I am sure you have heard people saying that they needed more than 24 hours a day. Somehow, there is so much to do and less time. But then again, is it really true that there is so much to do and no time? We need to first of all qualify what we have to do, what we must do, what has to be done. In reality some of the pursuits that we are engaged in do not have an eternal value, a productive value, a fruitful value or they do not really matter.
“All of us get 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. No more. No less. The richest person in the world cannot buy an extra hour in the day. No amount of willpower can add an extra day to the week. No matter how high the demand, the supply of time will never increase. Ever. This is a brutal fact we must all reckon with. We can always find more money to get something done or hire more people to help us with a project. But the single most limiting factor in the completion of our objectives is time. It is our scarcest resource and must be managed that way”.
In the last post, we took a look at some of the 5 ways you can be able to make time for yourself in order to pursue the things that matter to you. Let us finish this off with the next 5.
The greatest hindrance to productivity in our century is distraction. We are the most distracted generation since the creation of man. We have notifications to answer, emails to reply, backlogs to catch up on and so on to do. We in the process have lost urgency of work. Urgency is not necessarily what it means at face value. My description of urgency is thus:
So as you can see, my definition of urgency is not doing things because we are late, but doing things because we are called to do them.
This is absolutely critical. It is easy to say no if you already did what we advised in step 1: Get focused. Yes, I am a speaker but No, I am not available to speak on just about any topic on earth. I am centralizing my message on Purpose, Productivity and Resilience. That’s it. You may call me to speak about leadership and I will not give you great service, because I know my friend Samuel Bakutana has made that topic his forte. He has concentrated on it, is researching on it and is delivering on it daily. So you will excuse me if I say “No” to your speaking invite, unless of course you change the topic to suit my message. Learning to say No creates time for us to focus on what is important to us.
We live in a world where we want to plant a Mango tree today and get mango fruits in the evening. One of the greatest mistakes I made as a young man ( I still am young and will be that way for quite a while) is to look for things that gave me immediate rewards (read jobs). The nature of life is that we want to meet our needs immediately. However, I have learnt that that kind of living is wasteful in terms of productive time that we put in. Knowing that great rewards come much later will help us focus on what matters to us, what is important to us. Therefore, we spend our days building corporate structures around what matters to us so that when the right time comes for the mango to yield fruits, we are ready. In the meantime, we keep watering the mango tree. That is better use of your time than using it on things that bring your instant results and gratification. Why? Those things do not stand the test of legacy and are not fulfilling in the end.
In his book “What’s Your Genius?” Jay Niblic shares a phenomenon that he calls “Turn to the right, or Turn to the left.” He explains that people on realizing that they are not good for what they are doing, turn to try and fix themselves, instead of abandoning what they are doing to find what they are good at. This is what building your strengths is all about. That is why you will not find me researching about accounts, marketing, coding and so on. Although I could (and Indeed I have done these things previously), they do not fall smack in the middle of my strength zone. Doing these things is not the fruitful use of my time.
This helps you especially as you remember the law of rewards and the law of process. If I knew that I do not have a block of 3 hours to write but I have a consistent spurt of 20 minutes each day, what do I do? I create unrivalled momentum and consistency around those daily 20 minutes. In the end, what I have is a habit that is unbreakable. The previously dispensable 20 minutes becomes one of the foundations of my fruitfulness going forward. That is how we create time to pursue our purpose
I hope you find these nuggets helpful to you.