Who doesn’t want more time? We all want more time to do the things we want to do.
The reality is, we have to make the most of the time we’ve got.
The real problem is we spend time on the wrong things, we do things the least efficient way, or we simply let time expand to fill its container (see Parkinson’s Law.)
The real key to improving time management is first changing how you think about your time and taking steps to own how you spend it.
In the book, The 80/20 Individual: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less-The Nine Essentials o, Richard Koch teaches us that there is no shortage of time.
Key Take Aways
Here are my key take aways:
- Time is a part of everything. It’s not a separate thing that you can just get more of or less of. Time is a fundamental part of everything you do.
- Make the very best use of your time. It’s not the time you’ve got, it’s how you use it. Instead of telling yourself there aren’t enough hours in the day, optimize the time you’re already spending. For example, focus is a powerful tool for improving how you spend your time.
- Work less, accomplish more. Focus on unique value. You could work a 2 day week and achieve 60 percent more. This assumption is based on the idea that you cut out the activities that are least effective, and you spend your time on your 20 percent spike.
Really it comes down to consistently spending your time where you get your greatest return. I’ve gradually learned to spend more time where it counts, by being mindful, setting boundaries and time budgets, playing to my strengths, and improving my techniques and skills.
Time is Not “Other”
Time is not “other.” It’s a part of everything we do. We should think of product-time and service-time. Koch writes:
“First, in business as in the rest of life, time is not “other.” It is part of the physical things we make and provide to customers. It is part of our products, part of our services, part of our raw material, part of our output. Therefore, we should not think of what we do for customers as separate from the time we take to do it. We should not think of products or services on the one-hand, and time on the other. We should think of “product-time” and “service-time.” Time is part of what we add or subtract. Providing an existing product or service in a much faster way could change its economics and offer you a terrific new business opportunity.”
Time if Not Finite and Short
Time is a part of what we do and who we are. Koch writes:
“Second, time is not finite and short, nor is it our enemy or a commodity in extremely short supply. Time is an integral part of what we do and who we are. Time is a dimension where, like space, we can express ourselves and create value for others, and therefore ourselves. People living in a free society rarely say, “I don’t have enough physical room to express myself; there is not enough space in my life.” But people often do say, “I don’t have enough time to express myself; I don’t have enough time to do what I want.” It sounds more plausible; it makes as little sense.”
The Problem is Our Use of Time
It’s not our lack of time. It’s how we use it. Koch writes:
“By combining the theories of Einstein and Pareto, you’ll discover that if 80 percent of the wealth (or anything else desirable) is created in less than 20 percent of the time available, then there is no shortage of time. For individuals and business alike, there is no shortage of time. The problem is our trivial use of time, not time itself. We use our time most productively for only a small part of our existence; most of what we do matters little. In other words, our problem is triviality itself, few people achieve their full potential, or anywhere close to it.”
Achieve More with Less
You could work a 2 day week and achieve 60 percent more. This is about what you focus on and whether you spend your time where it makes the biggest difference. Koch writes:
“Any venture or person could achieve much more while using much less time. The 80/20 individual principle suggests that you could work a two-day week and still achieve 60 percent more than you do now.”
The Very Best Use of Our Time Must Define Our Business and Make it Unique
Whatever is the best possible way you can spend your time, can help you define your business and make it unique. It’s really about spending your time on your 20 percent spike. Koch writes:
“Einstein’s theory reinforces the idea of the 20 percent spike and redefines it in terms of time. In other words, the activities that make the very best use of our time must define our business and make it unique.”
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Photo by azrainman.