I would like to share with you what I call, “The Power of One Minute”. When I began to be asked to speak, I wasn’t sure about what people were looking for. Then I started paying attention to what I was asked by friends and clients on a regular basis, “How do you get it all done?” “How is it possible to have multiple businesses and still maintain a healthy relationship with your husband and children?” “How do you make so much money and still have time to take care of yourself”.
What I quickly realized was that there was a theme to these questions. Most people who were struggling with “How to get it done” were not very conscious about how they spent their days. Having been there myself, I could relate to having been so busy making a living, that I was not in touch with my life.
My first speaking topic was “How You Spend Your Time Is How You Spend Your Life.” It wasn’t sexy enough. They didn’t get it. I knew I had to come up with something catchier to get people’s attention. I decided to break it down.
How about this: We’re All Born. We All Die. Every day that you’re alive, you’re a little closer to the end. Hopefully, you can figure this out without a wake-up call, but most of us (myself included) tend to need an event to occur to get us clear and present to our relationship to time. This wake-up call comes to most people in one of three ways. I call them the 3Ds.
1) Death Somebody you love dies, and all of a sudden, you say, “Hmm, maybe I won’t live forever.” This one usually brings with it some guilt over things not said or done and the awareness that time is precious.
2) Disease Somebody gets sick, either yourself or a loved one gets a disease. It’s not fun. Health tends to be something that we take for granted until we don’t have it. Suddenly, time becomes precious.
3) Divorce This was a great wake up call for me. I was married to a wonderful man who was the father of my children. Losing this marriage shook me to my core. All of the ideas I had about “forever” changed. It was definitely time for me to take a good look in the mirror and take some responsibility for the way I was living.
I started as an entrepreneur when I was 23 years old. I was successful in business. I was not successful in my personal life. I wasn’t in alignment with what really mattered to me. My divorce gave me a wake up call that prompted me to start doing some discovery. I realized I only knew what I knew. I needed help. I needed to look outside of myself. I needed to study. I needed to learn from people who were wiser than I was who had made successes of their lives.
The first thing I realized was that I was a big cheerleader for “I don’t have time, I don’t have time, I don’t have time.” We all have 24 hours in a day. How you’re choosing to spend that 24 hours is, in great part, up to you. I understand, there are a lot of things to be done. Right now, I’m running 4 businesses. I have 2 teenagers at home, and I have been blessed with a healthy second marriage. Life is full. The difference is that it is full in a way that supports me instead of draining me.
One of the greatest lessons I learned that contributed to my success was changing my relationship to time. Now, I get really clear about what needs to get done everyday, and I’ve found that other successful people have this same habit. It can be making a list the night before, before you go to bed, describing what you need to accomplish the next morning, and then doing those things first. Do it right away. Get it knocked out, okay? Don’t hang out on Facebook. Don’t check e-mail 25 times a day. I want you to get really clear about how you’re spending your time. If you don’t know how to do that, start writing down what you actually do everyday. You know, it’s like a diet for your calendar. Start writing down.. “I got up this morning. I went to the bathroom. I made a cup of coffee, etc.” Write down what you are actually doing and see where you are spending your time. There’s an abundance of time available for you, but you’ve got to get aware of how you’re spending it first and foremost.
Remember that the goal of “getting it all done” is to enjoy the freedom to do the things that really matter to you. We are not our careers. The joys in life are short and sweet. See if you can gain some clarity on who and what truly matter to you and then put those people and experiences into your calendar. Get clear about how you are spending your time and then back up what you say is important to you by getting it into your schedule. Our relationships are precious. We need to communicate this to the people we love through our words, but more importantly, with our actions. If someone matters to you, give them the gift of your time. It is the most precious gift any of us have to offer.