My client Nadia had mentioned to me that in terms of time management I reminded her of her father! Because I admire Nadia I was pleased even though I have never met the man. Then, about a month ago, when he was in New York for a 20 hour trip from Singapore for Nadia’s Landmark graduation, I had a privilege to meet him. Between our busy schedules we managed to take out 40 minutes for dinner in the West Village. We celebrated Nadia’s upcoming graduation, got a better understanding of what Landmark is all about, and got an introduction on why it is very important to respect time from Nadia’s dad.
His philosophy was simple: If you respect time, time will respect you back and even cooperate with you.
We said our goodbyes and I headed out in to an evening with this new idea buzzing about in my head and some confusion about how I would apply it to my reality. Over the next few weeks this little seed grew, I would think of it constantly as I worked, as I socialized and even as I washed my dishes (yes I can get like that!). And two weeks ago, out of the blue I had a whole new system in place to help my clients find time to execute their ideas. This system is divided in to three parts – Understand, Create, Respect.
I wanted to share this with my clients and so I decided to introduce it to our iDEA BOOT CAMP participants http://beanidealeader.wpengine.com/index.php?/BIL/idea-boot-camp.html. This group of clients, while already having achieved so much, would need all the tools I could provide them with to move to the next level of being better with their time. They were excited to try it out.
First I asked them to UNDERSTAND where it is that they spend their time. Each of them were given a Time Tracker on which to record what they do with each hour in a day. Much like a food chart that people on a new diet maintain, there were some surprises. We discovered that some of us spend several hours a day on travel! Others were expected – time spent responding to emails, chores at home, sleep, work, etc. But regardless of how they spent their time all the participants reported that they were now aware of how much time they would realistically have to put towards their new idea. Awareness is half the battle in moving forward to creating time, freeing a space, and coming up with a new time solutions.
Once they were aware of where they were investing their time, they were in a better position to CREATE time for additional projects/ideas. For example if you have no other option but to spend several hours a day on your commute then perhaps you can conduct some meetings via Skype. It is amazing the number of creative solutions we can came up with if we really think about it. We also agreed that finding time to relax and re-charge is very important.
And finally, once they had a good sense of how to structure their time, they were in a position to RESPECT it. To explain this better I asked them to imagine that they were having a conversation with a person they cared for, loved, and respected. Surely they would not think of checking FB, or answering the phone, surely they would be with this person, 100% present and involved. This was the same respect that they would have to show a particular time slot in the day – pick the task/project/idea that you had planned to do at that time and DO JUST THAT ONE THING. Show respect to your idea and it will respect you back.
It is a quite simple concept and, as a lot of our clients said, an eye-opening experience. Try it for yourself and tell us how it worked.