Time Management: Bandwidth & Setting Smart Goals
I went to South America over ten years ago and sat down at an internet café. Paid a fee. Then I heard the sound of dial-up. I knew right away I was going to be very frustrated with the page load speeds, how many pages I could open at once, and how fast I could get the 10 things I needed to accomplish done. This of course is before smart phones, iPads, etc. I did not have a laptop yet, only a desktop. Whatever I did in that café it would only ever be as much as the bandwidth would allow me to. Such is true in our own lives.
Too often, we lose interest in daily routines, which can be extremely helpful. We want the new, the difficult, and the larger responsibility. We often think like the early settlers of the 1900’s in the great land grab, instead we are grabbing up more and more responsibility. Maybe it is the great debate of the hedgehog and the fox. Too often in pursuit for our American dreams we dig wider and not deeper, which often leads to a bandwidth issue. We have too many applications open at once.
Am I exceeding my personal bandwidth?
If you are accomplishing everything and people wonder what you do, you are safe. But if you look stressed out, you’re forgetful, moody, have no time for friends, family, and other, there is a good chance you need to adjust your obligations. You are exceeding your bandwidth. Remember the people you work with are not your loved ones. Spending time with family is an example of a counter balance for a worker bee. You must have counter balance. Notice I did not say workaholic. A workaholic loses sight of family, friend, future, and the big picture. There is nothing wrong with working 60-90 hours a week if family, friends, and other are also healthy. Each of us has 24 hours a day, eight to sleep if you want, and 8-14 to work. That can be 7 days a week. Just as long as you have counter balances.
What do i do if I have exceeded my bandwidth?
Remember you must network; networks builds trust. Trust leads to contacts, partners, investors, partnerships, supply chains, everything. Just remember to keep a healthy perspective. If the people you are spending time with are negatively effecting your family, friends, and other, beware. Remember “calendar synchronization”, you would likely not associate with these people if your calendars did not align AKA if there was no mutual benefit or mutual goal. These relationships should be identified and adjusted accordingly. True friendships and family must be nourished, especially if you are working 60-100 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. They are your Rock of Gibraltar. When you keep important things at the top of your daily, weekly, monthly, yearly goals, you will always be working on the right problems. Scaling up/back work is the right kind of problem to have; saving your family is not.
Don’t exceed your bandwidth
Life is full of chaos and disorder as it is. Do not bring chaos into your life by exceeding your bandwidth. If there is too much wind, build windmills, if there is too much rain, build a rain catcher, and if there is too much information and not enough bandwidth, close some programs. How do you scale back once you are already deeply rooted in so many things that rely heavily upon your human energy, knowledge, position, and authority? Pivot.