Your environment, body chemistry and external factors all affect your productivity. There is a magic pill you can take to supercharge your productivity and performance. There must, however, be a willingness from you to reorder your life.
Effective time management
When managers hear the term time management they either react fearfully, or they disregard the term. In the latter case, woefully, they need the most intervention. However, there are two metrics that you can easily change to get back on track – the way you spend both your money and your time.
Do this exercise!
Here is an exercise you can do. Start by grabbing a piece of paper and a pen. You need to answer these questions honestly, or this will not work. Now jot down the amount of time you spend on the following tasks:
- work projects
- including your home projects
- your busy work
- the tasks you don’t enjoy doing
- the tasks you truly enjoy doing
- caring for your health
- spending time with your friends
- devoting time to your family
- spending time on personal development.
Measure time spent over a 7-day week
Measure the time spent on these tasks over a seven-day period. That means you will be allocating the 185 hours you have available each week to all these different tasks. Sometimes the hours spent on such tasks seems quite normal because you have become so used to this disbursement of your time. However, it is also good to question how you can spend your time more wisely.
Look at this example
If there are tasks you really resent spending your valuable time on you can easily outsource such chores to a virtual assistant. You first need to accept that such work need not be micromanaged. You can let go, and simply offboard the work to someone else. If you are still not convinced that this is a great solution, simply tot up the hours you are spending on self-development. In many cases people at the top allocate too little time to this important task. You need to upskill yourself not only to be more successful, but to work more efficiently and effectively. Here you will note that prioritizing is key. Many people are big on labelling their priorities yet fail to act on them – don’t fall into this trap. You need to make your priorities happen.
Time to focus on your spending!
We are now going to take this exercise a bit further and focus on your spending habits. You can use the same paper, or just turn it over. Now write down your expenditure for these items below:
- You mortgage or rent, food
- transportation, clothing
- social events
- your health
- including both gym fees and supplements
- any medication
- personal development
- things you don’t enjoy
- what you give away
- your investments
- the amounts you save
- down payment on debt.
Things to consider
You may know most of what you are spending monthly, but be a bit vague about some items. Also, luxuries such as giving away money might be difficult if your debt is high, or you are struggling to pay off your home loan or student loans. Nevertheless, try to write everything down as accurately as possible.
The connection between money and time
You should have noted, after completing this exercise, that there is a relationship between time and money spent. Firstly, both are currencies. The only difference is that time is more valuable than money. In fact, it’s a luxury. What this means is that you can make more money − just look at Elon Musk and the wealth he has accumulated – but you can’t make more time. The question now is how it is possible to leverage your money to gain more time. To be more direct, ask yourself, how you can reorder your spending to be more aligned with your values.
In the end
It’s your life and how you spend it is your choice
As mentioned in the beginning – there is a magic pill which you can take it if you want it. You have the option not to take it. That is your choice. However, if you want to be more productive, to be more, to do more, and in the end, to earn more, you need to make certain tweaks in taking your performance to the next level. Look at the answers you have written down on the piece of paper. Now, ask yourself −are you happy with what you see? If you aren’t, you need to make changes. Relook your priorities, how you spend your time, and what makes you happy. In the end, it’s your life and that choice lies with you. This means your happiness or unhappiness can be controlled by you. If therefore you want to live your best life, you also need to know how you can improve and refocus your attention.