Time-management (2)

Time is not refundable.

Time is precious and it is invaluable. It’s one of the most powerful factors in life because our life is measured in terms of time. We have developed clocks and watches to indicate its flow. We have invented dates, days and years to indicate and measure time. We grow in time, live in time and perish in time. The old saying goes: “Once time once lost, is lost forever. It can never be regained, it can never be recaptured.”  Time is the most influential factor in this world. It is abstract and everything in this world is commanded and decided by time.

Why do we consider twenty-four hours to be a day when day is actually the period of time between dawn and dusk? Why does the day begin at midnight? Midnight is the middle of the night, not the middle of the day? Why do we have seven days instead of eight? What’s the reason for time? Just because we have a calendar or a clock doesn’t mean that we have more or less time we just need to not to stop giving it away and being so wasteful with it. Just because we earn 24 brand new hours tomorrow and 168 then following week doesn’t mean that time is endless.

Tick, tock, tick, tock. Sometimes time flies, sometimes it crawls. Most of the time though we can never seem to get enough of it. To realize the value of a year, ask a student who received a failing grade. To recognize the value of a month, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby. To appreciate the value of a week, ask the person in need of a new heart. To know the value of an hour, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet. To fathom the value of a minute, ask a person who missed the train. To actualize the value of a second, ask the person who just avoided being hit by the train. To measure the value of a millisecond, ask the person who won a gold medal in the Olympics.

Time … it is indeed our most precious commodity, yet we still act like we don’t know the value of time by the way we waste it. We still fight to make the most of every sunrise. We plan for the future, yet neglect to cherish the present. We try to cram all that goes with living into twenty-four hours while bargaining with Father Time, naively expecting him to produce more, accomplish more, be more.

Two quick things you can observe right now that will impact how you trade and use time is:

  1. Understand and master your body and your peak states – You can’t create more time, but you can use your time better during your peak/high energy states and accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
  2. Make room for the big rocks in life.  This is a doozy and so important!

A time-management professor demonstrates the importance of prioritizing the big rocks in life by filling a five-gallon mason jar with fist-size rocks. He asks the class if the jar is full. Since another big rock wouldn’t fit, the class answers, “Yes.” However, the professor proceeds to pour a pitcher of gravel, then sand, and finally water into the jar before it is finally full. The point of the story is not that you can cram much more than you ever dreamed of into any given day. The point is this: “If you don’t put your big rocks in first, the fillers of life will take up your day and you won’t fit your big rocks in at all.”

Understand what really matters. Time, after all, is the most valuable commodity in life. It is the one thing you cannot buy more of. So, waste it wisely. Focus on what really matters. What really moves the needle forward? What really makes your heart sing. Are you prioritizing your days or just wasting time? Observe how long it takes you to do a specific task and take note of it.  Make sure to track only the important ones and to leave out any task that doesn’t contribute to your productivity. Tasks are tasks and as menial as they are they still need to get done. In those cases, OUTSOURCE.

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You can’t manage time. You can, however, manage your choices around time. Pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, sometimes we give more of it than it actually deserves.  A great way to look at is – If a task feeds your priorities, your time is justified. If it doesn’t, drop it, ditch it or delegate it!