Time: A Precious Commodity

How many have ever wished for more hours in the day? You know who you are – raise your hands. I just read an article by Karen Skidmore, entitled Not Enough Hours in the Day, that essentially scolded us for that thought. Karen’s contention is that we aren’t using our time wisely. Harsh, but she has a point.

In my new book that is due to hit stands later this quarter, entitled A Working Womsn’s GPS – when the plan to have it all has led you astray, I talk about direction and purpose and goal setting. Karen is right – if you don’t feel like you have enough hours in the day – you have to look at how you are spending those hours.

Have you ever been part of a corporate work study where you have to log your actions for every minute of the work day? It is usually a test that is conducted over a two week period. If you have ever participated, you’ll know what I mean when I say that it is amazing how many minutes (minutes that add up to hours) are spent in a non-productive manner.

Chris Brogan, marketing expert, starts every year with three words that will focus and guide his actions for the coming year. He says that at any given moment in the day he needs to be able to justify to himself that his current actions are helping achieve something related to those three words.

Direction.

Focus.

As a business woman, what is your direction? Are you focused? Do you have a plan or are you allowing the flow of life carry you along; sometimes you float easily and other times you struggle to keep your head above water.

Peter Bregman wrote an article that offers a plan for being focused in just 18 minutes a day. It is a simple three step program

1.  Plan

2. Refocus

3. Review

My favorite part is the “refocus.” Peter suggests that every hour (he sets his watch to remind him) you spend one minute to look up from your task to see if you are working on your goals for the day or if you have strayed in a different direction. It is like a mini-wake up call.

As a business woman, what tricks do you have for using time wisely and staying focused. How do you handle the circumstances when others interfere with your plans (the best laid plans of mice and men…) for the day?