I was sitting on the backside of an eight-person round table in the middle of a high-ceiling, golf club meeting room clearly designed with interiors from the 1980s and yet to be updated.

In the middle of a presentation on resource management the presenter said this, “you can always make more money, you can always make more friends, but you will never be able to make more time…time is a non-renewable resource.”

Huh.

My mind began weaving through all of the available resources that we connect with every day realizing that almost everything that came to mind had the potential to be renewed; except time.

The second that just passed is gone and it will not return.  

Taking a doomsday approach to the non-renewability of time is not helpful, and yet being aware of time’s terminal tick is a wise base for thinking, planning, and preparing.

Whether it is a Mom or Dad tired from juggling work, kids, bills, and friendships, or a newly retired person fatigued from a life of that same juggling, all of us would like to find the silver bullet to having more time for ourselves.

Similarly, we also wish to know the secret for having more time with those we love, with the things we love, with the causes we are passionate about, and the hobbies that feed our soul.

But how?

Our clients are asking the same question at the time that I am producing this post. 

Lead Well.

If you're looking for more resources to work ON your business, we have them.

This is a special week that happens in November of each year, it is Business On Purpose PREP WEEK where each of our business owners makes time to work ON their business in preparation for the upcoming year.

Most business owners feel a need to “get prepared” in the same way that a dehydrated athlete feels a real need to chug water on a hot, muggy, practice day when after an hour of running drills…they crave it.

Unfortunately, most business owners never make it to the cooler to drag a swig of water before heading off to the next drill.  Over time the inevitable happens, they cramp up and are no longer available to the team for their particular skill.

Business owners are notorious for never making it to the cooler of refreshment for their business.  They wake up to a fresh and exciting new year, with a tired and fatigued mind.

How can business owners make time to work on the business…or just make time for themselves?

First, you must come to your own conclusion that time in fact is non-renewable and that you wish to take advantage of that finite resource.

Look no further than the 2020 pandemic for evidence of the non-renewability and fragility of time.  

Care and desire are undervalued realities in the push for personal transformation.  You have to care, and you must have the desire to leverage the resource of time for the mission that you are uniquely built for.

Second, you must stop seeing every detour and distraction as an excuse to making good use of your time.

Truth is, most important things are not urgent.  Where we get caught up is when others place the burden of their own urgency and lack of planning on us!  

This is a sobering statement, “your lack of planning and preparation does not mandate my urgent responsibility.”

Sure, if you are a medical or security professional, or run a nuclear power plant, urgent responsibility is in your job description, but for the rest of us, we spend far too much time reacting to the problems and chaos caused by the lack of preparation of others…or because we have not planned ourselves and are simply responding to THE LATEST, LOUDEST VOICE.

Third, create appointments in your schedule with yourself or with a project that you are working on.

When asked, “hey can you grab coffee tomorrow at 3?”, you simply respond, “I have a meeting I cannot move.”  No need to share that the meeting is with yourself.

That time you are spending in reflection, thought, or project building, is time spent serving others.

Can you imagine a speaker standing up in front of 100 people with no notes and confessing, “I have been so busy responding to unplanned requests for my time that I have not been able to prepare notes for my talk…but at least I made those other people happy!”

She would be run out of the room, as frustrated attendees bemoan this colossal waste of the time of 100 people!

Instead, when that presenter blocks three hours to work on that talk instead of reacting to the last-minute distraction, it is as if she is holding a meeting with those 100 people.

We must reframe how our time alone is spent.  Technically, as I write this, I am not meeting with anyone, yet it is on my calendar as a meeting.  My phone is not in the room with me, my email and other notifications are not even turned on.  The only person I am thinking about right now is you…the reader, the listener.  

Life can go on without the buzzing and dinging that we have become addicted.  We don’t have to live like Pavlov’s dog.

Finally, put accountability in place around you regarding your time.  Create an ideal weekly schedule and then share it with a small group and make them ask you about it.

The loving encouragement and gentle push of small group who are pulling for you can be just what you need to make the time for what really matters.

This week, as business owners prepare for the upcoming year they will tweak their vision story, write an annual letter, populate their culture calendar, assess their team’s feedback, review their financials, prepare budgets, and plan their personal budgets and planning…all because they have decided to MAKE the time.

Scott Beebe is the founder of Business On Purpose, author of Let Your Business Burn: Stop Putting Out Fires, Discover Purpose, And Build A Business That Matters.  Scott also hosts The Business On Purpose Podcast and can be found at mybusinessonpurpose.com.