Tuesday, November 1, 2011

If Time Is Currency, How Are You Spending Yours?

I admit it. I’m just a tad bit obsessive about my time. I like having things in order, I think idle time is wasted time and I never do one task when I can multi-task. It’s true, I brush my teeth in the shower and I set my timer so I’m done getting ready or done with a mini home workout by the time my meal comes out of the oven. And while that may seem a bit much for some of you, consider this; I only work six months out of the year.

I’m often asked how I can afford to have so much free time to travel, see my kids, and start a second business. The answer came to me while I was talking to Missy, one of my clients at the salon.

At the time, I was in a relationship with a man from South Africa. When he decided to return home, I began to think of ways we could still see each other while living on two different continents. My client helped me see how with a bit of creative planning, I could manage to fit in the same number of clients in fewer days by working longer hours and making schedule changes. The result was that in six weeks I could do three months’ worth of work.

Even though the relationship ended, I have kept my work schedule. It gives me free time to see the world and spend time with family. If I wanted, I could even live somewhere else. The way I look at it, by planning for my life I’m always ahead of it. If I didn’t plan, I’d feel like I was behind my life always trying to catch up.

Here are some tips I have found to help you manage your time so that you’ll have more of it to spend creating the life you want to live:

•  Find someone objective who you trust. Ask them what areas they see in your life that aren’t serving you or are simply being wasted.  Quiet the little people and reflect on it.

•  Keep track of how you are spending your time over the course of several weeks. Where could you be saving time? What could you accomplish with that saved time?

•  Ask yourself, “If I only had more time, I’d love to ___________.” Fill in the blank with something you long to do but don’t see possible at this pace/stage of your life. You’ll never manage your time wisely unless you have something you’re trying to save it for.

•  Prioritize your life into things that are urgent and non-urgent, important and non-important. The urgent things have to get done (ex. you have to go to work). The important things need to get done (ex. going to the gym). What are the non-urgent things that you can reassign to another day? What are the non-important things that you can set aside?

•  Don’t excuse the things you need to prioritize. Things like your health, your values and the success of your family should never be overlooked.

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