You have discovered what you want. It has become clear and you have established in your mind why this goal is incredibly important.
But now how do you fit it into your day?
Have you ever heard yourself say this? “I don’t have enough time to (your goal)”
I’m sure everyone has at one time in their life. Given that time is one of those things that we never have more or less available to us it is not surprising that it is a common complaint.
The famous quote goes along the line of “You can have anything you want, but you cannot have everything you want”.
This is totally true but do not dismay for there is much more hope available to you than you may think.
There is a simple change to the way you think that can turn how you see time and life around.
A common mistake that we all make is that we measure the wrong thing when deciding if we will pursue our desires. We measure time.
This approach renders you largely powerless. Time is a constant in our lives, there are only so many hours in a week. Wishing there were more hours in a day is a pointless exercise and gives you no opportunity to create the change you desire.
The next approach people take is to try and do everything faster.
They eat faster, take less breaks, cook faster and less healthy meals. This approach leads people to increased stress and a hectic lifestyle in which the only that happens is that you get burnt out and exhausted all the while feeling you still are not getting anything done.
Another approach, although misguided that gets you closer is when you start cutting out or limiting activities altogether.
We decide that we will only sleep 4 hours a night. We will spend less time talking to our office mates about the game. We will spend less time talking to our closest friends and lovers.
What happens here is we end up making everyone around us feel neglected as we steadily minimise that amount of time we spend with anyone doing anything other than what we think we should be doing. Eventually people leave us and we get exactly less of everything that we previously had. Our whole life crashes down just as we do for not getting a goods nights sleep.
What is missing is a crucial measurement.
Measure the Value of your Time
We must measure the value of the time we spend.
What good is limiting the amount of time you spend on building relationships if relationships are what gives you the greatest joy?
Why would you restrict the amount of time you exercise if having a strong and vibrant body gives you the greatest sense of feeling alive?
While time is constant, the value you gain from its use varies. To get the most out of life you must simply maximise the value you get from each moment of your life.
How do you maximise the value you get from each moment? Here is the answer.
Take a piece of paper and divide it into 3 columns.
In the left column, write all the things you want to do or have in your life. Just dump them out there.
In the right column, write all the things that you have in your life that are important to you. Things like, relationships, family, business, friends, sport etc.
Now in each column, number each item from giving you the most value in your life (ie. you want it the most) to least. At the end both of your columns should be ordered independently.
For the next part of the exercise it is important that you think of the things in your columns (the things you want) as if you already had them, in order to put them into equal perspective to the items in your right column.
Now you are going to populate the middle column. Take both outer columns are compare the number one most valuable items in each. Take the most valuable item to your life and put it at the top of your middle column. Then take the top remaining items from each column, compare and again take the most valuable item into the center column.
By the time you are finished your middle column will represent what things are most important to you and give you the most value in your life if your life was how you wanted it to be done.
|Important in Future||Order of Importance||Important Now|
Let me run you through an example.
Lets say the left column of things you want contains in order:
- Financial Freedom
- Creating a family
- Holiday to Japan
Then the right column contains things that give you value right now in order:
- Movie night
Then in building the center column of most value to your life you would ask yourself. Which is more valuable, Relationship or Financial freedom? The answer of Relationship goes in the center column.
Which is more important? Career or Financial freedom? Financial freedom goes in the center column next.
Which is more important? Career or Creating a family? Creating a family going in the center column.
Career or Holiday to Japan? Career
Holiday to Japan or Movie Night? Japan
The center list of your most valuable desires ends up being:
- Financial freedom
- Creating a family
- Holiday to japan
- Movie night
You probably have a longer list but the process is the same.
Now what you have created is a list of the most valuable activities for your life.
Next spend a moment on a new sheet of paper and jot down the approximate set of activities that you do during your week such as go to work, watch the news, go on a date, learn a new skill set.
Compare the list of what you actually do during the week with what gives you the most value in your life. Take anything that is not a necessity (like reading/watching the news) and does not give you high value and cross it out of your week. Stop doing those tasks.
Now your list of weekly activities should only include life necessities and activities that provide you life value. Look at the value giving activities and see if they match up with the priorities that you have identified give you the most value. If you are finding you spend more time planning a holiday to japan than building a quality relationship then clearly you are not getting the most enjoyment you could get from life. Do less of the low value tasks and concentrate on the high value ones.
This is how you maximise your time. At the broad level this is all there is to it.
If you wanted to go into finer detail to create even more time for high value tasks then you start to use the principle that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. Spending an hour reading about the gold standard is going to contribute less value to your financial freedom goals than spending that hour planning how to take your career to the next level.
It all comes back to knowing how you are spending your time and using it to give your life the most value. By throwing out low value activities you create the availability to use time for more high value activities.
What activities would you take out of your life to replace with high value living?