I'm amazed at what can be done in one focused day.
And we all get 24 hours each day.
It can hard to spend all that time on meaningful things, but I think if you gradually quit things you don't want to spend time on, you gradually spend time on more important things. If you systematically eliminate things that are a waste of time, pretty soon you're doing things with at least some value.
Tracking time helps a lot with this. Just jotting down on paper once an hour what you did the last hour or so. Often, when it seems like forever has passed when I'm trying to work out something frustrating, it's only been 5 or 7 minutes. On the other side, a lot of high-stimulation websites, it'll seem like 5 minutes have passed, but it's been three hours.
Try tracking your time sometimes. It's huge. I realized I was spending way too much time following sports, so I quit spectator sports. Haven't been back. Don't miss it.
Instead I read a little more, walk around a little more, connect with people a little more, work a little more, cook a little more - I just spent a little more time on all the things that matter. I figure if you gradually quit bad things, eventually you're spending your time reasonably well. And if you gradually introduce good things and focus on those, then you start doing more and more amazing things.
24 hours is a lot of time. A lot can be done in 24 hours, if you're mindful of where the time is going.
Gradual change is the answer. And it all comes down to our habits.
First, eliminating the bad ones. And then focusing on what truly matters.
Thanks for that post. Sometimes we all need a little reminder of the simple but important things - like the fact that our time is limited, but we can still take control and make the best of it.
This is great.
A good way ensure you're spending your time well is to have clear goals. Then, ask yourself 10 times every day "Does what I'm doing right now support one of my goals?" If the answer is "No" then change what you're doing immediately.
Most everything we do has some value to us, else we wouldn't do it. The trick is to eliminate those activities that are not helping you to achieve your goals. When you choose to spend time only on activities that support your goal, you find you can achieve much more, much faster.
Easier said than done. But then again, no worthwhile achievement is easy.
Updated my time tracking recently. Before we get started, allow me to quote "How to Live 24 Hours Per Day" -
“To “clear” even seven hours and a half from the jungle is passably difficult. For some sacrifice has to be made. One may have spent one’s time badly, but one did spend it; one did do something with it, however ill-advised that something may have been. To do something else means a change of habits.”
“And habits are the very dickens to change! Further, any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. If you imagine that you will be able to devote seven hours and a half a week to serious, continuous effort, and still live your old life, you are mistaken. I repeat that some sacrifice, and an immense deal of volition, will be necessary.”
As always, I recommend you start with a low amount and build up, as I described in "The Evolution of My Time/Habit/Life Tracking."
Okay, here's my new daily tracking -
Almost everyone I know is busy as hell. Running companies, contracting, doing creative work, and keeping a huge mix of projects going on.
Keeping busy is good, but sometimes it turns into a tragedy where you've got your head down doing work and duties, but you never get some of that real juice out of your life that you're wanting.
And many of the busy people I know -- myself included -- periodically have a day where they snap back to reality and really feel it for the first time in a while. "Oh god, I'm out of shape, my energy is low, I feel like crap, I'm not doing some of the key projects I love, I'm passing up a lot of really big opportunities stuck in the grind, I'm neglecting my hobbies and what I want to train... and for what?"
This applies just as much to entrepreneurs as people on salary, maybe even moreso. It's very easy as an entrepreneur or executive to get caught up in running around, getting stuck in the "errands" of business, dealing with what's on fire, and really neglecting the really expansionary projects that aren't urgent, your health, and maybe worst of all -- forgetting to have fun.
Is there an answer? Read on...