That’s the amount of time that the average American wastes on watching television each year (BLS American Time Use Survey).
The average American watches more TV than they eat and drink (450 hours), run errands (275 hours), and commute to work (110 hours). COMBINED (Source: BLS American Time Use Survey and U.S. Census Bureau Mega Commuting in the U.S. Survey).
Henry Ford said it this way: “It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.”
If you want more money, you can earn it. If you want more friends, you can win them. If you want more stuff, you can purchase it. You can have more of almost anything you want, except for time.
Author William Reilly says it well in this quote:
“Everything requires time. Time is the only permanent and absolute ruler in the universe. But she is a scrupulously fair ruler. She treats every living person exactly alike every day. No matter how much of the world’s goods you have managed to accumulate, you cannot successfully plead for a single moment more than the pauper receives without ever asking for it. Time is the one great leveler. Everyone has the same amount to spend everyday.”
Time, in fact, is the great equalizer. It keeps on rolling no matter what we do or don’t do. You and I and everyone else on planet earth have the exact same amount of time today – 24 hours. Why, then, do so many of us spend our time inefficiently instead of investing it intentionally? Here are six tips to help you do change the trajectory:
- Use Scheduling Tools
Our coffee maker has this amazing feature. It has a program option that allows you to set the brew time in advance. Every day my gorgeous bride sets-up the coffee to brew while we are sleeping so that when I wake-up from my beauty sleep, the caffeine injection is ready to catalyze my system. Social media has a similar option. You can use cost-effective services like Hootsuite to schedule your platform posts ahead of time.
- Invest More Time in Quadrant 2
Charles Hummel created this fascinating concept called the Tyranny of the Urgent. In quadrant one, we have the tasks that are both important and urgent. In quadrant two, we have the tasks that are important, but not urgent. One of the best things you can do for yourself and for others is to invest more time in quadrant two.
- Prioritize Sleep
Like everyone else in our solar system, I am a huge fan of rest. My paradigm is to rest during the time that others waste. Try the 10PM – 5AM routine for six months. At the end of six months, write a message to maximizevalue.com/connect and let me know how many people interrupted you before 7AM during those 180 days. Can’t wait to hear from you!
- Control Your Energy
Do you want to be exceptional in every area of your life? Most people do. The same people that want to be exceptional all the way around are the same people that are usually unwilling to do all that is necessary to set priorities and control their energy distribution to enhance their outputs. Controlling your energy means creating success physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We must be aware of our inputs so our output is the best, most energized version of ourselves.
- Review Your Goals & Priorities
This approach is more like an infusion of motivation than anything else. Reviewing your goals and priorities should provide that daily shot of adrenaline that you need to produce at outrageous levels. If this doesn’t provide the driven intensity that you need, it is time to set bigger goals. Period.
- Try Saying No for Once
It’s time to start noticing how you passively give your time to others. Time is our greatest resource and we all want to use it to serve others. It would behoove us as a human race to stop taking on other’s tasks and say NO once in a while. This is not selfish. It does not serve others well if you are not giving them the best version of you.
Over time, these best practices will help you become more cognizant of how you invest (or waste) your time. These minor adjustments will help you create a powerful sense of purpose and a more fulfilling life. Ultimately, when time is the only thing you can’t have more of, it’s the most valuable resource on the planet. Invest it wisely!