As I start the year with many goals in mind and things I want to accomplish, I have to look back and ask a question that comes to all of our minds at some point:
“Where did all the time go?”
Too often in our lives we struggle with time management. Every one of us has the same amount of time to work with every day, so in many ways our success can be determined by how effectively we manage our time in getting things done. At certain points, we may even struggle with attempting to be overly efficient, which can lead to being overloaded and overworked.
Warren Buffet once talked about the process of understanding a business in the context of not overloading ourselves:
“If you understood a business perfectly and the future of the business, you would need very little in the way of a margin of safety. So, the more vulnerable the business is, assuming you still want to invest in it, the larger margin of safety you'd need. If you're driving a truck across a bridge that says it holds 10,000 pounds and you've got a 9,800 pound vehicle, if the bridge is 6 inches above the crevice it covers, you may feel okay, but if it's over the Grand Canyon, you may feel you want a little larger margin of safety...”
The margin of safety he talks about is important in determining whether you are overloaded in either your business or personal life.
Do you have too many things on your plate? Are you spending too much time on things that aren’t necessary and not enough on more important matters? It might be time to re-do your “not-to-do” list. This will help you understand the things you should stay away from while attempting to get things done.
- Time is your most important, yet limited, asset.
- Being able to say yes is easy, while being able to say no is hard.
- Look back to assess where you wasted time and where you can make changes.
- If you try to make everyone happy, the person that won’t be happy most likely is you.
- If you say yes to someone, most of the time you are saying no to someone else.
And, when figuring out how to better manage your time, keep in mind that over the course your lifetime you spend:
- 25 years sleeping
- 7 years in the bathroom
- 6 years eating
- 5 years waiting on line
- 4 years cleaning your house
- 3 years preparing meals
- 2 years trying to return phone calls
- 1 year looking for misplaced items
- 6 months waiting for red lights
- 1 in 7 minutes is spent online
So, how well do you manage your time? And, are you avoiding the, “too much on your plate too often,” syndrome?