The #1 reason why salespeople sign up for coaching with me is that they want to take back control of their day and manage their time better. The very first thing most of my coaching clients say to me is, “I just need more hours in the day, Dew. I don’t have enough time to get everything done.”
There are so many things we could accomplish if we just had a little more time, right? Well, there’s a simple way to find that time. And I’ve never had a single client not find extra hours in their week after completing this exercise. Ready to reclaim your lost time? Let’s do it!
We All Have the Same 168 Hours
There are 24 hours in every day and 7 days in every week. That’s 168 hours per week to do whatever we want, right? I know, I know—it doesn’t feel that way! So let’s break it down:
- We’re all supposed to sleep 8 hours a night, so 7×8 = 56 for sleeping. You might not actually sleep that long, but you should allocate it anyway. In the end, if you don’t end up sleeping that full 56 hours, you will have just earned more time back.
- On average, we legitimately spend about 40 hours a week actually working, but with commute times and the occasional late night, we end up “working” about 56 hours a week.
So if we spend 56 hours sleeping and 56 hours working, that leaves us with 56 hours in the week for whatever else we want. Turns out that old saying about work/life balance is right! I can hear you from here saying, “But that’s not how my life works, Dew! I’ve got kids… I’ve got to cook… I’ve got to go to the gym… I’ve got to do laundry.” All of those things are your choices though. What do you really want to do with your time?
Determine, Decide, and Plan
Step 1: Determine (where did your time go?)
Step one in this process is to determine where you’re actually spending your time now. Take out the 56 hours you’re supposed to be sleeping, and that leaves you with 112 hours. Write down every single thing that you do in a week. How much time do you spend commuting? Watching TV? Working? At your kid’s soccer games? Cooking? At the gym? Getting ready in the morning? Break down every little thing you do and try to figure out how many total hours you can come up with.
Like I said, I have never seen one of my clients run out of time at the end of this calculation. Every single one of them, after doing this exercise, has time leftover at the end of the week that they simply can’t figure out where it goes or what they’re doing with it. One of my clients recently had 22 hours left over in his week and had NO idea where it was going, but he sure was determined to get it back!
Beyond being eye-opening, sitting down and doing this inventory of your time will help make your time more productive. And it will show you where you’re flat out wasting time, too. Nielsen ratings show that on average, Americans spend 5.11 hours a day watching TV. You may think you don’t do that, but how often do you turn on the TV in the background and get distracted while trying to do other things?
Or maybe you’re a chronic binge watcher. Netflix statistics show that an average watcher takes only 8 days to watch an entire series. That’s insane! Other studies have shown the average adult spends at least one full hour a day just looking for something. And studies on procrastination have shown that 1.9 hours a day are spent “deciding what to do.” It’s absolutely ridiculous how much time we waste.
Step 2: Decide (where should your time go?)
Once you’ve determined how you’re currently spending your time, you need to decide how you really want to be spending it. Write down how many hours each week you want to spend on the things that matter most to you, figuring in not only work obligations, but things like family time, personal improvement, and recreation/relaxation.
Step 3: Plan (take control and make it happen!)
The final step in this process is to plan ahead. Think about how you can actually start doing the things you want to do. But don’t just think about it—make it happen! Create a blueprint of your ideal week, put things on your calendar, set reminders on your phone. Do whatever you have to do to ensure that you’re getting to spend your time the way you want to. Long gone are the days of falling asleep on the sofa watching Netflix at 2 am. The reality is that there are plenty of hours in every day. But you need to go out and get them.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!