your day. According to an International Data Corporation (IDC) research report, on average, we visit the Facebook app or the site 13.8 times during the day, for 2 minutes and 22 seconds each time. That’s at least a half hour out of every single day. When you account for LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and all of the other social media platforms you frequent, you realize that it is no small wonder that we aren’t getting the most out of the 24 hours we have in a day.
Don’t believe me?
Keep a diary of your time for just 2 weeks. Mark out the time you spend watching TV, interacting on social media, sleeping, working on your personal development, etc. Be honest with yourself when you do this. Ensure that these two weeks accurately reflect the way you normally spend your time as it can be tempting to fudge the numbers knowing that you’re paying attention to what you do. At the end of the two weeks, review your diary and see how your time worked out. This was a little exercise that was introduced to me by the John Maxwell Team. It got me to face my reality.
So, now you have a starting point. What are you going to do about it?
For me, it started me on a journey to make better use of my time. For a start, I now schedule my social media time. I stop when the clock says to stop regardless of whether I have read all the posts that I have to read. Suddenly, I began to find all this “extra” time I didn’t have before! What we do today will impact our tomorrow.
After placing myself under John’s mentorship, I discovered that he has a Daily 5 which he religiously commits to each day. Therefore, my next step was to work out what my Daily 5 habits needed to be. What is important to me? What will propel me to the next level? Is what I’m doing today in line with where I say I want to be? What do I have to stop doing? What are the things I cannot afford to stop doing because it HAS to be done? What were the non-negotiables? Once I came up with that list it was clear that my normal New Year’s resolution was not going to cut it. I was going to have to build new habits if I wanted to change my life.
Another major step I took to make better use of my time was to stop watching TV just to “relax.” Nielsen research showed the average American watched an average of 5.1 hours of TV a day, or 153 hours of TV a month. That’s one-third of our day when we’re awake and this figure continues to increase! 5.1 hours per day is nearly 2,000 hours a year which equals 2.5 full months. Just imagine if that time was spent on your goals. How much further ahead would you be? Today, I hardly watch TV. I read a lot more than I have done in the past few years and I am noticing the difference it has made in helping me reach my goals.
If you find yourself in the same boat, wondering why you are not achieving your dreams, why there’s never enough time to do anything, just do these two things as a start: cut out TV and be disciplined with your social media interaction. It’s easy to say but not so easy to do. If necessary, get yourself an accountability partner who can keep you on track. Most importantly, have fun doing it. If it’s not fun, it will become too difficult and you will very quickly slide back into your old ways.
Patsy Lim is the CEO of Equipped 4 Success Pty Ltd and a certified coach, trainer and speaker with the John Maxwell Team. Her passion is to see you stretch beyond your current position and achieve more than you think is possible using the same tools that she has used to grow, enhance her own productivity, development and decision making skills, and to create a more balanced lifestyle.
Her business and financial background (having qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1980), together with her entrepreneurial spirit enables her to apply a potent blend of strong financial and accounting expertise, deep practical business experience, and entrepreneurial flair and creativity to complex business problems. As an entrepreneur, she understands the issues that an entrepreneur faces. So, unlike some accountants who only know the theory of business, Patsy has had hands-on experience of what it means to be IN business, to start a business, to grow a business, and most of all, to manage a business when times inevitably get tough!