It’s quite rare to have a new article on this blog at the beginning of a month, isn’t it?
I realized that actually I’m quite bad in time management from several things happened recently.
So far, I considered myself as a person who is good in time management.
Such as using time efficiently.
Or using time without wasting any.
Indeed, I think I’m good in using time efficiently.
However, I missed the important critical condition for it so far.
The critical condition is “under specific period of time.”
Here is a clear example for it.
If you run 100 meters, you use your full energy and power in the whole run.
If you run 3,000 meter, you allocate your everg to make sure you can maintain certain speed in the whole run to achieve the best time.
These are both “under specific period of time/distance”.
Then, how about a running that there is no certain distance determined?
It’s quite easy to give the answer now if you had experienced it.
It would be important to allocate your energy to make sure you can still run with a certain good speed tomorrow, next month and next year.
I feel so because being an entrepreneur is quite similar to this example.
“You have to work very hard”
“Work with all your life”
These are the words said commonly by those entrepreneurs out there.
I interpret these word as “work the whole day even without sleeping and eating.”
What would this mean?
To use your time like running 100 meters? 1,000 meters? 5,000 meters? Or longer?
I guess it’s the way to run 100 meters.
Then the question would be “how can you maintain your productivity with the style of running 100 meters throughout an year or 2 whole years?”
I believe that not everyone has the same way to maintain productivity.
I tried to recall what I’ve done in studying for the scholarship for studying in Japan.
I studied hard at that time, I would say.
Nevertheless, I didn’t study “every day”. I studied 6 days a week and I had a free day per week. A day that I can do anything I want.
Besides, I also have 4 hours per week as flexible time for me to cover or strengthen some parts in the study I wasn’t able to complete in that week.
If I complete the scheduled study, I get 4 hours free time for myself. (Of course, if I got 4 hours free time in many weeks, I would add some more study to the regular study plan)
When I was an office worker in Japan while studying English and GRE for master’s program preparation, I had kind of similar rules.
My job was commonly 9~19 on weekdays, so my study time was usually 6:30~9:00 and 20:00~22:00.
Certainly I also needed to use weekends for studies.
Nonetheless, I had one rule, which is, “I don’t work or study at home”
Now I think it quite an important rule to make me be able to continue for an year.
Then, how do I allocate my time for working for my business now?
“Use all my time”
Just like this.
It’s so simple.
I didn’t understand that “use all my time for work” is not equal to “maximize productivity”.
I didn’t realize that “use all my time for work” is not exactly the best way for working for my business.
I didn’t know that. Even after worked for myself for 8 months.
Exactly because I don’t know how long I will run, I need to allocate my energy for maintain speed tomorrow, in next week, in next month or even in next year.
It’s exactly because there are always so many things to do and you never get to the end of them.
“Maximization” is actually a very dangerous and vague way of thinking.
By thinking to use “all of my time” for working, I simply “stopped” thinking when to get specific things done.
Because I’ll think since I’ll use all my time working and there are thousands of things that are never done, what will be the difference to get one thing done today or tomorrow?
(It’s difficult to be efficient if I don’t feel clear rewarded for one day’s hard work.)
Another point is that it’s easier to believe I’m already working hard by using all my time for working.
But it’s just another misunderstanding. It’s not about how long time I worked but how much I produced.
In order to stay away from these dangerous misunderstandings, I think the solution is to “decide the time length for working.”
Estimate the time needed for each task and plan how many tasks to do in each day.
If I get tasks done earlier, I’ll have more free time for myself.
In this system, working efficiency will reward myself, which may raise overall productivity.
Assuming to work 6 days a week and 10 hours per week, I can have a plan for working 60 hours per week and use other time for doing sports, for meeting friends or for other habits.
I think I should even “force” myself to do sports, to take rests and to meet friends.
Without “healthy mental status” and “healthy physical status”, I don’t think I’ll have a good life anyway.
It may just sound like “mental weakness” or “excuses” to those senior entrepreneurs.
But it’s important to remember that no matter working in a big company or working for your own business, “productivity” is always bigger than “working hours”.
I need to keep thinking how to “make myself productive” but not “make myself look like an entrepreneur”.
I need to keep thinking what is the most important thing for me.