Are you an entrepreneur who’s working on building your dream business while trying to have a life? If so, chances are you always feel like there’s not enough time in the day. Like you’re always playing catch-up. You wake up wired, with a million-and-one things on your mind you know you have to get done.
Maybe it’s gotten to the point where you have started losing focus in meetings, putting important relationships on the back burner and not showing up in the way your family, team and customers need you to. It feels like time is beating you to pieces.
It’s time you realized that you’ve been playing the game all wrong.
Everyone is given the same hours, but there are people out there who seem to wield time in their favor to experience extraordinary fulfillment. From the outside looking in, their productivity and consistent level of activity seem superhuman. Something that they’re born with.
You can make yourself superhuman, too.
This isn’t your conventional time management article. This isn’t about the hustle and bustle of doing more. It’s about setting intentional reasons for why you want to get things done, and then implementing practical strategies to maximize moments so that you’re always staying in flow and working toward milestones that light you up.
Bending time in your favor.
The secret to accomplishing more is bending time. When you can extend every minute of your day beyond the conventional rules of time, you give yourself an enormous advantage over the masses. It all boils down to mindset.
First step — forget everything you know about time management and throw out conventional ways of thinking.
The concept of “bending time” looks beyond 24 hours in a day by challenging the relationship you have toward the things you do and the people you interact with so that you can reframe your mindset to feel happier, more excited and more productive with the time you’re given.
It’s about intentionally designing a lifestyle that allows you to dramatically increase the value of your time. When you believe your time is worth more, you’re motivated to expand how you use every moment to live life to the fullest.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create this reality for yourself.
1. Start with why.
What do you want to achieve in each part of your life? When you’re clear about how you want to show up at work, in your relationships, physically, mentally, spiritually and beyond, you have goals to work backward from. You’ll have the clarity to align your daily actions with where you want to go and replace failing habits with winning ones that are working together to maximize the speed with which you achieve said goals.
If you haven’t identified what fuels you in different parts of life, sit back and think about what makes you happy. Here are some categories to consider: health, wealth, family, friendships, career and business, learning, hobbies, you love life and your bucket list.
Defining success in what each of these areas means to youwill be one of the most important activities you’ll ever complete. It will allow you to think about how and where you are spending your time and will create an opportunity to realign your daily actions to your improved definitions of success.
2. Implement proven strategies to maximize time.
Once you are more intentional about what you want and why, it’s time to focus on how you’re going to get there. There are practical things you can do to manage time better, but those tricks only work if you’re clear about where you’re headed. Having clarity on your why allows you to intentionally plan your day in your favor.
Here are two strategies you can implement immediately to free up your time and the energy spent managing it.
1. Manage your focus. You might think an hour in the gym is mandatory. But when you remove having friendly chats, checking Facebook or taking long breaks, you quickly realize you don’t need more than 20 minutes to kill yourself in the gym. The same goes for everything else in your life. Instead of managing your time, stop multitasking and focus on being effective. Design rituals you can engage to kickstart your focus and repeat them every day. Train your mind to be fully present in the task at hand. This is an invaluable skill that will serve you forever — and it’s something you can start building immediately.
2. Own your calendar. A mentor of mine, Bryan Miles from Belay Solutions, once told me, “If you don’t own your calendar, your calendar will own you.” If you want to be a better partner, set aside time for date nights. If you want to be a better parent, put time on your calendar to play with your kids. If you want to get in shape, schedule time for a workout.
Owning your calendar empowers you to be infinitely more sensitive to wasted time while removing the energy spent remembering what you need to focus on. The more you learn to own your calendar, the more you will work to fill in unused slots with productive and meaningful activities.
3. Live in the moment.
Once you know your why and have implemented strategies to maximize time, there’s only one step left: Be present.
Time is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. It doesn’t exist and is actually just a concept we have created to make sense of something that isn’t meant to be understood. The only thing that matters is the present moment because that’s the only thing that’s guaranteed.
The minute you realize that time doesn’t really exist, you can bend the “rules” of time in your favor. You begin seeing time as a string of present moments, each fueled by the intention to live the ideals you value. When you make presence the goal, you turn time into your ally instead of something that stresses you out. It is the fundamental fabric that fuels your ability to make more from less, allowing you to live a more abundant life.
Make time your friend.
Making plans for the future is a tool only when you’ve learned to take complete control of the present.
Infusing meaning into every minute is a conscious decision. Everyone is born with the same 24 hours in a day, but you can supercharge those hours with the right mindset. It isn’t about the time you’re given; it’s about what you do with the time you’ve got that makes all the difference.
Like Randy Pausch, well known for the inspirational speech he delivered after receiving a terminal pancreatic cancer diagnosis, said, “We don’t beat the reaper by living longer; we beat the reaper by living well…”
Every moment is precious, and more important, every moment is in your control. Once you realize that time management is a function of intentional thinking, you begin to feel harmony and balance in everything you work on, which ultimately energizes you to create more, give more and get more out of everyday life.