Time, Our Most Precious Resource

Whether we realize it or not, our outcomes in life are determined by how much we are willing to challenge our limiting beliefs. Whilst challenging ourselves, or opening ourselves up to be challenged by others, may feel very uncomfortable it is only by doing so that we can reach our full potential. 

My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time. – Steve Jobs 

I am here to challenge one of the most common limiting beliefs that people have: “I don’t have enough time” Everybody in this world has hopes and ambitions, and one of the most common reasons why people don’t realize these goals, is because they don’t take enough deliberate action due to “lack of time” By reading this article you will understand just how much free time you actually have and how to take a different approach to ensure that you use that time effectively towards realizing your goals. 

I am a father of two children under the age of three, my wife has a demanding professional career and in addition to Phoenix Equity Group I have a full time career in FinTech. Phoenix Equity Group, along with partners has invested in over 800 units valued at over $78,000,000 and I have only been able to achieve this by employing the techniques below to make the most effective use of my most limited resource, time. 

How much time do I have? 

I’m a numbers guy so let’s breakdown just how much time we actually have in any given week. 7 days and 24 hours a day gives us a total of 168 hours. Of that 168 we all need to sleep so let’s give ourselves 8 hours of sleep per day for a total of 56 hours which leaves us with 112 hours. Well, we also need to work so let’s give ourselves 9 hours per day of work for a total of 45 hours which leaves us with 67 hours to spare. Most of us commute to work so let’s budget a 1 hour commute each way, 5 days a week for a total of 10 hours spent commuting leaving us with 57 hours to spare. We need to get ready in the morning so let’s subtract 1 hour for breakfast and getting ready every day of the week for a total of 7 hours leaving us with 50 hours to spare. It can’t all be about work so let’s take 1hour to eat an evening meal and 1 hour to relax each day which adds up to 14 hours, leaving us with a total of 36 hours of time to use as we please, that’s almost a full work week! Think about how much we can achieve if we can start to use that time more purposefully towards our goals. 

How can I make the most use of my time? 

Here are a number of techniques that have enabled me to make progress towards my goals every single week of the year. 

  1. Plan – Keep a master list of tasks that you need to do, writing these tasks down is a prerequisite for the following steps 
  2. Prioritize – Set time aside to prioritize what tasks you should work on. In the past I have made suboptimal progress towards my goals by focusing on urgent or small unimportant tasks at the expense of more important or bigger tasks. Today I use the Eisenhower Method developed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to categorize my tasks so that I ensure more focus on longer term strategic goals 
  3. Protect your Time – Now that you have prioritized your tasks you will need to plan some time to work on them. This is the most critical step in my opinion since without deliberately blocking off and protecting your time distractions will end up consuming it. I would suggest blocking off significant chunks of time to work on specific items 
  4. Eliminate Distractions – Modern life is full of distractions from texts, IM’s, phone calls, emails, alerts, etc. While each of these distractions seem small they can actually have a major impact in your ability to work of tasks that require concentration I.e. the kind of tasks that really make a difference to your outcomes. Find a distraction free environment to work in and simply put the rest of your life on hold until you have completed the important task you had allocated that time for 
  5. Say No – What you ultimately achieve can be as much about what you do as it is about what you don’t do. It is critical to learn to say no to time consuming commitments that are not in line with your goals. Many of us are subject to “Shiny Object Syndrome” which can cause us to lose focus on completing the task at hand. We must get very good about saying no to things that take away from our precious pool of time 
  6. Leverage – We can leverage our time further to try to achieve multiple goals at the same time. One example of this would be to consume educational material while commuting. If you drive and can’t read a book then try audible books or podcasts 

Practicing the steps above will help you to find the time that you need to realize your dreams, I have practiced each of these steps to help me to realize my dreams. If you would like more insights you can subscribe to our newsletter here 

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