Are you blaming a lack of time for your lack of achievement? I know that it’s an excuse I frequently hide behind. I’m a busy person. I am a wife and mother of two who runs a business and two networking groups. I am Chair of Governors of a large primary school and take a turn on the church flower arranging rota. I like being busy. I get more done when I’m busy but I am guilty sometimes of choosing busyness of business. Is this a trap you fall into too?
Are you making excuses?
‘I haven’t had time’is an excuse I frequently hear from my clients. Lack of time is an excuse not an obstacle. We have the rime for what we want to do. So if you find yourself saying ‘I haven’t had time ask yourself why. The chances are that you are not committed enough to your goal, that you have allowed other people’s agenda to dominate yours or that clutter, mental or physical, has taken over.
Where does time go?
When we really look at our use of time we can be surprised by the results. How long does it really take to make that item, write that piece or prepare for that meeting? How long do we spend checking emails or social media?
Knowing how long a task really takes is vital where there is a connection between time and money. It’s very easy to underestimate how long a job takes and therefore to under price our work. But knowing how we spend time will also allow us to work out whether we are using time in proportion to our priorities. If we’re not we need to make changes.
If lack of time is an issue for you track you ruse of time over a typical weel or at least a few days. Note down what you do every minute of the day. Use a tool like Toggl.com which can run in the background on your desktop, tablet or phone. The free version is adequate for this analysis. You can record your time usage against client, project or product etc. and at the end of the day or week you can see exactly where your time went. Be honest! Don’t think you can skip the time you spent on Twitter or the coffee in front of the TV! I’m not saying you can’t spend time on Twitter or in front of the TV but that is a choice you make and if you choose to make it then you can’t complain later that you didn’t have the time to spend on your priorities.
- Track your time usage for the next week
- What surprises you?
- What could you do less of to make time for your goals?
- What do you need to change?
- Come back next week when we’ll consider some changes and the tools that might help.