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Leadership and time management

The greatest gift you can give to yourself….

In one of my recent coaching conversations, I had asked these questions to my client
“What is that you really long for?”
“What do you wish you had more of?”
This client was a senior VP in a technology company
A highly accomplished leader with a great track record of success
Her response was “I wish I could spend more time with family”
“I want to spend time on things which I feel passionate about” she continued
The common denominator was time
And I hear this a lot
I coach many senior leaders and most of them are struggling to manage their time
And it is not simply a question of better time management
It is not simply a question of work-life balance
It is much much more…
It is about gaining control of your time
You see....

Most people believe that time is money
But the truth is….
Time is NOT equal to money
Time is way more valuable than money
Time is finite. Money can be infinite
You have only 24 hours in a day. That is finite. It is fixed
But you can make more money for sure. Your income, your wealth can increase over time
Time cannot come back. Money can
If you lose money due to a bad investment decision, you can earn more in future and cover up the loss
But you cannot gain back the time which has already gone
Time gives you freedom
And time gives you control
To do what you want to do, when you want to do, where you want to do
Everything else becomes a function of time
Money itself becomes a function of time
If you have time, you can create more
..You can work on improving your relationships ( personal or professional )
..You can do things which you truly feel passionate about, what you deeply care about
..You can focus on your health and mental wellbeing
And so much more....

The challenge is that we do not think of time as something we can create today
You are always assuming that there will be some imaginary state in the future, when you will have time
You assume that while you do not have time today, you will somehow get it in the future

The other challenge with time is that you never consciously work to create it
You work very hard to earn money. And in the bargain, you invariably lose control of your time

It almost seems a battle against time – something you stand to lose everyday
We are always thinking of ways to increase our income and wealth
But do you consciously sit down and think “How can I create one hour for myself today?” 
Probably not
As an entrepreneur running my coaching and consulting practice, what I have realized over the years is 

that the single most important thing I have created for myself is TIME
It has given me a greater sense of freedom and control over my life
Today I decide when I want to work, with whom I want to work and at what commercials
And most importantly, when I do not want to work
If I want to read a book, I read it
If I want to write a blog, I write it
And so on….
But do not get me wrong
It has taken years and years of hard work to reach this stage 

There have been constant challenges and struggles to overcome 
And there is a long long way to go
Infact, I work equally hard ( and sometimes longer hours ) as compared to my last corporate job
But there is a big difference
Now, I have control over my time
I get to decide
So here is my submission to you….
The greatest gift you can give to yourself is TIME
Everything else which you want to do becomes a function of time
And to give yourself this gift, you have to be very conscious and intentional about it

It will not happen on its own
So here is your weekly reflection. Take some time to think :
1) How can I get control of my time ? What needs to happen ? 
2) If I could create more time, what would it mean to me ? What would be possible ?
3) Start small. Think about tomorrow and ask yourself “How can I create free time ( say 30 min ) tomorrow?”


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