Robin Sacks' 1 Minute Mindset

November 2, 2010

Stop Managing Your Time and Start Managing Your Life!

Filed under: Making Decisions,Stress Management,Take Control — Robin Sacks...Speaker, Author, Performance Coach @ 4:13 pm

As someone who has spent a lifetime with a Franklin planner, a Palm Pilot, or some other scheduling device always within my arm’s reach, I will be the first to say that “time management” is grossly overrated! I have found that “life management” is a much more efficient and effective approach to success. Let me explain.

Think of the most successful (whatever that means to you) person you know. How much time does that person have today? Now think of the least successful (whatever that means to you) person you know. How much time does that person have today? Now…how much time do you have today? As you are aware, the answers are all “24 hours.” We all have the same amount of time. What matters is what we choose to do with the time we have.

Before you start the mental spiral about how incredibly busy your life is and that while most people have some downtime during the day you do not and you do not even have 5 minutes to breath, let alone accomplish success… remember, while you are taking the time to read this article, to stop lying to yourself. While there are dozens of ways to regain control of your time and your life, I will present one of them here. This may be a totally new concept to you. Something about which you have never thought, but I guarantee it will provide you what we in personal development call an “AHA moment.”

Right now, you are accustomed to living you life based on a clock. You get up at a certain time and you pretty much do the same things at about the same time in the same ways that you have always done them. There are things that have to be done every day at certain times (for example, arrive at work or pick up your child from school) and there are things that, although they need to be done, can be done whenever you choose to do them (for example, grocery shopping or writing that thank you note or doing a few loads of laundry).

The way that most people choose to live their clock-dictated lives is to be as reactive as possible. In other words, you do the laundry when you have officially run out of underwear or grocery shop when you are about to go broke from eating out everyday. You rush every morning and still leave just in time to get into rush hour traffic and stress out about being late to work. You constantly feel out of control of your life and your time, but think about this for a moment. Everyone has times during the day and night when they are more active/alert/awake/motivated. You know people who are “morning people.” They are like the Marines in that they can get more done before most people wake up then most people will get done all day. You know people who say “do not talk to me before 11am! I am not awake, yet.” You know people who get a burst of energy in the afternoon. You know people who are “night owls.” They can often get a burst of energy at 10pm and can sit down and work effectively into the early morning hours.

Who are you? When are you at your most “awake?” The reason this is important to know is because when you do not know it, you are wasting a TON of time and energy every day. Let me rephrase that…you are CHOOSING to lose a ton of time and energy every day. It is time to choose to take control of your time and energy. Ready?

Here are 3 steps to help you find lost time during the day:

1. Stop lying to yourself. Taking action does not take a lot of time and energy. Thinking about taking action takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. You have plenty of time to do something you really want to do. Get clarity on what you want to accomplish and why. Make a list of single steps needed to accomplish that goal. Make a point to do one step each week. Do not go to step two until you have completed step one. It’s that simple.

2. Draw a clock on a piece of paper. Now go through a “typical” day of yours. From the moment you wake up, go through your day in your head and write down what you would be doing. For example, at 6:30am, write down alarm goes off, I hit snooze. At 6:35am, I get up with second alarm. At 6:40am, I get in the shower. At 6:55am, I start getting dressed. At 7:15am, since I am running late, I have no time to grab breakfast. At 7:30am, I run out the door. 8:05am, I get to work and start looking at my e-mails. And so on… Now…draw another circle on a piece of paper. Think of this as a clock, but do not write any numbers on it. This is your “energy clock.” Do the same exercise you did with the clock, but write down where your energy is high or low. You are looking for times when you are focused and wide awake during the day (your thrive times), as well as your “down” times when you have little energy and focus. Now, compare the two clocks. You may be amazed (AHA!) at how many disconnects there are. In other words, where you are doing “high focus” tasks at “low focus” times and visa versa.

Why is this so important? Because if it takes you two hours to do something at a “low focus” time and you could do that same task at a “high focus” time in 45 minutes, you just gave yourself a gift of more than an hour of time every single day. Wouldn’t that be nice? And that’s just one task!

So… finding your energy and focus during the day and doing your focused tasks at those times will give you several found hours every week!

3. Find one thing that you are doing on a regular basis that accomplishes nothing and stop doing it. We all fall into the pattern of “going through the motions” at some point. Go through a day conscious of WHY you are doing what you are doing. You can pretty much guarantee that you find one or two (or six!) things you are doing that you serve no purpose. They might have at one time, but now you are only doing them because “it’s what I’ve always done.” Minutia becomes a part of us. When it does, we need to shake it off and replace it with something much more productive.

Life is not about what happens to you. Life happens to all of us. Life is about how you choose to respond to what happens to you. THAT is the difference between managing your time and managing your life! It simply means going from being a little less reactive to being a little more proactive. Find one thing about which to become a little more proactive and you will immediately find that extra time you wrongly believe you do not have.

Get Clarity… Get Moving… Get Results.

Get Out of Your Own Way!

Professionally, Robin Sacks is an award-winning journalist, award-winning playwright, speaker, author, coach and motivator. Personally, Robin is a mom, wife, and friend.
Robin specializes in helping people Get Out of Their Own Way!
Her philosophy is simple, Get Clarity…Get Moving…Get Results.
Robin can be reached through her website,
*** You can purchase Robin’s new book, “Get Off My Bus!” at today! ***

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