Does It Feel Like Time Just Evaporates On You?

Time is elusive.

Do you ever say to yourself “where did the time go?” or “I didn’t have time to do what I wanted to do” or “I didn’t think it would take that much time”?

If so, you are not alone. One of the biggest challenges I faced when I began my business was time. I uttered all of the above and then some. The biggest one though was that I didn’t think things would take as much time as they did.

Time threw me off path many, many times. Time felt so elusive to me. It was a challenge finding time to get the things I wanted to and needed to get done. That meant I wasn’t achieving a whole lot – oh wait, let me rephrase that, I was achieving a lot – a lot of nothing! And once I was able to solve time being elusive to me, I was then able to achieve the results that I wanted – which was to start my business and work with amazing people like you to help you reach your goals and dreams.

How to get time on your side.

You need to know what it is you are doing each and every day and yes, practically each and every moment.

My clients do not like to hear that. They like to work in a free-flowing way. And when I tell them that they can do exactly that and be productive when they get time on their side, they are excited to get started.

Also, it’s the time piece that often throws people off. That place of not knowing how long something will take or how to be efficient with your time so you are completing things, moving things forward and seeing the results you desire. This is why it is important for you to get time on your side.

First of all, before you do anything, the one thing you need to do to get time on your side is to list out everything that you are doing.

Create a list of everything you do.

If you are struggling with time, it may be that you don’t 1) really know what you are doing and 2) have no idea how long things take to do. Since figuring out what it is you are doing means you’ll easily be able to figure out how long it takes let’s first get clear on that.

  • Get out a piece of paper or use your favorite electronic device and start listing everything you are doing in your business – don’t edit just write.
  • Categorize your list – you can use headings such as working with clients, marketing, administration and so on.
  • Drill down within those categories – marketing may mean networking, writing, creating copy, things of that nature – get clear on exactly what it is you are doing.

Establish a timetable for getting things done.

Then, once you have your list, estimate how long you think it is taking you to do each task, make sure you write it down. From there before you begin that particular task, note the time (I like to write it down) go to work and when you have completed it check the time again and note exactly how long it actually did take you. As a result, you now  know exactly how long it takes for you to do a particular task!

Finally, another thing you’ll do is to assess how you did. How close were you to your time estimate? If you were spot on, awesome – if not, you now know exactly how long it will take you to do your task – make sure you mark that down too so you never need to say again “I had no idea how long this would take” because you will know!

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Want to Expand Time?

turn time backIs there a little voice in your head that seems to repeat “I don’t have enough time to get everything done” or “I wish I had more time to do other things”?  We always want and need additional time, yet if time is the one thing that is equal to all, why do other people seem to accomplish more?  Why can’t we get done what we want to in the time we have available?

Now first, I want to tell you that I struggled with time for years.  I was constantly late for everything (just ask my supervisors when I worked in corporate or my family).  I didn’t mean to be late; it just happened I never had enough time to get ready, to arrive on time, to be prepared.  Time was my enemy and we battled frequently.

I believe, as a whole, we think it takes too much time to get in shape, to live a healthy lifestyle, to work enough to support our families, or to sit down and plan for our future.  Shoot, it just takes too long to get through the grocery store once a week!  Right?

Well… no.  I have learned we actually have all the time that we need.

Here are three key lessons I want to share with you to release all the stress and overwhelm related to time.

Lesson #1:  Be clear about what you want to accomplish.  When you don’t know exactly what you want to accomplish, you can’t have a true idea about how long it will take.  However, knowing what your goal is gives you a starting point from which to plan what you need to do, assess how long it will take, and what you need to have in order to reach your goal in a timely manner.  So whether it’s to arrive on time somewhere, have more down-time or lose 10 pounds, know what you want.

Lesson #2:  Be realistic about how long a task will take.  How many times have you said something like “I’m going to quickly balance my checkbook” only to experience a string of problems that take far too long to fix?  Maybe you found a discrepancy in your accounting or realized you forgot to pay a bill.  When you are unrealistic (i.e. “quickly”) with how long something should take, time seems to shorten.  In order to expand time, you need to be practical. 

Lesson #3:  Plan your steps.  Here’s another one:  You found a great healthy recipe online and decide you are going to whip it together one evening for dinner.  When that evening arrives, however, you realize you don’t have all the ingredients on hand you thought you did.  Or by the time you dash into the kitchen and read the recipe again, you discover you were supposed to marinate something for a few hours first.  However, if you take the time to create action steps for this new recipe, you will have all the ingredients beforehand and allow the proper time to complete it.

In essence, once you take to heart the lessons I shared above, you will stop adding too much on your To Do list and putting undue pressure on yourself.   You’ll be much more at peace and find that you will have way more time than you thought.  I promise you will reach your goals and feel good about yourself again!

I’d love to hear your experiences.  As always, I invite you to write to me or feel free to share your thoughts, insights and revelations below.  You never know how they may help someone else!