I’m a pretty generous person. I’ll go months without buying something for myself, but when it comes to others – I’ll drop money, resources and energy without hesitation.
But when it comes to time, that’s a different story.
I’m stingy with it.
I became this way when I started my Masters of Business Administration program at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2013 – all while working a 10-hour-a-day job that required a 1-hour commute there & back.
Full-time graduate student = 40 hours per week (10-15 in class, 25-30 studying/doing homework)
Full-time employee = 50 hours per week
Driving = 10 hours per week
That’s 100 hours per week of non-avoidable work I went through for 3 years during my graduate program. Doesn’t leave time for much else.
And that’s when I started becoming possessive with my time. I realized that if I didn’t make lists for the day, if I didn’t calendar my day out, if I didn’t run the day – it would run me.
I’ve gotten a lot better at minimizing things that waste my time, but truth be told, some people still take advantage of my time. And I still have areas I need to improve in protecting it.
Here’s a list of some things I’ve done (some I’m still guilty of) and you might currently do that waste time:
- Stressing – If you can’t directly impact it, stop tripping over it.
- Ruminating – When something happens, move on. Don’t worry about “what if” or “I should’ve”… what’s done is done. Do what you can with what’s really here.
- Laying in bed in the morning – Get up. No more 15-to-30 minutes of social media before finally rolling out.
- Scrolling through social media on the toilet – Guilty. Leave your phone outside the restroom. This’ll save you maybe 10 minutes on each bathroom trip.
- Saying ‘yes’ to every meeting – If it can be taken care of on a quick call and doesn’t require me blocking off 1 hour in my calendar, let’s do it. No more pointless meetings.
- Saying ‘yes’ to everything – I’m super guilty of this. I accept mostly every speaking, meeting, ‘pick your brain’ and
‘I need your help moving out’ request. Not doing yourself a service saying ‘yes’ to everything. It’s good to be wanted, but a resource that’s always available isn’t as valuable.
- Being around negative people – Negative energy drains me. I feel less motivated when I’m around complainers. Time to cut them all the way off.
- Scrolling – The funny thing about social media is that IT NEVER ENDS. Stop scrolling. Get to work.
- Being a slave to your phone – Suuuuuuper guilty. My phone is in front of me as I write this. *I just threw it in the bedroom*. Out of sight, out of mind. Focus and use your time effectively.
- Winging it – I’m a self-admitted Type-A personality. A planner to the core. To-do lists every hour. I’m extreme. But people who “wing it” waste so much time. Don’t ask me to come help you move if you don’t have everything already packed up and a plan for how to get it around. Have a strategy and stick to it.
- Being organized – Again, I’m anal about this. I keep my stuff CLEAN & NEAT. So I never waste time looking for keys, finding my backpack, worrying about my charger. Keep your stuff so you know where it is and you’ll become much more efficient.
- Talking about your “ideas” – I don’t mean to crush them, but your ideas aren’t worth sh*t. Go do something. Sitting around, talking about what you think and what you could’ve done isn’t going to change anything. I’m glad you have ideas – now get to work.
- Complaining – If you’re complaining over it, you can likely change it. Stop making excuses and go make a difference.
- Waiting ’til the last minute – If you have time to do something ahead of time, DO IT AHEAD OF TIME. I promise you, if you wait, something is going to come up. You might think you have 4 hours to do something, but something unexpected will come up and throw everything off.
- Doing things at the same time everyone else does – I don’t go grocery shopping on the first or 15th of the month, I don’t go to the gym at 5pm, and I don’t drive at rush hour. That’s a perfect way to make a 1-hour thing into a 2-, 3-hour trip. Do it before they do it.
- Feeling hopeless about the state of the world – You can complain about the President, the economy, sex trafficking, racism, etc all day. Is it justified? Yes. Do we live in a sad world? Yes. But I’d rather put my energy into ways of changing my community around me so they defy these bigger societal norms.
- Holding a grudge – Let it go. Move on. You’re hurting yourself more than them.
- Trying to help someone that is not willing to be helped – SUPER GUILTY. In my line of work as an empowerment speaker, I come across a lot of people that love my message and try to connect me with someone they know who needs help. I’ve made the mistake many times of reaching out multiple times to said person, to no response. I’m a believer in outreach, yes, but don’t let them take advantage of your time.
- Distractions – I preach the hustle, but when I’m with my fiancé or our friends or my family – I’M WITH THEM. No phone, no emails, nothing diverting my focus. Whatever you’re doing, FOCUS.
- Not doing it right the first time – Now that I’m a homeowner, I know this well. If you don’t take the time to do something well the first time, it will reappear again.
- Responding to these “quick” emails – I fall into this all the time. That “quick” email takes 10 minutes and in that 10 minutes, you had 5 more things pop up that you need to read.
- Eating out – I love restaurant food and enjoy going out with my loved ones, but I absolutely hate wasting 2 hours on the whole ordeal. 15 minutes to get there, 90 minutes to eat, another 15 minutes to get home. I’d rather eat in 30 minutes at home and keep rolling with the day.
- Explaining yourself – I used to spend so much time explaining to people (who didn’t matter) my vision and why I do what I do. They would relentlessly and pointlessly question me. And I would answer. Now, I don’t explain anymore. I just execute.
- Eating poorly – Your body is an engine. Feed it crap and you’ll run slower and get sick more often. This wastes time. I simplify my diet a lot to meat, protein, starch and 1 gallon of water per day.
- Small talk – I need to get better at getting to the point. Anyone else?
- Sleeping in – Great things happen at 4AM – most of the rest of your world is asleep, so you can focus and get things done.
Protecting myself more in 2018.
⚡️Saying “yes” to everything
🙅🏽♂️Being around negative people
— Juan V López (@JuanVLopez) December 28, 2017
Which of these do you struggle with? Let me know below!