Perspective Of Time

If you take the time to plot out your actual time spent versus where you would like to spend your time it can be very eye opening, here is my experience

I recently wrote down the ideal distribution of my time and contrasted it against how I actually spend my time, and it really put things in perspective for me. I’ll share my break-down and also the steps I am taking to better achieve the ideal time spend.

Ideal Time Spend

Current Time Spent

Priorities

As you can see, currently I am spending a large majority of my time on current projects/work which is likely similar to most people. The things that I really want more of my time spent on are family, future growth projects, and personal time with exercising and/or relaxation. The first step toward improving one of your most important resources in life in time is to put things into perspective. This easy exercise really makes a huge impact and is the beginning to great progress.

The next step now that you have perspective is to work daily on tracking your time and moving the needle from one time suck to the next. One of the things I do to ensure I make progress is to journal about it daily to keep it top-of-mind.

In my situation where work is the largest piece of the pie next to sleep (which should remain a third or so of your time) you have to break that down into what really goes on during a work day. There are endless amounts of data online to support the fact that remedial “work” for most people can not be carried out for 8-10 hours a day productively. This has to be broken down into segments of what is really feasible and that is what should help me progress current work projects into the more creative future work projects. So much of a day can be filled up with busy work that really does not have a large impact on the big picture. In most studies, 4-5 hours of busy work is about the threshold for most people to be truly productive. The rest of the time can be done doing creative things that can help grow or progress a business. That breaks an 8 hour work day in half and is why a lot of the larger tech and creative companies are doing exactly that, allowing their employees to work on creative projects for 2-3 hours per day. This, in my case, is ideal for funneling work over from current work projects into future things, and leaving an hour or 2 per day for family time, exercise, traveling, or relaxation.

Because this exercise was so helpful and eye opening for me, I really wanted to share with everyone. Please share your comments below because this is an ever evolving thing and I appreciate everyone’s feedback!

Jack’d Up Morning = Jack’d Up Day – Importance of a Routine

Before I was an entrepreneur, the beginning of my day was based on what someone else needed me to do.  I had a large geographical area to cover and a ton of obligations, so I could be making a 200+ mile trip one way some days or sitting in traffic for an hour to go to my office.  Therefore, my mornings were as inconsistent as they could possibly be.  Some days I would wake up and have breakfast.  Some days, I would rush through a shower and go running out the door to meet a deadline.  There was never any consistency.

It wasn’t until I had my own business and could set my own hours that I realized how important a morning routine was to my health both physically and mentally.

My morning routine consists of 4 major things;

  • #1 is some coffee with some type of substance.  I have been making shakes with 100% grass fed protein powder by Promix.  I like it because whey protein and cocoa powder are the only 2 ingredients so it does not have added sugars for flavor.  It can be an acquired taste, but is not too bad.
  • #2 is my journal.  Writing things down is key for clarity for me.  My journal includes 5 things –
    • Quotes and Notes – this section is just a place to write down anything on my mind along with something that I have seen over the past 24 hours that stuck with me.
    • Grateful For… – my personality is such that I am constantly pushing and looking for opportunities to improve, which keeps me focused on negatives.  This part of the journal helps me reflect on the positive things in my life.  It works better for me to put small things that have happened recently like conversations with my 3 year old boy, or special time spent with my wife.
    • Short-Term Goals and Objectives – I’ve found writing down my goals every day to be extremely effective at keeping me on track.  I probably have one of the worst cases of ADD and can easily get sidetracked.  Short term goals are things that I want to accomplish within around a 90 day period.  I am usually very specific here and if I have a little flexibility in the morning I may put bullet points under each one to remind myself how I plan to get from A-B.
    • Long-Term Goals and Objectives – These are my 1 – 5 year goals and are done in the same context as the short-term goals.  These can be more vague, but the how to get from A-B is very important here.
    • Personal Health and Fitness – It works better for me to keep my personal health and fitness goals in it’s own category because I think it is one of the most important things to track progress on.
  • #3 is some type of physical activity.  For a long time after I became and entrepreneur, I walked to work (my office is 1.2 miles from my house) and back every day.  I still will walk a couple of miles from my office to Starbucks in the mornings (tea this time instead of coffee) just for the exercise.  3 days or so per week, I will walk to my gym (which is right next to Starbucks) and get a workout in.  Nothing kicks my day off better than a good workout.
  • #4 is meditation.  I try to meditate for at least 10 minutes every day to clear my mind.  This is probably the 1 thing that I am not as consistent about and would like to improve on because it is amazing what 10 minutes of pausing the mind-madness can do to help you through the day.

I know this routine probably will not work for everyone, especially if you are in a situation like I was prior to having my own company.  Anything you can do to start your day off better will put you miles ahead of your previous self and others.  A solid start to the day, leads to a more productive (work smarter, not harder) environment.

Please follow my blog, and feel free to leave comments below!