One very important aspect of breaking your paycheck addiction is using your time wisely. We’ve published a number of articles here at Paycheckaholics Anonymous about ways to waste less time, but perhaps you really don’t waste much time and yet still find it difficult to get everything done. So how can you employ your time in the most productive way possible? The secret is in your “golden hours.”
Many years ago, when I worked in sales, one of my coaches encouraged me to find my “golden hours.” These were the hours during which prospecting was most effective, when I could count on lining up some new client meetings or expect to close some sales. My coach told me that everyone had a different biorhythm and that I’d need to experiment a little to find my golden hours.
I no longer remember which hours were best for prospecting for me at that time. But I still implement the “golden hours” principle when I plan my daily work schedule.
There are certain times of the day during which I’m more alert and other times when my mind isn’t as focused. I’m not an early morning person, so I rarely schedule a meeting or critical task before 9:30 a.m. I know that 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. are generally productive hours for me; I can count on my mind to be clear. 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. is also a good time slot for important activities. To maximize my productivity, I try, for the most part, to schedule the important meetings and creative tasks during those hours. This practice ensures that I have the greatest chance at tapping into my creativity and succeeding at high-stakes activities. I use the rest of the day for tasks that require less brain power: perhaps more routine work, answering emails, completing paperwork, etc.
If you’re going to start your own business, then you need to use every possible technique for maximizing your productivity. You’ll want to find your own golden hours. How can you you do that? Start by analyzing your current use of your time. It helps to plan your day. At the end of each day, take a few minutes to review the day. It may help to ask yourself a few questions.
- Did I manage to complete everything I had planned to do?
- Which tasks went smoothly?
- At which time did I feel my mind was clearest?
- When did I feel my mind or my motivation slipping?
- Which tasks went uncompleted?
- Did I make mistakes at any tasks? If so, at what time did I perform those tasks?
- Are any of my golden hours outside of regular working hours?
Do this exercise daily for at least a week. Over time, you’ll start to notice a pattern of your own “golden hours,” those time slots in which you are at your most productive, sharp, and creative. These are your golden hours.
If you’re a paycheckaholic and want to break free from your paycheck addiction, then one of your most important activities is creating a new income stream. Use your golden hours to create income. Invest your best time into your future. Figure out a way to work your business into your schedule during your most productive time. With hard work, diligence and a little bit of luck, this time will yield more freedom and flexibility to live the life you want.
What are your golden hours? How can you best use them to create a new income stream? How can you change your schedule to be more productive? Help other readers by sharing your experiences in the comments below.