What are you going to do with the time in your control today? Much of your day is taken up with responsibilities to others but you still have power over a lot of your time. Much more than you think.
Yes, You Do Have Time! and it is in your control. So, what is your plan?
Here are four possible responses:
#1. I do not have a plan. A response like this puts your time at the risk of being lost to doing nothing. No one benefits and you are not making good time investments. Opportunities become wasted.
#2. I’ll see what is going on and do something related to that. With this approach, time is often consumed by low priority and low/no impact tasks. It may get a few nonessential things done, but there is no time investment. Your time was not wasted because you did something, but it did not do anything that can benefit you in the future.
#3. I’ll focus on a work project. Your employer will be happy and he may mention you in a meeting, but it usually does little for you in the long run. Life is not only work. One of these days you will quit, be fired, or retire, and then what? Your time investment of your free time is going to benefit someone else.
#4. I’ll plan my time to work on my dream. Here is the response that shows a good personal time investment. Your plan helps you develop your dream and will pay off for you and your family in the future.
When you decide to be a planner, how can that look?
Here is what I do. I know what my dream is and have a clear destination. My end goal is placed on a timeline and broken up into smaller goals. With this information, I can begin to work out plans of how I can invest my available time each day of the week.
At the beginning of the week, I set up a brainstorming session about the week’s main goal and opportunities. It is a simple exercise and only takes about ten minutes. I take out a sheet of paper and write my goal at the top. Then I set a two-minute timer and quickly write down as many things about the goal as I can. I write things I know and things I would like to know. I only use single words or very short phrases. At this point, I am trying to get as much written down as possible in the two minutes. Limiting the exercise to two minutes forces me to think of many options quickly.
Next, I group the similar ideas and questions together. Usually, that breaks the page up into four to five different areas. I can then organize these into logical steps.
My last step to this brainstorming process is to assign a day(s) to focus on each of the areas of interest.
I then post the plan where it is easy to see each day. At a glance, I can see the goal and the plan for the day. I usually also take a picture of it with my smartphone so I will always have a copy with me.
Based on this plan, each morning I write out on a 3×5 card. I write down three things that I can focus on that day to help achieve my goal. Because of a clear plan, I am able to invest well in the time that is in my control. The investment is in something that relates to me or my family. It will continue to benefit me no matter my job status.
Some days I only get to work on my ideas for 10-15 minutes and others offer more opportunity. You may say, “It’s not worth the effort if you only get ten minutes a day.” But let me encourage you to change your thinking. Any good investment is worth doing. You have to think long term.
A 10-minute investment of time for five days a week for a year, adds up to more than 43 hours. If you could give 30 minutes over each weekend that would be another 26 hours. Now you have invested 69 hours in your dream. If you can double your time investment that would be 138 hours. That would equal about three and a half weeks of work focused on your own dream. I know this kind of investment will pay off for you.Even small amounts of time invested in yourself can produce great value. Click To Tweet
Most people who complete the Day Map exercise have discovered about one and a half hours each day that they did not realize was in their control. Imagine what would happen if you invested this time in reaching your own dreams.