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Trapped in the Speed of Time

Dear Coach,

I have more “To-Do” on my list than hours in the day. I feel overwhelmed and my stress level is causing the chaos to paralyze my productivity. How can I get a grasp on my time?

- Trapped in the Speed of Time

Dear Trapped in the Speed of Time,

There are two major sources of value in the world of work. The first is time and the second is knowledge. Today, time is the currency of modern business. In order to make money, we must produce more and the most important production measure of time is speed.

The interesting thing about time is that it waits for no one. Our weeks seem like a day, we blink and it is gone. We look at the calendar and wonder where the year went. The encouraging report is there are some specific rules that apply to time. Our awareness of these principles is a key indicator as to how we decide to spend what we have. Time is a valuable asset that is perishable. This means that it cannot be saved. We must spend what we have every day.

We have all heard someone say, “I will take a vacation, get more organized, clean the garage, visit my family, or read more when I get the time.” All of us have a “Someday I will list” and we say “Oh, I will get to “that” when I get more time.” The reality is we cannot get more time. This is one area where everyone in the world is equal. We all have the same amount and we have all the time there is. We cannot make it, nor can we save it to spend later. Time, it just keeps ticking and we must spend all of it every day. There are tremendous amounts of resources on the subject of time management. But I believe we cannot manage time itself. The only thing we can manage is ourselves within the time.

All things require time. No matter what you want to do in life, whether it’s work, a round of golf or sleeping that extra few minutes, it requires time. Time is indispensable. Many years ago, I learned a valuable self-management and planning rule taught by Brian Tracy. It’s called the 10/90 Rule. This rule says that the 10% of time you spend to plan your activities in advance will save you 90% of the effort involved in achieving your desired results. When we take the time to plan it helps us to think through the actions and steps involved in completing the task.

We have also heard people say, “I don’t have time for this.” What they are really saying is “this” is not important to me. In order to get control of our time we must know our highest priorities. Only then are we able to say “yes” to our goals and “no” to the things that are not in line with what we are trying to achieve.

Time is irreplaceable. Nothing else will do, especially in relationships. Highly successful people understand that time is the only currency that builds relationships at work and at home. Most people equate the amount of time you spend with them to measure how much you care about them.

When I think of time, I think of it as currency in exchange for something else. Our time should be spent in exchange to what really matters to us. We have 168 hours in a week. Evaluating how you are currently spending that time will help in taking control. The average person spends 49 hours per week sleeping, 6.5 hours eating and 40 plus hours working. So that leaves 72.5 hours per week for other activities. When we stop and evaluate we often discover that what we say is important and what we do with our time is different. By planning and making these necessary adjustments, we can gain a greater level of control while living a purposeful and peace life.

Take Action

Here are 5 “Must Know” Actions that you can start today to get more done.

  1. Develop a “Sense of Urgency”… A sense of urgency is the habit of moving fast when opportunity presents itself to you.

  2. Identify your Priorities… Listing the most valuable tasks that you to and organizing your time so that you do more of them will increase your results.

  3. Start one hour earlier… Organize your day so that you can either come in and get started one hour earlier or stay one hour later. This action step will allow you to get more done with fewer distractions.

  4. Work on Yourself… If you really want to maximize your time then learn or improve your skills to get better at what you do.

  5. Develop the Habit of Planning… Starting the day with a plan will help you get things done faster, and with less stress.

Tammy Holyfield is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker and Founder of Holyfield International, a business and personal development company. Her mission is to teach, empower and equip people to live their best life everyday. Tammy teaches techniques and strategies that are easy to understand and put to use immediately to achieve greater results. Connect with Tammy on LinkedIn at or email her

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