Last week I challenged you to remember that "no" is a possible choice to make when you receive a meeting or other event request. I even added a challenge for you to cancel any appointment that wasn't urgent, i.e. that doesn't move your most important project or mission forward in a big way, that will probably consist of things you've heard or said before or that doesn't make you money or offer some other sort of tangible reward.
I'm curious if anyone took the challenge and what became of it?
As with anything I share with coaching clients I do the same exercise as they do so that we're living the same issue and to keep me from being a "do as I say, not as I do" coach. That meant that I had to say "no" to a Tuesday night meeting that sounded really interesting but I did have two late appointments, a Wednesday night team building facilitation, and a Thursday speaking event that kept me out late and made for a long week.
I'd put the challenge out there and found myself very, very busy; but despite that I managed to enjoy a profitable, satisfying week. What I did was to manage the time I had as I would budget my spending. I made sure that I didn't overdo my "time spending" in any one area and that I "saved" as much as I spent, making sure not to go into deficit.
Here are a few tips to help you plan your own time budget:
- Time is the real profit. Time and money share so many metaphors "spend, save, lose, waste, invest," etc. that it's easy to keep in mind that time is the real profit, not money. Budget the way you spend time just this week, keeping in mind the big '7' (read New Year's Resolutions and Time) : rest and recharge, spiritual, planning and strategy, futuring, health, education, task driven. Having a balance of these 7 types of times assures you of a sense of well being and accomplishment. A life that's 90 percent task time and no time for rest and recharge, for example, will lead to burnout.
These 5 tips can help you make the most of every week and assure that you're spending your most precious commodity according to a plan, a budget that will have your accounts "balance." If you're ever in doubt, though, there's one more consideration I use myself to help me keep my time in perspective.
I ask myself, "If this was the last year of my life, what would I do today?" Admittedly it's a little dramatic and you need to achieve a balance and remain practical. I realize that not everyone can just take a day off whenever they want to but this consideration helps remind me that none of us really knows how much time we have left so I spend and save accordingly.
I look forward to hearing from you, about your time and the quality and value you create with it.