Time is often called the great equalizer. You can’t buy, sell it, or trade it. Everyone gets the same 24 hours a day. The only thing you can do with time is manage it. As a youth, I was often reminded of this by elders, but it didn’t resonate with me. It wasn’t until I was a founder that I learned how managing time effectively can change your trajectory.
When I was asked recently for my views on this topic, I shared a few habits and tricks I’ve adopted over the years. Here they are:
- Mortality – I use this Chrome extension to remind me how much time I have left to live. It’s a (yes, somewhat morbid) subtle daily reminder to not waste time.
- Weekly reflection – I reflect on the past week in blog posts, numbering these weekly posts so I can keep track of the weeks. I started doing this early in the pandemic to track how many weeks I’d been working from home, and it morphed into a broader reflection. Here’s a recent post.
- Schedule – I try to think about what types of activities I want to work on each workday. I’ve blocked out time for certain things and I use this technique as a guideline and reminder about what I should be focusing on.
- No – I say not to a lot of things to protect my time.
- Time vs. money – When I have the option of paying (a reasonable amount) for something that saves me time, I normally decide to pay. I figure I’m going to pay in time or in money. I can make more money, but not more time. I understand that I’m fortunate to be able to make this choice and that not everyone is. I appreciate my good fortune and don’t take it for granted.
These are some things I’ve learned and adopted over the years. I understand that they won’t work for everyone, and I’d love to hear how others manage their precious time.