I was so excited when I went to bed last night because I was climbing into bed before 10pm which is a really big deal for me given the fact that I normally don’t get to bed until well after midnight if not the wee hours of the morning. I had gone to great lengths to make sure I could be in bed early because I was determined to wake-up early at 6am sharp Monday morning so that I could hit the ground running on the massive backlog of emails and to do lists that piled up over the summer. I was set on making this new week ahead my week of awesome productivity that would put me back on top of things again… I was pumped!
So imagine my surprise when from my deep sleep I hear my husband’s voice call out sleepily, “What time is it?” Why would he ask me that question in the middle of the night? Obviously it wasn’t morning yet or my alarm would have gone off… I reached over to grab my phone only to find that my alarm HAD already gone off…. several times now… but I’d been sleeping so deeply I hadn’t heard Will Smith and DJ Khalid singing “Friend Like Me” (from the recent Aladdin Soundtrack) that I use as my wake up tone. Then I saw it…the current time was 9:30am….9:30am!?! I had slept in three and a half hours past the time I was to be up…
Yeah….not exactly the best way to start off my week of awesome productivity….
“There is no such thing as time management. There’s only activity management in the time we’re given.” – Thomas Leonard
Sure, I’d lost three and a half hours of my day but I quickly reminded myself that I had two choices – I could sit around and fret over the lost three and a half hours of my day and feel discouraged about it which would make me fall even further behind, or I could decide to use that late start as even more motivation to jump right in and get hyper focused on getting as many things done as I could in the time remaining today. I decided I’d go with that latter option.
Worrying about how much time we have in the day isn’t all that helpful. But focusing on doing the best we can with the time we do have is helpful. After all, there are a set number of hours in a day and nothing we do will change that – which is why we can’t really manage time. But we can manage the activities we choose to do in the time that we have. We can choose to get focused and cut out any unnecessary distractions. We can choose to get right to work and not procrastinate those tasks we are dreading. We can choose to start off each day by jumping out of bed getting right to work. And we can choose to get hyper focused on getting one task at a time accomplished, then getting right into the next task and busting through as many tasks as we can in the time we’ve got.
And when the day comes to an end we can be satisfied that we did our best to accomplish all we could and let that be enough…
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )