One of the most common phrases I hear, together with ‘I’m SO busy’ is ‘I haven’t had/got/found the time’. Have you noticed how common this phrase is? No doubt if you are in a leadership position or if you are waiting for a client to get to you with some required paperwork you’ve heard it many times!!
While there is no doubt an element of truth to the statements, it’s also a big, bad excuse and one I’d like to challenge today!
Here’s a fact, we are all equal in time regardless of affluence, race or gender. We can’t get more time and we don’t have less time, we have 24 hours in a day, 1,440 minutes and 86,400 seconds to use as we choose. It’s how we use it that will make the difference.
So when we say we haven’t had/found/got time – we actually have – it’s just that we didn’t use the time to do what we are being questioned about. Most likely because it’s not a priority.
I know that only too well because I got sick of myself telling people how I didn’t have the time to do what I was proclaiming as a priority. Like writing my book, exercising, networking or doing the stuff that felt like hard work. I believed my excuses too for a while, until my results reflected my poor mindset!
I learned from my experience and came up with a secret success strategy that I’ll share with you – the 36 Minute Principle – and it’s a game changer!
Using simple maths, we have 12 hours in a day. Let’s say your day starts at 8am and finishes at 8pm. 36 minutes is 5 percent of that. Knowing how to think and chunk things down into 36-minute blocks of time can be a key success principle for you.
We often think in hours, we look to dedicate hours to something, which can feel overwhelming and unrealistic rather than the quick hits that can be found in minutes. Think meetings – why do we have to meet for an hour? Why can’t it be 36-minutes?
The big benefits of the 36-Minute Principle are productivity and mindset. It relieves pressure by giving you control of your day. It saves time and creates time, and because you can build simple 36-minute self-care blocks into your day, you’re looking after your health more, which means you can do more.
Using exercise as an example, could you do that for 36 minutes or 5% of your day? Could you use that teeny bit of time to prepare a healthy meal? Identify anything you procrastinate about—for me, it’s writing content—and put a 36-minute time limit on it. Challenge yourself to get it done. You’ll meet the deadline with an endorphin rush from having achieved what you usually put off as well as a completed task. Tick and tick!
The more senior you are in your team, the more effective this can be because you can fit in what you would normally see as competing priorities. Similarly domestic CEOs—parents—with things coming at them from all angles can sprint in bursts and avoid panic.
Give this a go for 36 days and see how it works for you! Ask yourself the question, can I find 5% of my day to do what I am saying is important to me? I honestly believe your answer will be ‘hell yes’!