A married couple were recently in South Africa visiting our amazing country. They landed in Durban in the early morning and arranged to drive up North to an exclusive game reserve.
Their first game drive was scheduled for 5pm that day. With no time pressure, they had an entire day to complete a 3 hour journey. They took a slow, pleasant drive up the Coast, stopping at numerous tourist spots along the way.
Despite having all the time in the world, the couple ended up missing their 5pm game drive. They were devastated. This was the most important part of their day, and they missed it.
Why? They didn’t manage their energy.
They missed an opportunity to fill up petrol in their car, thinking that they would get another opportunity further along their journey. Unfortunately, they miscalculated their distances and ran out of petrol. Stuck on the side of the road, they waited hours for help, and eventually arrived at their destination at 7pm.
Lack of Time was never their issue, and it’s the same for you.
You have all the time in the world to do whatever you want to do. Managing your time is actually simple. Work out which of the following 4 elements of your life are most important to you, and then prioritize them into your day in order of importance:
3. Community (Friends, Clubs, Church etc)
Prioritize what is most important to you, and schedule that in first. Then work the rest of your day around those important activities. For example, if Family is Priority number 1 for you, then create appointments in your diary for collecting kids from school, or taking them to after-school activities. Then move to Priority number 2, and allocate the most important activities next. Etc etc.
Managing your time is all about prioritizing what is important and making sure that gets done first. If you don’t schedule the important activities, you will get distracted by “urgent, not important” tasks and before you know it, your day is over and you’re lying in bed stressing about what you never got to during your day.
Managing your energy comes down to where you place yourself on your list of priorities when planning your time. You simply cannot come last.
If you are putting yourself last, then you are at some point going to run out of energy, and this is not in the best interests of your family, business or community.
Here are 3 tips to help you get this balance right:
1. Schedule your “You Time” First : How often do you run out of time to do the things that help you recharge? Everybody else comes first, right? Well, you have the power to change that. Schedule 45 – 60 min into your day to do something that you know will help you to recharge. Walking on the beach, going to the gym, running, meditating, reading a book, listening to music, prayer, or even just time alone to think and plan. If you don’t plan this time into your schedule, it will not happen.
2. Communicate this to others: Time out for you is important. Understand that others may see this as being selfish, and therefore it is so important that you communicate clearly to them as to why you need to plan this into your time. The reason is obvious, but it never seems that way to others, because “you time’ removes you from their space. The alternative is also true – if you run out of energy, everyone else suffers. You can only give 100% to your family, business and community if your tank is full. You are doing this for them as much as for yourself. They need to know.
3. Keep Your Discipline: Once you have your schedule, and your significant others have bought into your schedule, it’s now up to you to remain disciplined. The short-term benefit of your “you time” activity is minimal. The longer term benefit of disciplined daily activities however, will manifest over time in so many different aspects of your well-being. It takes 29 days to form a new habit, so don’t give up too soon. Stick with the plan.
Getting this right is really difficult for most people, but these 3 points are real-life action points that I have used in my own life to good benefit, as well as having had positive impact on many people I have coached.
No more excuses. Start making yourself more of a priority and ensure that you keep your own petrol tank full.
You have all the time in the world. Make sure you’re in a fit state to use it all.