Time vs Life
A friend’s brother-in-law passed away recently at the relatively young age of 63. At times like this, I’m reminded to step back and think about how important time actually is.
I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “time is money.” However, with growing businesses, families, priorities and commitments, time is about much more than money.
As a business owner with many committees at various levels, I’ve been re-prioritising my duties for maximum efficiency and effect. During the process, I’ve realised that each lost minute is not just a piece of time, but a chunk of my LIFE.
If time was not about money, but a commodity based on chunks of your life, what would meaning would you give to your life and how would you value your time differently? We aren’t talking dollars here, but asking a more philosophical question about what your life is really worth. And by worth, I mean: how much do you value it?
What things that are important to you are you missing as a result of you not valuing your LIFE? Are your children missing your time with them? Is your partner missing your presence? Are you too busy chasing low-quality clients to provide value to new and potentially higher value opportunities? Which clients waste your time, or force you to charge less than your life is worth? What is the impact of all this?
There are some obvious time-wasters. For me, it’s “critical” meetings that produce no outcome or does not require my direct involvement. Being around clients who value my time even less than their own. Getting stuck with “that” person at a networking event. Or the classic time/value skill that I coach so many in: not charging enough for the value that they give their clients. Are people who are not aligned with your true value eating up the best chunks of your life?
Take a moment and think of each minute of these time-wasting activities as a percentage of your remaining life. Now, what happens when you realise that you will never get those minutes and hours back? Those time wasting activities have taken valuable time away from your loved ones, your passion, your health and even your sleep… When you realise this, how are you going to change things to reclaim your life right now?
Here are some quick tips to help you maximise your time, your value and your life:
- Spend a moment before each “chunk” in your day and confirm in your mind the purpose of the activity.
If it doesn’t connect with your value/time/life philosophy, then reconsider why you’re doing it in the first place.
- Know your standards, and the rules you do business (and life) by.
If you’re in a situation where you’re breaking your rules, stop, reset and start again.
- Know what outcome you want to achieve.
If you’re not on track to the outcome halfway through the “chunk” of time you’ve assigned for it, set a new course.
- Don’t allow others to waste your time with their agendas.
This is your life, your worth. If you’re allowing others to dictate how you spend it by letting them setting your agenda, then you might as well give them the keys to your bus, because they’re in the driver’s seat anyway.
- Know what you love, and do that daily.
If it means getting home in time to connect with your loved ones, through a game of cricket, a tickle and a laugh or simply listening as they share their day – nothing in life has a higher value than that. Not any client, not any fire that needs to be put out. Nothing.
Because, at the end of the day, it’s not the time you spent in a meeting that matters. It’s knowing your value and using that to its highest effect.
What to do next:
Want more time? As a business coach, I help people reclaim their life and spend more time on the things they love. If you need to define your value, get more time and get more from life, get in touch.
Read this next: Some Thoughts on Communication