Don’t have enough time in your day? “Stop watching F***ing Lost!” Gary Vaynernuck uttered that famous statement in 2008 - but it is still as valid today as it was back then. If you haven’t seen his fabulous talk here it is. I have been watching it perhaps once or twice a year since the first time I saw it and it still inspires me as much today as it did the first time. Gary Vee rocks.
But I think we can be a little bit gentler with ourselves.
Finding time in your day to get things done is tough. Even with my automated, outsourced, process based businesses and a semi-retired husband to pick up the slack, I sometimes get to 6pm and wonder, “where did the time go?” I can’t imagine what it must be like for those of you out there with families and regular full-time jobs (maybe a second one). I know that watching Lost (or nowadays Game Of Thrones) is maybe the only thing that’s keeping you sane.
Gary Vee is a freaky workaholic - but I don’t think he’s expecting you to be. His point is not that you have to spend every second of your day being productive - but that you should be making conscious choices about how you use your time based on what you want out of life. When you figure out how to spend your time wisely and effectively you will take huge leaps toward your extraordinary life.
The “I don’t have enough time” complaint is much like the “I don’t have enough money” complaint. The difference is that you can replace any money that you spend with more money… you can’t replace your time.
The root of the problem for many of the, “I don’t have enough money” complainers is that they haven’t done the basics. Personal finance is pretty simple - figure out what you want out of your money, figure out what you are spending (account for every penny), create a budget that aligns your spending to your goals and stick to it. Everyone at every level of income can do these three basic steps and drastically improve their money situation. Yet, only 30% of Americans have a budget.
It’s the second step that hangs up most of my clients. Truthfully, they don’t really want a close look at how they spend their money. Once the facts are laid out in front of them it's hard to ignore the reality of how they are highjacking themselves and their dreams.
Same with time.
Finding time is easier than you think…but really freaking hard to face. But if you know your Ultimate Whys and you aren’t reaching them for time reasons then you need the ultimate time finder… a Time Audit.
Here’s how you do it.
Step 1: Create a system to track your time spent. You can use a little notebook and a pen, an app on your iPhone or you can use a spreadsheet. Just make sure that it is easy to access and use.
Step 2: Track your time. Write down the specific activity for every time period increment. You must do this throughout the day - trying to remember at the end of the day is like trying to remember what you spent your ATM withdrawal on. When I give this assignment to clients I ask them to track 15 minute increments. It sounds like a lot but it gives you the best results.
Step 3: Review time against goals. For every new activity write down the related goal that activity contributed toward.
Step 4: Add them up and “hey presto” - you just found a huge chunk of time. Every bit of time that doesn’t relate to a goal is time on your side. It's yours. Take it back!
If you discover that every bit of time you are spending is related to one of your goals… congratulations! You must have an extraordinary life (but if I were you I would take a second look).
Just as in a spending audit you will get some scary surprises. Back to Gary’s point…15 hours on TV? Game Of Thrones only airs once a week. What are you going to do with the other delicious 14 hours?
Let me know what you are going to do with your found time in the comments below.
*Photo by Chris Halderman