I read a report recently that talked about how modern kids don’t have a grasp of how time actually works because they all use digital clocks to tell time. There is no “about twenty minutes past 5” anymore it is “5:23”. They give the time to the exact minute without thinking how this relates to an hour.
Time is one of these things that seems to distort depending on the person. Some people seem to have all the time in the world; others never seem to have enough. And yet, every hour has exactly 60 minutes, every minute has exactly 60 seconds. It is the same for everyone. So how can we be more aware of time and how we spend it?
As small business owners we cannot afford to fall into this trap. Time is our most valuable asset and we need to be aware of how it passes and how we spend it.
One of the biggest weapons we have at our defense is building up our consciousness of time passing. Here are my top tips to become more time conscious.
- Get a clock (a big one!). Make sure it is an analogue clock so you get a sense for the progression of time. Don’t rely on that little clock on your computer. Personally I like one with a decent “tick”. When I am focused I don’t hear it at all, but if I am drifting it starts to make its presence felt. Kind of like a little tap of conscience on my shoulder!
- Put your clock somewhere you can see time passing. Whether working on your own or if anyone else comes into your work space having a sense of time passing will increase your focus. As a bonus if your visitors / clients/ interrupters etc can also see it they can see time passing also. If you are being interrupted keep glancing at the clock. This can work wonders without actually having to chase someone out!
- Set alarms for tasks – put a time limit on tasks that you know you can get engrossed in. That way you can focus your activity and know you will not over shoot your time commitment. Put alarms on your calendar or use a countdown timer with a good alarm. http://www.online-stopwatch.com/ This is a free one online that has a great bell at the end.