What are we to do with the time that is given to us? A great question from a favorite movie everyone will ponder in life.
In pursuit of an answer, men and women pursue multiple passions desiring excellence from all. But aspirations can outstrip time ultimately leading to stress, disappointment or burnout. When reaching this point one does not require a change in purpose but a new vehicle to help succeed in life. For this reason, the Life Management Time Investment system was developed.
LMTI helps men and women set parameters for life goals using the disciplines of time investment.
This program is for men and women with busy careers, families and small businesses. Its goal is to help users seek a more balanced and fulfilling life. LMTI understands that time is a nonrefundable resource and works to eliminate the feelings of regret from what might have been.
Everyone is given 168 hours in a week. No more and no less. The LMTI creates a framework for individuals to achieve personal and professional goals while maintaining emotional and physical health. LMTI consists of allocating time into four categories, personal, family, professional and sleep.
Professional time is the time spent preparing, traveling and working at the office.
Family time is spent with a spouse, children and extended family. The extended family encompasses whatever each person desires it to be. This will expand or contract from person to person depending on culture and preference.
Personal time is you time. It is time for personal development, exercise, prayer or meditation. It's the time to keep in touch with the child inside pursuing passions and hobbies or developing tools for future ambition.
Sleep is time we spend in bed at night or a quick nap during the day. Each person is different, but the recommended amount is between seven to eight hours a day. Many busy people try to work on few hours of sleep but studies show that lack of sleep leads to poor health outcomes later in life. Sleep deprivation leads to fatigue, irritation and poor performance. Attacking each day with vigor and strength begins with a good night's sleep.
The first step is to allocate time in each area totaling 168. An example of a busy professional may be 70 in professional, 50 in sleep, 20 for family and 28 for personal. Another for a parent with active children may look like 50 for professional, 50 for family, 50 for sleep and 18 for personal. Each of us have different goals but none get more than 168.
After parameters are set for each category the important task of selecting the actions to achieve goals. How much time is needed to produce the fruits of fulfillment and value? This is an important time to contemplate purpose in life. As time is invested, consider if desired actions are in line with core values and goals.
Once an accomplished family man tabulated 216 hours for a desired week. It is important to understand we can't do everything in a given week but can over an extended period of time. Adding the phrase "No, for now" is a great way help prioritize while taking the long view in accomplishing goals. Taking time to create the long view will make a more productive short term with more enjoyment and fulfillment.
As you understand what you desire to accomplish, it is equally important to understand when you want to accomplish tasks in pursuit of your ambitions. When is one's most productive time of the day? Willpower and focus are finite resources. While scheduling time, make sure tasks requiring maximum focus are scheduled during optimal productive times.
Men and women have families for a reason. Relationships take time, love and commitment. Understanding when to spend time with family is vital to achieving balance. When too much is on one's plate, the little wonders from deep relationships are missed. Children are only young once, spouses were married for a reason. Creating the environment to harvest these moments leads to more fulfillment and happiness.
If married, make sure to do this exercise with your significant other. A client joked not to share this exercise with his wife as she might have a different idea of how much time to spend together. But this is not a joking matter. Being on the same page with the most important person in our life creates the strong foundation to pursue shared goals as a unit in harmony, confidence and trust.
Employers must understand additional work comes at a cost. As a rule, more time spent in the office subtracts from time with family, community or self. Effective time investment at work flows from the disciplines of capacity and project management. Ineffective time investment has devastating effects on the health and welfare of employees. Organizations who have a strong understanding of the principles help staff achieve balance leading to less attrition, higher satisfaction and more production.
Civic engagement is important in our communities. Non-profits, churches, and civic organizations flourish with effective and engaged board members, volunteers and supporters. For residents to participate, they need time to play a part.
As important as it is to serve, it is vitally important to set parameters on what time is involved during service. Organizations should have clear and defined roles for each person who desires to help. This will allow people to serve and have an impact in the community with growth and fulfillment personally.
Rest is doing something. Trying to achieve everything on the long task list, rest at best can seem like a waste of time and at worst laziness. But rest helps in the short and long term. In the short term, it makes each person more focused to produce more during productive hours. In the long term, it helps sustain us by keeping the mind, body, and soul healthy. Running the body into illness is something to be avoided at all costs. Taking some time to watch a show, take a nap or enjoy a walk is well worth the investment.
While investing your time, allocate for the unexpected. Every week something often pulls us off course. It can be an unexpected visit, flat tire or new opportunity. This allocation is perfect for those who still can't bring themselves to rest. Allot time for the unexpected and if nothing occurs, use the time to rest. Incorporating this time allows us to weather a storm or jump at an opportunity without missing planned goals.
In order to do something new, you have to do something old. As we embark on a new endeavor, what will that replace? As a person seeks to exercise, volunteer or begin a hobby one must understand what is being replaced. There has to be a corresponding swap with existing actions. If this doesn't occur the existing actions will continue causing a person to stop the endeavor or drop the ball somewhere else. Make sure this exercise is done with each new personal endeavor.
LMTI's principles help set priorities and the actions to achieve them. But actions only turn into results once they are put into action. The process of planning, living and review is paramount to success. The process helps understand patterns of our lives and if unsatisfactory, the ability to change them. This is not a onetime act but an ongoing assessment of where one has been and where they are going.