Most people hustle every day trying to beat the clock, barely getting things done.  This hustle is absolute madness and a vicious cycle to be caught up in.  Although the desire to stop that madness is there, the truth is that once you’re caught up in it, it’s hard to get out, especially if you just don’t know how.

The magic number is 1,440! Wondering what that is? It’s the number of minutes that you get every day. The key is to not spend your time, but to invest your time.  These are two very distinctly different things.  If you’re spending time, you may be getting things done, but the things that are getting done aren’t impacting the future.  When you invest your time, the things that get your time are directly related to their goals and larger projects that help move you forward and accomplish the big picture that you’ve created.  There really is a big difference when it comes to spending and investing your time, just as it is when it comes to money.  When you invest your time, there is a valuable payoff for your investment.

If you’re simply spending your time, you’re not experiencing that larger, more valuable payoff.  When you spend time, you are often busy but not productive.  You spin your wheels instead of getting things done, end up reinventing the wheel many times because certain things aren’t streamlined and you don’t have systems in place to support you.  With all of this going on and more things being added to your plate, it creates a noise that makes it hard to hear anything, and you stay caught up in the vicious cycle.

This daily hustle is a result of taking on too much and jam packing to-do lists and calendars; not having or knowing priorities; the inability to or not knowing when to say “no”; and the lack of tools, systems and habits. When this is happening, there simply cannot be an investment of time because things are set up that way.  Without these things in play, you’re only equipped to spend your time.

To flip the script, step back and take a look at your time investment portfolio. Does it contain things that help support you, or is it reminiscent of someone who’s doing that daily hustle?  What things have you collected in your time investment portfolio and how are those things impacting you?  If it’s full of the things from the daily hustle, you need a new portfolio.  Next, identify your values, then, based upon your values, create S.M.A.R.T. goals and prioritize them.

Define regular blocks of time that you need to accomplish regular tasks then define and implement systems with processes to carry those things out to help streamline those tasks.  Identify tools that will help support you, for instance, determine what tool fits your personality and start using it to manage your time.  This is the foundation of your time management system.  Maximize its use by employing every feature hat it affords you, and then set up the other pieces of your time management system.  Additionally, create any other systems that you need for business (filing, client management, accounting, etc).  To keep things flowing it’s necessary to develop new habits that support you instead of hindering you.   Without new habits in place, the systems and tools won’t work.  Make adjustments to anything that doesn’t work by looking at why it’s not working first, which will make finding a solution easier.  Each of these things is something that you want in your time investment portfolio.  Doing so will have you move from the vicious cycle of spending time to investing your time.

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