We live such busy, busy lives. We are always moving from one place to another, meeting this person, attending that meeting and so on. We do not want to be “left behind”, whatever that phrase means! And so we find our desks cluttered with so much “to do”, and that list keeps piling up. We have obligations, aspirations, deadlines, notifications, emails, dates, further education, family, parents, kids and so many things that are demanding our seemingly “meager” 24 hours a day. What do we do?
Tony Robbins in his audio book, “Awaken the Giant” alludes to the fact that he faced the same issues earlier on but learnt something called “The concentration of power”. It is simply about focus, total absolute focus on where you want to go and what you want to do and getting committed to that direction and focus. I believe that if we can step back from our “busyness” and take a deep look at what we are doing, we will be able to figure out what really matters that needs our attention.
Here are part of the 10 ways in which we can make time to pursue our purpose.
Someone has written a book titled, “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff”. Major things obviously speak of purpose, vision and mission. A man without a mission or purpose can spread themselves too thin doing just about everything, but having nothing to show for their “busyness”. At the very high end of success, there is laser like focus. The moment as a writer I decided to focus on writing matters related to purpose, productivity and resilience, my time is now sharply focused on those three. I cannot write about everything and be successful, can I? Focus not only frees your time, it also frees your mind and de-clutters your life. Nothing eats much of our time like “clutter” does. So let’s focus. I think the first rule of making some valuable time for yourself is to choose one thing that you love, are gifted in and you would want to spend probably the rest of your life on. Someone might be asking: So how do I balance the aspect of putting food on the table while doing this? Great question. We shall answer that in the succeeding points in the next article.
I have quoted him very many times on this blog and I won’t stop. This is one of the power principles of hiving off some time in order to be efficient in your life. Listen to this:
“If I was given six hours to chop down a tree, I would probably use 4 hours to sharpen my axe first”
The principle is simple. Do not rush to do things. First sit down and get some insight, plan it out and dry run it. I love mind mapping, meditating and mind storming. These have helped me write an article a day for the month of February. As I write, I actually have a major backlog or articles and books to write. That thing they call writer’s block ain’t there. What happened? I planned. Without planning, you always have that feeling of overwhelm overcoming you. It always seems as if there is no time, but indeed there is.
Stephen G. Fairley shares a powerful way of planning. After documenting all your tasks that are to be done, categorize them using the ABCDE method.
A: Highly important that must be done today
B: Normal priority that must be done this week
C: Low priority that must be done this month
D: Important but to be delegated
This is straight forward. For example as a writer, I deliberately set out years ago to learn touch typing. I still practice on and off but I can tell you this: Being skilled is one of the best ways to being effective. I can almost fly a though off the page because of my fast typing skills. What does this do? It helps me to save on time that would have otherwise been lost painstakingly spearing my keyboard! I know you get the point. It pays to spend a good amount of time consistently improving an aspect of your performance so that you can do it fast and efficiently. In turn, this helps you to save lots of time that would otherwise have been wasted in slow and inefficient and irritating progress.
When someone takes his car to the washing bay for example, people might think that they are lazy. The fact is that they couldwash the car…but then again there could be more pressing, fruitful and productive things that they could do instead of washing the car. That is just an example. The major thing with time though is that we need to learn to “live with our weaknesses”. If I am not good in accounting, I could waste an entire morning trying to balance a ledger or whatever they call those accounting things. The best way to approach it is to get someone else to do that, someone who is skilled and loves poring through numbers. I know what you are thinking: How will I pay that person? Hint: It doesn’t have to be through cash all the time!
Micro seconds are important in making a second. But they are so small to be “seen” or noticed. We actually notice more our minutes than we do our seconds. The same happens with the effort we put into things. We think that we need a block of 3 hours to read a book, listen to something instructional or inspirational or even think and imagine. We then take a look at our schedule, we cannot find the block of 3 hours…but guess what? We can find some 20 minutes “free” here and there. What do we do with that 20 minutes? Nothing. Multiply that 20 minutes by 365 and you find how much valuable that time would be if you invested something as simple as reading two or three pages consistently…