How to Make Time Work for You

Make Time Work for YouHave you ever complained of not having enough time to do something important? I’ll bet you have! You can make time work for you if you have the right focus. After all, you only live once (YOLO).

If you’re like most people, you’ve complained of not enough time for at least one or more of these:

  • Working out.
  • Reading that book you’ve had forever.
  • Cooking healthy meals.
  • Taking a vacation.
  • Returning that phone call from a friend or family member.
  • Spending time with the important people in your life.

The truth is each of us has the power to make time work for us in the same 24 hours a day.

You get to choose whether you make time work for you or against you.

For the past 2 weeks, I’ve been preparing for and living through Hurricane Florence. I did this while working on my business, responding to text messages, emails, calls, and social media posts checking in on my safety and well-being, and managing my professional and personal life. I’m grateful my husband took on much of the heavy lifting. Yet, had I not had his help, the preparation still had to happen. My choices would have adjusted but my priorities would have remained the same. I chose to make time work for me using Covey’s principle, “Put first things first.”

As I planned for the hurricane, I used knowledge and the lessons learned from prior experiences. Those experience taught me to release things that were urgent, yet not important. It meant focusing on the activities and things that were important and urgent (like a hurricane) and important, but not urgent (like serving my clients without power or internet).

Each activity you choose reflects the value you place on your time.

Anything that was a distraction (urgent and not important and not important or urgent) was ignored until another time. If it was negative or had a low value to my family and close friends or my business, I released it. While I am grateful for their caring and concern from the people reaching out to me, shutting off notifications and staying away from social media kept me focused on what I needed to do to prepare for the coming storm.

When you choose to do what’s important to you, you’ll find you have plenty of time. The people who reached out with offers of help and prayers for my safety touched my heart. Yet, I chose when and how to respond to them in a way that served me. That meant some calls, texts, and messages went unanswered or got answered on my terms.

It’s far too easy to let the urgency of a ringing phone, beeping notification, or that flashing light on your mobile device distract you from the high-value activities in your life and business.

Ask yourself, “What is most important to you and your business?”

When you focus on those people and activities, you’ll have plenty of time.

The biggest difference between those who have plenty of time and those who never have enough is quite simply the choices we make.

Many people were shocked when I chose to stay rather than evacuate. Many shared their negativity and did their best to incite fear and panic. I chose to remain calm and focus on logical decision making based on my needs and priorities in a way that served me, my family, and my business. It was the right decision for me.

You must make the choices that are right for you rather than letting others choose for you.

Sometimes you must stop listening to the news media and people who are not in your situation, and ask yourself these questions:

  • What are my priorities?
  • What am I trying to achieve?
  • How do I want to spend my time?

When you answer these questions, when you identify what is important to you, you’ll find time presents itself to you.

Unfortunately, too many of us waste a lot of time.

We waste time scrolling through social media, adding the latest app to our mobile devices, and binge-watching television shows.

Time wasters cause us to miss opportunities both in our business and in our personal lives.

This week stop complaining about a lack of time and start to make time work for you. Make better choices for how you spend your time. Start with prioritizing time for the people in your life that matter. Start prioritizing time to invest in your business. Make time for your self-care (exercise, healthy eating, and learning or reading) sacred. Gently release anything that demands your attention yet fails to serve what YOU decide is most important.

I challenge you to own your 24 hours, exercise control over how and with whom you spend your time. And, most importantly, accept responsibility for your choices. You only live once!

How will you make time work for you? Leave a comment with what you’ll do this week to control your time.