Need more TIME? Multiply it.


“You cannot solve today’s time management problems,
with yesterday’s time management thinking. What we’ve noticed, is the emergence of a new type of thinker, somebody that we refer to, as a multiplier.”

– Rory Vaden

Have you ever watched a Ted Talk? If not, you should consider it. People from about every field and walk of life share their thoughts on the most interesting subjects. I like to listen to them while I’m in the shower or working by myself. The effect is kind of like one big motivational meme. Something that sparks thinking and encourages you to do great things.

One that I remembered and returned to recently was a talk by self-discipline expert, Rory Vaden, about time. He highlights the fact that prioritizing and other efforts by time management gurus, although helpful, do not– cannot– create more time. We are all always lamenting the fact that there’s only 24 hours in a day. And so, Rory talks about time multipliers. The link for the talk is below, but I’m going to post a few highlights here.

The main idea is that time multipliers judge tasks not only on how important they are, but how long they will be important. Vaden labels this measure, significance. This judgement on how significant something is leads the multiplier to then take action.

One can then decide which things to say “no” to today to make time tomorrow. And as Vader points out, any time you say “yes” to something, you’re saying “no” to everything else anyways. So, multipliers don’t struggle to say “no”. Anything that isn’t going to be significant to you tomorrow, or in the long run comes into question. I recently made a decision to cut out something that I realized was a time investment in an organization that wouldn’t be significant to me in the long run. That’s multiplying time. I can instead invest in something that will have benefits in my “now” and in the future.

The biggest takeaway from the talk is that multipliers invest time today in a way that makes tasks easier and less time consuming tomorrow. The example used is automating bill pay. Taking the time today to set that up in order to save time every month. That yields a better return on your time investment than just paying the bills today.

As Mr. Vader says, “The way that wealthy people think about money is exactly the same way that multipliers think about time. And they give themselves the permission to invest–invest the time and energy to automate the process.”

So, if by now you’re interested in learning how to grow in your productivity, check out the full Ted Talk below! (Then get busy with your math! 😀 )


Letting go…

I sat there in my basement staring down into a bin full of 14 year old baby clothes. My heart wrenched within me.

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This wasn’t the way things were supposed to have gone at all. The original plan was this: Fall in love, get married, have 3 kids (two boys and a girl), a big house, and live happily ever after. But things rarely go according to our wishes and I found myself confronted with these tiny clothes which I now both loved and loathed to look at. So many memories there, but after so many years resulting in one teenager and a failing marriage, I knew more children were out of the question for me. My dream had died. I gripped some of the little garments tightly…and then I folded them and put them in a bag. Little shoes, overalls, the bomber jacket that had turned my baby boy into a cool dude. All but a couple of things went to a friend about to have a little boy. I put the bag in my car, took them to her and simply let go. It hurt and felt good at the same time.

Typically, when we hang onto items, we are really hanging onto something less tangible. Our childhoods, our children’s younger years, a time in our lives we wish we could get back, a person in our lives we wish we could have back, a dream of how we thought things should be.

When helping a close relative weed thru items recently, there was quite a bit of back and forth about whether a whole storage bin labeled “paper goods” was a necessity. She claimed it was– I begged to differ. As I opened the box, I understood what the problem was. These were paper plates, napkins, and party hats that had been set aside for grandchildren’s birthdays and ladies’ tea type activities. However, the tea party era of her life had passed. And there were no grandchildren in her life anywhere near young enough to want to don a Sesame Street party hat. With her youngest daughter having just married, there was the possibility of grandchildren years into the future, but of course that would likely require new party decor with new characters.These were not really needed. However, with the health problems she had been suffering and a relatively recent divorce, she was in a holding pattern in life. She didn’t want to let go of hope that there were still happy times to be had. And she didn’t need to. She needed to let go of the paper plates, and get the rubble out of her life to make room for new and different happy times. For now, these types of things needed to be discarded so she could live comfortably in the smaller house she was forced to downsize into. And although things may not always be the way they were, and they may not even be what you originally dreamed of, they can still be wonderful.

As for me, and my dreams of  children and a large home…well I’ve already done the larger home thing in the past, and now find myself in a smaller apartment. And I love it. The home came with worry and constant maintenance, but the apartment frees my time for doing other things I enjoy. Not what I planned, but who knew? My letting go of items helps me to fit in it comfortably and not be burdened down by “stuff”. And while I may not have those three children I imagined, I have one really amazing one that I enjoy very much. Fortunately there are lots of friends that come with him which I can love like my own and then send home. While I have some great memories and a few mementos from my son’s childhood, I don’t let wishing for the past to keep me from enjoying the fun of the now. Letting go is by far one of the greatest things we can do for ourselves. The best could very well be yet to come– don’t miss out by staying in a world comprised only of yesterdays.