Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”
February was a challenging month in Boston. Between the consecutive storms, record-breaking levels of snow, ice damns on roofs, and six snow days, it was hard to stay productive.
Think about this scenario: It’s yet another snow day, so you are working from home. You start off with great intentions and try to get your work done, but get interrupted again and again by the kids. You decide to take a break, turn on the TV and get caught up on a binge-watching marathon. Next thing you know, you are eating junk food, skipping the gym, and having a hard time sleeping. Sound familiar?
When your routine gets broken and you start to slip, it can easily become a downward spiral. This is called “learned helplessness,” a term introduced by psychologist Martin Seligman, which means that when you feel that you do not have control over the outcome of a situation, you become paralyzed, leading to a downward spiral.
But the great news is that the opposite is also true. When you feel that you have control over your situation, it can work as an upward spiral. The more you start seeing positive change, the more excited you get, and the better you become.
The main reason clients contact me is because they feel like a hamster caught in a wheel, constantly reacting to urgent requests and overwhelmed by how much they have to do. They are all looking for a sense of control over their days, over their schedule. Once they start climbing up the levels of the Peak Productivity Pyramid™ and start feeling in control, they notice positive changes not only in their workday, but also in their relationships and their health.
The easiest way to take control? Stop using the term “I don’t have time” as an excuse. Take ownership over the choices that you are making and how you are spending your time and use terms like “it’s not a priority.” Notice how different the following two phrases sound:
I would love to exercise, but I don’t have time.”
I would love to exercise, but it’s not a priority.”
As Denis Waitley stated on the quote above, we all have time. Take control of your choices and start seeing the ripple effect of positive changes as you spring forward through the year.