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COACHING LIFE: May I have 1 800 seconds more?


Cheryl Gittens

COACHING LIFE: May I have 1 800 seconds more?

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On June 30, 2012, the world received an additional positive leap second of time. How did you use your time bonus? The last time this occurred was in December 2008.
As the earth rotates it creates irregularities in time so that some days are a little longer or shorter than others. Scientists at the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) in Paris, responsible for keeping the atomic time that keeps the 24-hour clock accurate, measure these irregularities and make subsequent adjustments to bring us back in sync with the time line.
This is pretty remarkable. I am always fascinated by these events as someone who is keen on learning about almost anything. I am thankful for the extra second, but there are easier ways for us to add even more time to our day that do not affect the entire world. For starters, we can rise 30 minutes earlier or go to bed 30 minutes later. I recommend one, not both.   
There are many things you can do in thirty minutes. First you must have strategic orientation: “Do the one thing by which you can do everything”. This means to spend time on activities that will yield you the highest return. You want to be able to cover a lot of ground with the least effort. It is the idea behind Pareto’s Rule that 20 per cent of input should give you 80 per cent output. So here are a few ways you can use your bonus 1 800 seconds.
Plan your week or refine your daily plan
As an entrepreneur, your week should be spent in the following proportions. Five per cent should be spent on strategic planning, 15 per cent on your actual vocation – for example providing your plumbing services – and the other 80 per cent should be spent promoting your business. One of the things you may choose to do with your 30 minutes is spend time refining your strategy.
Flesh out business ideas
An additional 30 minutes can also allow you a focused period of time to flesh out just one idea that you have been working on bringing into reality. Pick an idea and commit to developing it one or two more levels.
Promote your business
This is a good time block to prepare an email, sketch your brochure content or other communication aimed at reaching your target market. Financial analysis
You may be surprised that many entrepreneurs do not spend time doing their own financial analysis, leaving it to the accountant. But in a short 30 minutes you can make important business-sustaining decisions like which brands in your business are not doing as well as others and therefore should be retired or be allocated less marketing spend.  You can determine other wastage like being on the road too often because of your escalated gas bill. These key decisions can be made quickly and once implemented, may have a huge impact on your business.
Educate yourself
As an educator and coach, I am a huge proponent of ongoing education. Thirty minutes becomes a goldmine of time if you choose the Internet as one of your education providers. In just five minutes you can learn the basics of setting up a basic wordpress website or setting up your personal pension fund or drafting your 90-day business plan.
So think of the value you could add to your business if you watched a ten-minute video and then spent 20 minutes planning how you can implement your new knowledge in your business.
People often ask me how I get so much done in one day. Well, this is just one way I practise using my time. This 30-minute block could be any part of your day.
I prefer to use my extra 30 minutes on mornings for quiet time or exercise. Quiet time gives me the mental control to be at peace in changing situations. Exercise sets my mood and energy levels to achieve my intended daily goals.
So wherever you grab your 30 extra minutes, remember you are in control of your time and more importantly, your results. Life is good.

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