4 Ways to Find More Time in Your Schedule

Time is one of the most valuable assets in existence. Through one lens, it’s a priceless commodity. Through another, you can equate every minute to a dollar value. Time in excess is a rarity and a moment free is a luxury, by definition of most.

Dr. Seuss asked “How did it get so late so soon?” Albert Einstein said “Time is an illusion.” Lao Tzu unequivocally stated “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.’”

I realize that I’m far from alone when I recall the number of conversations I’ve had in a given week where an employee, client or friend is in anguish over the lack of time to “get it all done.” So what’s the solution? How do we do more with less, or just find the time to make it happen? The answers are simply stated but difficult to execute. Give any one or all of these tips a try, and then share your experience on my site.

Build a schedule with margin

You wouldn’t travel to Italy with a stuffed suitcase and no room for a souvenir handbag, right? Build a buffer into your schedule to allow for margin, or space to expand as necessary. It’s like a zero balance account (ZBA) in banking. The balance of zero is maintained by automatically transferring funds from a master account in an amount only large enough to cover checks presented (thanks, Investopedia.com!). Schedule what I call “margin blocks.” They’re on the calendar and recorded in increments that make sense to you. You’ll maintain a balance of zero with your available time and have the margin to cover an expenditure of time if something comes up unexpectedly.

Realize that attitude determines altitude

I love this quote by Jean de La Bruyère: “Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity.” Challenge yourself to operate with an abundance mentality—for example, “It’s okay if I miss this time window to work on that bid, I’ll make it up later” or “An hour just became available in my schedule, how can I best use it?” Your attitude will posture your altitude. How high you go will depend on your perspective.

Know your time consumers

We all have them—tasks, certain people or other unavoidables that consume your precious time. These are not subtle annoyances or unplanned appearances; they’re bonafide time-wasters. Since you can recognize them, plot them in your path (when they show up, why they show up, how they show up, etc.) and plan your route around them. No different than how you would seek a detour for an unexpected construction zone on your way to work, think about how you can avoid them to gain a little ground back in your schedule.

Embrace the chaos and unscheduled

Sometimes the least expected time expenditures yield the greatest blessing. I have a very close relationship with my calendar and honor what it says when it comes to appointments I’ve accepted or scheduled myself, yet my intuition knows to embrace an unforeseen interruption (that isn’t already seen as a time-waster). It might be one of my children sneaking downstairs to curl up in my lap while I’m working on deadline or a call from a former client to ask if we can have an impromptu talk about a business challenge she’s facing. They're perceived interruptions that can easily manifest into a treasured moment. Sappy? Maybe. Truth? You bet. Learn to spot these moments and, more importantly, embrace them as they come. They always prove to be a good use of time.

Published on IvankaTrump.com May 2018