Everyone wants to be successful, but few know the right steps to take. During any moments of free time I have, I enjoy investing in personal knowledge or ways to grow in self-development. Wednesday mornings I have a long commute dropping my kids off and picking them up at their different preschools across the city. I am someone who values productivity, so the way I have found to be productive during this time is by listening to podcasts. One of my favorites to listen to is Donald Miller's Building A Story Brand. He has several episodes available, but the ones I found myself drawn to were on the topic of time management.
When I was on my own, I was great at managing my time. Now that I have a family and work from home with a preschooler and a toddler, they often decide how I use my time for me. It can be difficult to lay in bed at the end of the day wondering if I met all the needs around me and how much more I could have completed on my “to-do” list had I balanced the hours of my day better.
So naturally, the podcast I chose to listen to first was, 5 Revolutionary Strategies That Will Maximize Your Time. This episode interviewed Rory Vaden, author of the book “Procrastinate on Purpose” about his views on what Vaden likes to call “self-management.” He said that time is not something to be managed. It comes and goes without us having any effect on the matter, but we can determine what we choose to do with that time and how we choose to act with the time we are given.
When it comes to time, most people commonly operate out of guilt, fear, or the need for other people's approval. Therefore, we get our “urgent” tasks done. But Vaden challenges us to start thinking in terms of significance.
When we say “yes” to something, we are saying “no” to something else, so if we are always saying yes to the things that are urgent but aren't significant, we are not forming a successful business long term.
Here is what Vaden recommends to transform our productivity:
Simply say “no” to the things that don't impact your business in the long run. Remember, you are always saying “no” to something, choose wisely!
Vaden talks about automation in terms of investing. When you automate, you should be giving yourself more time in return. For example, if I spent an hour every day for a week spot cleaning my house, it would make more sense to deep clean two times a month. The reward would be that the house would stay cleaner with a deep clean, and I would be given an extra hour/day to accomplish my work!
The two common complaints against delegation are that we believe we will be quicker and that we know best. But this is not always the case. Freeing yourself to focus on other tasks is often more beneficial. For example, instead of deep cleaning my house two times a month, I could hire the work to be done for me and save even more time.
This is where Vaden's book “Procrastinate on Purpose” is incredibly helpful. When you choose one task over another, you are procrastinating something. Vaden encourages us to be purposeful with what we choose to put on the back burner. Even though urgent tasks naturally sit in the forefront of our minds, unless they make a significant impact on moving our business forward, they can wait. Procrastinate accessibility and unplug instead. Procrastinate new ideas that pop into your head that distract you from the here and now. Be purposeful with your time.
This is when you consider every single thing that comes your way a distraction unless it's the important task in front of you. This is what I often have to do with my job. My kids often think they “need” me 24/7, but I have learned I need an hour a day to say “no” to them, require them to rest, and give 110% focus to the parts of my job that are not able to be accomplished while multitasking
In a world where minimalism is a commonly used term, let's work on being minimal and intentional with our time.