It’s February, aka “Time Management” month so, with that in mind, what better time could there be to talk about…well, “TIME”?
When it comes to TIME management and being efficient, there is a basic life rhythm concept that is essential. Not surprisingly, it has everything to do with how you use the first hour of your day. Study after study shows that to consistently generate clarity, leadership, innovation, collaboration and be successful, your best chance to truly scOre and hit your goals dramatically increase when you get up early.
Benjamin Franklin got it right when he wrote his legendary quote:
”Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealth and wise.” There was also the brilliant Archbishop of Dublin, Richard Whately who wrote: “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” That’s right!! Getting your rhythm going early in the morning puts you in sync with the world’s most successful leaders. Now I am not suggesting that you have to be up at 3:45 am like Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook but Oprah, Michelle Obama and Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi are all up at the crack of dawn.
On a personal note, I rise at dawn and have a practice that I have stuck to for over two decades. It involves yoga, breathing exercises and a specific meditation that I learned directly from Dr. Deepak Chopra while we were writing music and presenting workshops together. All this to prepare our mind, heart and body for the day ahead. This preparation applies to that important meeting, travel day, job interview, public speech or simply being present with your team, family or business partner later in the day. It is within my meditation state that I think about how best I will use that finite, precious and precise amount of time that we each have – the next 24 hours – to make a difference, be relevant, be productive and hopefully, in joy.
While I was pursuing my music degree in college, my band professor would always exclaim to the musicians who were either rushing or dragging their performances, “TIME is not a magazine!” He did this so often that it became the mantra of my class and we were not going to be allowed to graduate unless we honored the master rhythm – the tempo and pacing that served the higher good of everyone around us – aka the “Band”. Needless to say, the value of TIME was relentlessly drilled into my musical training and I find myself implementing those lessons to this very day.
Every musical artist I had the honor to work with were masters of TIME. Earth, Wind and Fire at one point had five bona fide drummers in the band. Sergio Mendes filled his sound with the driving and intoxicating rhythms of Brazil and Carlos Santana insisted that there were always a triage of a drummer, timbalero and conger at the heartbeat of the rhythm section. On stage this meant drums in the center, timbales on the left and congas on the right. I must also admit that my deepest feeling of TIME come from a guitar in the hands of Prince strumming and picking it a foot away from my head… Oh yeah, rhythm and TIME is king!
Getting things done in the real world uses the same principles and in my trainings and presentations I use T.I.M.E. to teach my team, meeting and event professionals and my clients about TASK, IMPLEMENT, MINDFUL and EASE.
For every task you undertake to become a piece of cake, you have to have prioritize your TASK, IMPLEMENT it while being MINDFUL to take breaks as needed and if moved, meditation as a natural extension to keep you clear. Finally, there is EASE – that moment when your task is complete and you have released it to it’s highest outcome.