How to Multiply Your Time
Posted on September 16, 2013
I used to live under the assumption that there weren’t enough hours in the day. My goal was to squeeze as much as possible into the 24 hours that the Father of Time gives us. I would rise early and work late…scheduling back-to-back appointments, working through meals, neglecting personal health, and avoiding down time with my family.
The problem was that I was adding rather than multiplying.
Adding focuses on squeezing things in – multiplying frees things up.
Adding requires me to work harder – multiplying calls me to work smarter.
Adding disconnects relationships – multiplying creates new ones.
Adding subtracts from my life – multiplying gives me life.
If you feel like you never have enough minutes in the day, here are four ways to multiply your time…
- Question every time commitment.
Take a moment and write down every daily and weekly commitment. From work to kids to clubs to church events to bunco…whatever you ‘feel’ committed to…write it down. Next, ask yourself, “What am I doing primarily to please others?” My guess is that you’re committed to multiple things that you initially said ‘yes’ to in order to help someone else feel better. Now, you feel stuck and overwhelmed. If you want to multiply your time, start confidently re-allocating your commitments. You have the power to say, “I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to participate in _______________, but I’m finding that I’m overwhelmed in my commitments. I need to help you find a replacement for me in this role.” Change the words to fit your situation. Back out of things you’re only doing in order to please others and start confidently saying ‘no’ when you’re asked to do something else. Re-claim your time!
- Contract out some commitments.
There are some commitments that you can’t stop attending to, but you do have the freedom to “contract them out.” In other words, someone else can perform the task while you manage or oversee the process. Tired of grocery shopping – order online. Overwhelmed with your household duties – delegate tasks to each family member. Sick of repetitive task or mundane research project – hire a virtual assistant. Your mind is probably filled with lots of I-can’t-do-that statements. The truth is that you can if you want to. If you want to have someone (family member, co-worker, intern, virtual assistant) else take on your commitment, you can do it. In my marketing business, I have 8 creative contractors that I hire regularly to do the bulk of the work. I have a gardener, housekeeper, accountant, virtual assistant, and multiple companies who help me get stuff done that I don’t personally want to do. By freeing up my time, I’m able to do things that I’m uniquely gifted to do. Get creative and contract out your commitments.
- Focus on commitments that build relationships.
When I was trying to squeeze as much into my day as possible, I was blowing through people in an effort to get more ‘stuff’ done. I stopped just long enough in order to enroll others in what I was up to or get them to join in my project so that I could make it even better. Little focus was on their dreams, hopes, or desires. Now that I’m multiplying my time, I am looking for situations and commitments that give me the opportunity to build relationships and serve others. If I can make a commitment to something that ultimately cultivates a relationship, I actually can ‘accomplish’ more than ever before. I find myself enjoying the personal connection, discovering opportunities to serve, and ultimately participating in a positive outcome that is reciprocal…a win/win relationship. Build relationships and your time will multiply.
- Move toward life-giving commitments.
Although there will always be a number of activities that suck the life out of me, my desire is to limit those commitments as much as possible by saying ‘no’, contracting them out, or executing them with others. More and more, I find myself moving toward commitments and experiences that are life-giving. So many of us remain stuck in jobs, relationships, and social contracts that are draining our souls of energy and health. Oftentimes, we keep the commitment out of duty and obligation rather than heart-felt service, love, or devotion. I’m not insinuating that there won’t be difficult seasons where we learn from challenging situations or need to press through character-developing experiences with tenacity. I’m talking about those things we remain committed to that are an ongoing drain to our lives. Focus on those relationships, activities, and experiences that bring life, and you’ll start multiplying your time!
Multiplying your time is an intentional effort to free yourself up from burdensome commitments in order to re-allocate the moments of your day toward those things that bring you life.
I have more time now than ever before. I feel confident saying ‘yes’ to things that interest me, provide financially for my family, and serve others. I have no problem saying ‘no’ to activities and experiences that I’m not interested in…things that don’t bring me life. I don’t mind contracting out numerous tasks that are not within the sweet-spot of my life, and I’m interested in building relationships and experiencing a full life.
I quit adding stuff to my life, and I started multiplying my time.