Every night at midnight, you are given two very special gifts. A gift of 24 hours and a choice of how to spend them.
Think of this gift like a gift card that you can spend at any store you want. The only stipulation is that you must spend every minute of the 24 hours.
You can’t save a single minute for the next day.
You either use them or you lose them.
And because it is your gift, you get to spend these 24 hours any way you want to.
Did you get that?
You get to choose how you will spend every minute of your 24 hours.
Maybe you’re thinking, “now wait a minute, Mark. You may be able to spend your 24 hour gift how you want to, but I have a job. I have to go to work”.
Is that really true? Do you seriously not have the power to choose like everyone else?
Let me see if I have this right.
Every morning, someone breaks into your home, pulls you out of your bed, strips you naked, puts you in the shower, bathes you, dries you off, dresses you, gives you breakfast, brushes your teeth, gets your kids and spouse up and going, drives you to work and then forces you to work all day?
Not only is that illegal but it’s downright creepy.
Side note: some audience members have shouted at me after I say this, “I’d pay someone to do that for me!”
But seriously…this does not happen.
It doesn’t matter if you have an 8-5 job, are a stay-at-home Mom or if you are an entrepreneur, you get to choose how you spend your 24 hours.
Yes, you’d like to have:
- a place to live
- food for you, your family and pets
- utilities (air conditioning/heat, water/plumbing, etc.)
- fuel for your vehicle
- auto and home owner’s insurance
to name just five.
But the truth remains: you get to choose how to spend your 24 hours.
The Big Question
How are you spending your 24 hours?
Intentionally or reactively?
What’s the difference?
People who are intentional with their time, decide in advance how they will spend it before it arrives.
Those who are reactive are putting out fires all day. Seemingly running from one crisis to another.
How to switch from REactive to PROactive mode
Start small. Begin to plan your tomorrow tonight before you go to bed. You won’t get it right the first or second time you try. You’ll miss something or somethings. And that’s okay.
But this is a first step. A step that will begin to get you in control of your time.
How to do plan your tomorrow
- Grab a notebook or a sheet of paper and list the things you need to do tomorrow.
- Begin to add them to your calendar for tomorrow. I recommend an electronic calendar (an app) but a print copy will work too.
- As you being to fill in your day tomorrow, be practical. Don’t over schedule. And avoid the temptation to schedule every minute of your day. Let your schedule breathe.
When you have done this, give yourself a pat on the back because you have just taken the first step of regaining control of your time.
The more you do this, the better (and more accurate) you will get. Practice makes better (not perfect).
Once you have gotten the daily plan down, move on to scheduling:
- your week on Sunday evening.
- your next month by the end of the current month.
- the next quarter by the end of the current quarter.
- the next year by the end of the current year.
The hurricane Cone of Uncertainty
“The cone of uncertainty is the most important part of a hurricane forecast map. The cone shows you where the center of the storm may wind up at any point within the forecast period (usually 5 days). Weather forecasting is still an inexact science, and hurricane forecasting is even less certain.”
What does this have to do with your planning? The further out you plan, the more uncertain your schedule will be. And that’s okay. The closer the calendar moves up, the more certain things become.
You DO have a choice
Until you take your final breath, you get a gift of 24 hours to spend each and every day.
Spend them INTENTIONALLY and WISELY.