If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do is to save every day till eternity passes away just to spend them with you. . . . But there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want once you find them… ~Jim Croce, Time in a Bottle.
Jim Croce, who penned these lyrics for his unborn son, seemed to understand that trying to save time doesn’t make sense. Tragically, the week before the boy’s second birthday, Croce was gone at the age of 30, killed in a plane crash.
Still, managing time is something we all routinely attempt to do (or at least plan to do) trying to save ourselves the frustration of wasting time; trying to make the most of the time that we all have.
What Does Make Sense
- A day is always 24 hours.
- 24 hours is always 1,440 minutes.
- 1,440 minutes is always 86,400 seconds.
When you have an entire day – it’s a given that you have the same amount of time in that day as everyone else. And once you use the time in a given day – it is gone – no matter how you’ve chosen to spend it…because you cannot save it for later use.
These are the facts. And ever since the beginning of time, the facts about time have remained the same.
So, why do some people accomplish more than others in the same amount of time?
Time Is Money
In their book, Stop Wasting Your Time and Start Doing What Matters, Jeffrey L. Krug and Ivonne Delaflor Alexander address the value of time and its impact on successful leadership.
I love the suggestion, offered in Chapter 5, that every second of a leader’s time should be viewed as having a monetary value of $1.00. At this rate, a gift of $86,400 is the amount given every leader, every single day.
Instead of carelessly managing time – how would you be inclined to invest your $86, 400 a day to ensure the best ROI?
Time really does have tremendous value. Just ask those who would give anything to get a particular moment back!
The moment you enter your office, you are engaged in the day. Krug offers the following mathematical equation to support his theory that spending 15 minutes today planning your tomorrow is as good as saving time.
15 minutes per day x 5 days per week = 1 hour and 15 minutes per week.
1 hour and 15 minutes per week x 50 weeks per year = 62.5 hours per year (or the equivalent of a week’s vacation!)
While it may not be possible to actually save time for later use, it makes sense that better use of your time will produce savings in other areas.
Try these 3 Ps for getting the most out of every day that you’ve been given.
- Plan. Don’t expect time to wait for you. It won’t. Be aware of the amount of time you are spending on current tasks. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to plan for tomorrow’s tasks. This is how to productively manage the time you have each day, turning it into enough time to accomplish your goals.
- Purpose. Determine to invest your time wisely each day. The purpose should be to place an appropriate value on your time and invest your time accordingly. Don’t waste time on tasks of little or no value. Spend enough time on those items that will save you additional expenses, additional losses, and additional disappointments over time.
- Produce. To get the best ROI for your time, focus on developing your leadership skills. Organizational tools and systems can be important for better productivity, but don’t overlook the importance of how cohesive your team is:
- how well they work independently
- how well they work together
- how willing they are to follow your lead
Trying to save time doesn’t make sense as a singular goal. Instead, view time saved on the job as the reward for being an effective leader, willing to invest in the kind of ongoing training and coaching that creates timely opportunities for others.