Producing Results Blog

How Are You Using Your Time?

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I waste way too much time. When you work for yourself, that’s real easy to do. Although, come to think of it, when I worked for other people I wasted way too much time as well. I’m trying to get better, which is why I’m writing this now. I’m sitting in a lounge in Dulles airport and I’ve got 20 minutes before I need to board my flight to Seattle. My choice—and the choice we all have virtually every waking moment—is, “How should I spend my time? Relaxing and goofing off, or doing something productive?” Too often we choose the former (and there are times when that’s the appropriate choice). So how are you using your time—right now?

The Beatles wrote a song called Eight Days a Week. Cool song (which begins, incidentally, with the first recorded fade-in in rock music), but the truth is that we all have just seven days a week, and we all have just 24 hours a day. Some of us may have more money than others, but not even Bill Gates has more time in a day than you do. So the question becomes, how are you going to use your daily allotment of hours? And if that’s too daunting a question, try this one:

What could you be doing—right now—that would have the biggest positive impact on your business, career, or life?

And of course the obligatory follow-up question, then, is: “Why aren’t you doing it?”

For one day (say, tomorrow), try asking yourself the first question every hour. At the top of every sixty minutes, ask yourself, “What could I be doing right now that would have the biggest positive impact on my business, career, or life?” And then, if you’re in a position to take action on your answer, do it! Start using your time more wisely, and more productively. And then, just for fun, take that eighth day a week off.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a plane to catch.

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About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
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