Making Time a Priority

A few weeks back I wrote a blog that discussed the component of time. (click here to read that blog) Everyone from successful billionaires to your favorite patient all have the same amount of time in a day or week. Twenty-four hours in a day and 168 hours in a week.

I was watching a TEDtalk presented by Laura Vanderkam on how to gain control of your free time and learned some interesting ways to “gain” more time. One of her main focal points is the fact there are 178 hours in a week. If you work a 50 hour week and you sleep 8 hours per night, you still have 52 hours of time for other things.

The general idea is to save “bits of time”, but this is not how successful people live. Truly successful people build the lives they want and times saves itself. She used an example where a person had a water heater break and flood the basement. This person had to spend 7 hours in the week to deal with the water heater. Where did she suddenly find this 7 hours of time from her schedule? When you need to find the time, you can, meaning time is highly elastic. As Laura goes on to say: “time will stretch to accommodate what we chose to put in to it.” We need to treat our priorities such as the time needed to fix the water heater.

Every minute you have, everything you do, is a choice. You don’t do something because it’s not a priority to you. You have the time to do anything you want when you make it a priority.  Time is a choice, we have the power to fill our lives with the things that deserve to be there.

How do we prioritize?  Laura says to pretend it is the end of next year and you are giving yourself a performance review. Write the 3 to 5 things you did to make it an amazing year. Write next years’ performance review now! You will now have 3 to 5 goals to achieve for next year, treat these goals as priorities and put these in your schedules first, the week before.

Look out over the next week and see where you can plan these priorities in your schedule. Remember, with 52 hours of available time, there is ample time to prioritize what is most important to you. “When we focus on what matters we can build the life we want with the time we’ve got.”

Do you make your metrics a priority in your practice? If not, you need to make the choice that metrics are important to your success.

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Andrew Vertson, PT, DPT, ATC
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