“Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step of success to another, forming new wishes and seeing them gratified.”
Let me start at the beginning. Part of my early career was as a business consultant. When you hang out your shingle, you get people from all walks of life with a wide range of problems and issues to resolve. People would come in and say they were unhappy with the profitability of their business and wanted ways to fix the problem. They would want a new way to organize their warehouse. Help in rolling out a new product. Suggestions on whether they should buy a specific business. I was asked about a wide range of topics.
I noticed very early on that there was a constant issue for all of my clients; how they managed their time and the value they were getting for the time they were investing. They were all hard workers but the results they were getting were not indicative of the amount of time they were chewing up. Plenty of activity but poor results
It was a universal problem. I started to make notes on every client. With out fail, I would make simple changes to their routines and the results were astounding. It didn’t matter who came or what their initial reason for coming in was, simple changes to their routines brought them large benefits in terms of productivity and what they were able to accomplish on a day-to-day basis. This was the start of my interest and passion for Time Management.
“Time: The foundation upon which everything is built.”
Along with its universality, Time Management is the foundation on which EVERYTHING else is built. When a client would come in with his or her own issue, I would put that aside at first and start to address their general methods of operations. We would do an initial assessment and then make suggestions based on the growing list of tools I had put together for improving how they could better manage their time.
The results were very good. There was no one that came in that didn’t benefit from improving how they dealt with the management of their time. There would be some resistance, and in some cases, a lot of resistance.
When a client would meet with me with a specific issue, let’s say a major production problem in a large warehouse, it was a specific pressing issue they want solved, now. It would be hard at times to say the problem is not in the warehouse, the problem is with you and how you are spending your time. The howls of indignation would be loud and prolonged. They would tell me how many hours they spent every week, how many weekends they spent at work, how they had not had a vacation in years. I listened and then I said “you are a hard worker, but you don’t work smart“. I explained that he was indeed putting in the hours, spending the hours with effort, but the results were not there. He was investing 80 hours a week but his productivity was only equal to 50 or 60 hours at most. He was making the same mistake we all make. Confusing quantity of hours spent with the quality of the results.
The Greatest Return For The Least Effort
This in a nutshell is one of the greatest benefits of utilizing Time Management. Nowhere else can you spend so little time and get such a huge return on your investment. Our issues with how we spend our time usually repeat themselves over and over again. Bad habits cost us productivity everyday. The reverse is also true. Good habits, habits that gain us more time, habits that allow us to do more in the hours we have compound to our benefit daily as well. For example, you have developed the common bad habit of checking your emails constantly, a lot of times without thinking about it, a reflex habit. That unconscious bad habit could easily cost you 30 to 60 minutes a day in lost productivity. Spread over a year and that’s over 2 weeks of prime time lost to just one bad habit. Investing some of your precious time on breaking that bad habit could gain back those lost 2 weeks. Calculate what you make in a year and then calculate how much money you were losing for those lost two weeks. Now add back those two weeks to your paycheck or bottom line. That’s just one small, easily changed bad habit.
Proper Time Management Is A Compounder
If you want to be successful, if you want to be happy and get the most out of life, you want to have the compounding activities working for you, not a against you. First, compounding activities are those activities that keep working for you long after you have introduced them to your schedule. Our above example is a good one. Let’s say you spend some time, perhaps 5 or 10 hours, working on breaking your bad habit of checking your emails too often during the day. . After that initial time was spent, invested, you now will reap the rewards, forever.
Each week you will gain 1, 2 or more hours, forever. It will be forever as long as you do not slip into that old habit again. At a certain point, you will have surpassed the time it took to break the old habit and you will be gaining new saved time. From that point on, you will be receiving compounded benefit for as long as you do not revert back to the old habit. That benefit calculated over your lifetime could easily reach months if not years of recovered time.
As previously mentioned, the majority of circumstances that arise dealing with Time Management issues are repeat issues. They crop up daily, again and again. We can either deal with them or ignore them; the choice is yours. The value to us, those people who have chosen to make a difference in their lives through proper Time Management, is that when we change one of these recurring issues, usually negative ones, we will see the results occurring to our benefit for years and years to come.
We usually see this term when we are dealing with money. We are dealing with money when we talk about Time Management; we just talk about it in different terms. R.O.I. means Return On Investment. This is a central theme whenever you are dealing with your time and how you want to spend it, invest it. Your time is a commodity that you own; it’s your time. How you spend, invest your time will dictate how you will fair in this world. Spend your time wisely and you will prosper, spend it unwisely and you will not do as well as you should have. It’s a simple equation, time in, productivity, results, and benefits out.
Our concept of using the term “investing your time”, interchangeably with “spending your time” is one that you will see throughout all of our material here, as well as in The Power Time System. It’s important to look at your time as you would your actual money. I’m sure you think twice before you spend your money. Let’s start doing that before you invest, spend your time. You also question whether or not you are getting value for your purchase with your money. The same should apply before you spend your time. You always want something in return for your money, the same should be expected for an expenditure of time.
The sooner you start to think of your time in terms of R.O.I., Return On Investment, the sooner you will start to be serious about your time and how you spend, invest it.
This is an area that takes some time to grasp. When you do, you will become more aggressive about protecting your time and more selective about investing you time. Make a list of the activities that you do where you feel you are getting a good return on the time you are spending on that activity. When you have identified those activities where you are happy with your return, start to increase those activities and Time Activate more of those into your schedule.
When you increase some activities, other activities MUST be deleted, it’s the law of proper Time Management. You will be deleting those activities that give you the lowest return on your investment of time.
This is, in essence, what proper Time Management is all about. Spending your time where it will do you the greatest good. Getting a return on your investment of time.