One of the hardest things for anyone to do, particularly for entrepreneurs, is to remain persistent when things don’t seem to be moving forward, especially at a pace you desire. As a life coach, I am no exception to this fact. I have encountered moments of great growth and moments where a “snail’s pace” seemed much faster and productive. The minuets may have dragged on, but the days flew by in a blink of an eye; leaving me with nothing to show for it. My days were consumed by a laundry list of “chores/to-do items” and even though I would do my absolute best to get through the list, the sense of fulfillment was missing…every time. I found myself asking WHY. I’m doing my best to stay busy and productive and yet, I felt as if I was spinning my wheels going nowhere, real fast. I also found out; I am not the only one who struggles with this.
In our culture, we’ve bought into the idea, more is better. More cars, more money, more luxury, means more fun and a better life. Perhaps that may be true, to a certain extent…a very SMALL extent. After all, why wouldn’t you want to enjoy the fruits of our labor. The thing is, in order to enjoy the “more in life” you are searching for, you need to make more of your time. However, the one thing you can NOT get more of, is time. So, what do you do? How do you get more time? After all, you have the same 24 hours in a day as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have. The only difference is how you invest and use your time.
Before you can learn how to manage your time and make time work for you, I want to paint a very clear picture for you. One that I hope lights a fire under your ass so much that you become hellbent on gaining control of your time and your life.
On average, 96% of the American population spends 47% of their day on autopilot (Colby College, 2020).That means 96 out of every 100 people spend nearly half their day doing activities that they are not even mentally present for. Now, I don’t mean activities such as breathing or other involuntary actions. I am talking about the activities you do at work and at home, day in and day out. Activities that you use as an excuse to justify your inability to make use of your time.
Here's what I mean. Let’s break down the first 2 hours of your day. If you get up at six in the morning to be at work by eight, that means you spend roughly two hours between getting ready and commuting to work. That’s 10 hours a week (if you work Monday-Friday), 520 hours in a year, just shy of 22 total calendar days you are on autopilot: getting washed up, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and travelling to work. Imagine what you can do in 22 days!
Now, I am a firm believer that multitasking is myth. We as humans have proven that we cannot multitask and be fully present in each task at the same time (Rosen, 2008). I do, however, believe we can take full advantage of our “autopilot” state of mind simply by adding activities that will compel us to be present in the moment and will elicit conscious thinking and profound reflection. Activities such as mindfulness training, reading a book on personal or professional development, listening to a growth mindset podcast, and purposeful movements during moments you go on autopilot; like getting ready for work.
Just imagine how productive your morning will feel if you started your day like this. For the 2 hours (120 minutes) you are getting ready for work, start your day with gratitude. When you wake up, spend the first five minutes being thankful for whatever it is you are thankful for. Starting your day with gratitude has been scientifically proven to have a positive effect on your body at a cellular level. When you start our day with gratitude, your body releases oxytocin, giving you a dopamine like sensation. That’s one hell of a way to kick start your day and it only took 5 minutes.
With the hour and 55 minutes you have remaining, use 15 of them to do some sort of physical activity. There is no sense in wasting the oxytocin you just released in your body. Engage in purposeful movement such as stretching, walking, or even a brief exercise to completely wake your body up. With your mind and body fully awake and present in the moment, it’s time to get ready for work with the 100 remaining minutes.
Be conservative with your time, for example, let’s just say it takes you about one hour (60 minutes) to get washed up and dressed for work. This is about the time most people go into autopilot. Doing activities such as brushing your teeth, taking a shower, and getting dressed really doesn’t involve too much mental aptitude. Hence, this why you are able to do these activities when you are half asleep. As you begin your morning ritual of getting ready for work, listen to an audio book, a growth-oriented podcast or do some mindfulness exercises like body scanning or breathing techniques. Fill your mind with information that is going to elicit deep thought and profound reflection.
With the 40 minutes remaining to eat breakfast and commute to work, try not to waste your time going into the ultimate autopilot mode by scrolling through TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platform. Instead, read an actual book or the newspaper for a few minutes.
Prioritize your day while you eat breakfast. On your drive to work, listen to Ed Mylett, Andy Frisella, Trent Shelton, Eric Thomas, John Maxwell, etc. All of which are free podcasts easily accessible through your phone.
I guarantee, by the time you get to work, your mind, body and spirit will definitely be on the same page, fully awake and ready to seize the day.
As you can see, a lot can be done within the first 2 hours of your day. Again, the average American is on autopilot nearly half the day. That means if you get up at six in the morning and go to be at ten in the evening (Monday-Friday), you spend roughly eight hours on autopilot…a day. That’s 40 hours a week, 160 hours a month, 2080 hours a year, of being on autopilot. Just shy of 87 full days. You’ve already seen what can be done just within two hours of the morning. Imagine the possibilities with 87 days.
Stop being the person who constantly uses the excuse, “I don’t have enough time.” Get a hold of iLEAD toady and begin taking control of YOUR time. When you take control of your time, you take control of your life. Seize each and every
moment and make LIFE happen for yourself.