There is an activity I do with some of my clients to uncover your interests.  When we do the exercise, I look at what you like to talk about, research, acquire, contemplate, and know a lot about.  If you look at my results on this subject, one thing that appears in the top three of most categories is productivity/time management.  

I love productivity because anyway I can do what I need to do faster, smarter, or more efficiently is a bonus so I can spend more time doing things I love, like coaching.  

Today, I want to talk briefly about time management, specifically how you see time.  

When I talk about time management, most people feel like they don’t have any time because it sounds full when they recount their day.   You are busy.  I get it.  I am, too. 

Just yesterday, I was out the door at 6:15 AM for a 7:00 AM networking event, followed by a coffee date with a referral partner.  Then, I rushed home to schedule my newsletter, answer emails, and prep for a client meeting.  I ran back out to get to a doctor’s appointment only to rush back home again to quickly eat before my client meeting (I didn’t want to meet with my client hangry).  Once that was done, I did a short email session and did some research for a consulting client. I finished the day with some chores but was back at my desk at 6 PM for a live course that went on for 7 hours. 

I get you. Our lives are busy!  

But what would happen if you changed how you looked at time? Or shift how you thought about time? 

We See Time as a Day

When someone thinks about how busy they are, they use a day like my yesterday as proof that they don’t have time.  That they have no time to do something they would love to do.  No time to exercise, meditate, read, write, learn something new, play, etc.

We work 5-6 days a week, are responsible for 21 meals, have kid activities three nights a week, sports and birthday parties on the weekend, laundry, cleaning, and so on.  

It doesn’t feel like there is any time left.  

Let’s Make a Shift

What if you shifted to a more micro way of looking at time?

Laura Vanderkam of “You have more time than you think” and Matthew Dicks of “Someday is today” both suggest that we need to look at time in smaller chunks. 

In a week, we have 7 days, 24 hours a day OR 168 hours.   168 hours!

24-7 vs 168 hours.  There is a difference in feeling between the two.   One feels more abundant.  

When I teach someone to create their ideal week, I suggest they start with 168 hours and then break those hours into big chunks:

Sleep:  56 hours a week.  That’s 8 hours a night.  If you are like me, I don’t sleep 8 hours.  I need 7, but the extra hours give me a buffer for the before-bed habits.  

Work:  Let’s be generous here as many of us are entrepreneurs and give this 56 hours, too.  This includes travel time.   When creating an ideal week, I recommend splitting up how you spend these 56 hours. For example, how much will you allocate to product/service delivery, marketing and sales, admin, and more?  But you can adjust this time according to your needs. 

Everything else:  If we use the above, that leaves 56 hours a week for everything else.  That is a lot of time.  We don’t need all of it for cleaning the house or taking kids (or ourselves) to Taekwondo.  It suggests there might be a few hours to do something you love.  

Or you could consider that there are 8,760 hours in a year.  Using the split above – that’s 2,920 hours each for sleep, work, and EVERYTHING ELSE!  That’s more than 121 days that you are not sleeping or working! 

 The year horizon may also give you other truths.  For an accountant who is slammed from March to April, you could have expansive months in October and November.   You could launch a product and be very busy for a few weeks or a couple of months and then lighter months over the summer.  

Matthew Dicks suggest getting even more micro and thinking of life in minutes, not hours.  He suggests that every minute matters and that we can do meaningful things with only five minutes.  I’m not sure I want to get to the point of tracking things at that micro level, but it does mean that the 5 minutes I play or scroll on my phone matter.  

Time is Limited

Although I think it is great to shift our mindset to something more micro when evaluating our time.  I do not want to lose sight of time being limited. 

We only have 24 hours in a day and no more.  

This means we must choose how we spend each 24 hours.  And spending that time on one thing means you don’t have to spend on something else. 

Therefore, we need to prioritize because we can’t have it all. 

However, now think of where you might be trading off time in a way that does not serve you.  I recently did some work on habits and ways to stop disempowering habits and install empowering habits.  There is a game I play on my phone.  I did the work to reduce the time I spent on this game.  So far, it’s working well; I’m having better conversations with my husband and directing my time to other, more valuable activities. 

If this process worked with this game, I might try it out on a few other disempowering habits to see if I can improve the quality of my time.  


We need to adjust our mindset about time.  We may miss the big picture when we look at life in 24-hour chunks.  When we look at time in terms of a week/168 hours, we may see we can allocate some time to a girl’s night out, the gym, or a bubble bath. 

Maybe if we adjust our mindset, time will seem more abundant, and we will see our lives become richer than we think. 

Let us know how you will start to view time.  

“Instead of saying, “I don’t have time,” try saying, “It’s not a priority” … changing our language reminds us that time is a choice.  If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.”

Laura Vanderkam

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