One of the most important thing in running a business is managing time. Time is our most important asset because unlike money which you can make more, there is no way you can make more time. We all get the same amount of hours, there’s nobody out there who’s getting a better deal with time. But still there are some people who are able to get far more done than all the rest of us. We have often wondered how, haven’t we all? Well, it all has to do with how they manage time, a.k.a productivity. Time is precious, and if we are not careful it will easily slip away, like sand slipping through our fingers. Since we’ve been running this photography business along with our other responsibilities, we have been on a quest to find out how we can better manage the time that we get.
In life we have many priorities: God, Marriage, Children, Family, Friends, and Business. It is important that we maintain that order of importance, but far too often what happens is that, we tend to focus more on the business part because folks we are passionate about our business, we want to impact, encourage and strengthen marriages through our photography business. But when our focus shifts, our priorities tend to get turned upside down and we end up spending less amount of time and energy in the things that we should prioritize, and our order of importance tends to get turned upside down. So, how were we going to solve this problem? And, it was a major problem that we wanted to solve in order to maintain sanity in our household; I mean with two boys under the age of 7 running around, homeschooling, having a day-job, running a profitable photography business, things can get pretty hectic in our household. Well, we were greatly helped by a book that was recommended to us to help us mange our time efficiently. The book is ‘168 Hours’ by Laura Vanderkam.
This book has really changed the way we look at time. One of the key takeaways from the book has been a correction of a common misconception that we utter when it comes to time, and that is, “I don’t have time for <blank>” (fill in the <blank> with whatever activity that you are considering), we have learned from this book that what we should rather be saying, “I have time for <blank> but <blank> is not a priority for me.” Folks, we all get the same minutes, hours, days and weeks; 24 hours 7 days a week, if you do the math on that, that would give you 168 hours each week. Those 168 hours are to be treated as a blank slate and they are to be filled with the things that are a priority to you. It’s true that there are certain unavoidable tasks that will take up our schedule, but even if you were to allocate time for such tasks, you would find that you still have time for things that are a priority for you. We found that out when we started keeping a log of how we were spending our time each day of the week, you too would come to that discovery if you were to do the same, at least do it for a week, faithfully and honestly, and you are going to be in for a surprise! It will help you to see where all your time is going! And, that is like the first step in the process of reclaiming your time, for your priorities. If you would like to keep a log of your time you can use the spreadsheets which you can download for free from the author’s website, go ahead do it; you will thank me for it later 🙂
There are so many other things that you would learn from this book, I mean it’s not a book that you would just read once and then put it back on the shelf. No, you are going to go back to it again and again, it’s a game changer! Another principle that we learned from this book, is ‘Alignment.’ Now what is alignment? Let us explain. We have all heard of multitasking, it’s the one thing that’s supposed to help you to get more things done with less amount of time expenditure. But folks, we know that this doesn’t work with tasks that require a lot of brainwork (just try typing an email to your manager and having a phone call with your mom, at the same time; you are not going to be able to serve them well!) But there are certain tasks that you can do which doesn’t require a lot of brainwork, what you can do is pair those tasks with those that do require brainwork, for example, Driving, doesn’t require much brainwork, so while you are driving to some place, say a grocery store, you could be listening to a sermon podcast or an educational audiobook, the options are unlimited. The same thing applies to when you are doing the laundry. That’s how alignment works, and it’s way way better than multitasking, you will be able to get a whole lot done through this principle. But the caveat is, it takes planning to get this done, so you have to put in the effort, but it’s well worth the effort.
Reading this book will lead you to think about time in a whole different way. You will find in this book many practical tips to better manage time. We do understand that the circumstances of our lives may vary, and you may not be in a position where you can implement all the steps specified in this book, and we sympathize with you. But for those who are able to implement these steps, this is going to change your life. So we would wholeheartedly recommend to you this book. We bought it from “Book Depository” with free shipping but you can also get it at “Amazon”. Read it and you will find that, “You have more time than you think.”