“If you wait to see what time is left over for the good stuff, there will be no time left over” – Laura Vanderkam
I have been working on a talk this last week, and it talks about the ‘Big Rocks’. Those key things you need to do, that can often be brushed aside by the day-to-day or even the more trivial things using up your time.
It is all too easy to put your goals or dreams aside for when ‘the time is right’. Have you ever thought:
‘If I have some time at the end of the week I’ll take an hour for myself’
‘If I get a chance I will have a few days off this year’
Or worse still: ‘I’ll be able to do that when I retire’
The trouble is, time has a way of filling itself. It would be a very rare occasion that you would get everything done and suddenly find you didn’t have anything to do for an hour, or wondered how to fill a few days. Instead your time will be filled up with the important, or not so important tasks of the day. Like sand pouring into a vessel it so easily fills up every part.
In truth there could be the time left when you retire, but do you really want to wait that long? Wouldn’t you rather be enjoying life more now?
So what are these Big Rocks?
Focusing on your Big Rocks is one of the key themes from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. They are the time needed to look at the future plans for your business, the marketing campaigns, a new product launch, the Sales calls for new business, the Client meetings. Those things that will move your business forward.
They are the holidays, school play, enrolling on a Degree, Health check, Date night or just eating properly rather than skipping breakfast or lunch through the day.
These are the things that should go into the Diary first – not wait to see if time allows you later.
By making sure that time is focused on these key things first, the rest of your day-to-day things can fill in between. If there is time left, or not, for the trivial then what does it matter. Your time has been spent effectively, achieving the critical things you need to get done to move yourself forward in your goals, hopes, dreams. Enjoying life more.
At the end of the day you are in business to provide the flexibility in what you do, to make your own decisions, to enjoy your time outside of work more. Get the key tasks into your diaries now. If you do nothing else, then book yourself an hour over the next couple of days when you can. Find the time for the Big Rocks as they will make the biggest difference to what you achieve. The rest can fit around them.
Don’t wait to see what time is left over – get to the good stuff now.