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“Measured time is man’s feeble attempt to constrain eternity”
Nebulous time. Wandering time. Time passes. Time is the enemy?
We all know that each day only affords us 24hrs. We tend to sleep through at least 8 hrs of that (if we’re lucky). What we do with the rest is up to us.
Take at look at the little house above.
Many years ago this house was brand new. It stood proud in an open field and provided a welcome sight to a weary farmer at the end of his long day. It sheltered the family through wicked thunderstorms and once dodged a tornado. The heat of the long summers stayed outside and cold of the winters needed to find other places to torment unprotected souls.
Flowers in the garden brightened up the morning walk to the barn. Children grew up safe and transformed the place from just a house into a home. Time brought positive changes, growth, and new tomorrows faced with welcome anticipation.
But over time, something happened.
Some time in the past, the caretakers stopped caring. For reasons unknown, they walked away and turned over the keys to the castle to father time.
Unchecked, time wandered all over the little house. The flowers died. The windows broke. The heavy weight of the roof pushed down on the weakening walls and the little house shrugged its shoulders and gave up. The greenery that once decorated slowly transformed from friend to invader; and now unmanaged time lets it continue.
Some will say this proves time is an enemy; but they would be wrong.
Time is not the enemy. The enemy is failing to pay attention to time.
Time loves to wander like an unsupervised child pulling things down, breaking things, and knocking things over. It destroys people, places, and memories if we let it pass without proper oversight.
But we prove time and time again that when we are active and control our time, things are much different.
Supervised, time is a gift. We use it to travel to exciting places. We reach unthinkable goals. We climb mountains and win races. We watch great things start, grow, and finish around us. Children grow up. Cities are built. Successful ideas blossom.
Time management is powerful.
Managing it effectively is sometimes difficult, which is why I think suggestions to assist are always welcome.
Here are 10 ideas that you may find beneficial:
1. Take advantage of days when you seem to have additional motivation and learn to accept the days you don’t. It’s completely normal to accomplish things for 10+ hrs some days and have other days when you just can’t seem to get anything done.
2. Respect your time. Treat your time like it’s worth $1000/hr and wasted time is wasted money; for work and for lifestyle success.
3. It’s easier to stay productive once you start than it is to actually get started. Start your day with small tasks that you can readily complete and work up from there.
4. If you must have a meeting, have it in the morning. We tend to lose productivity in the time leading up to an event like a meeting. Get tedious events out-of-the-way so you can be productive the rest of the day.
5. Try to look at big projects more like a number of smaller projects, then start working on those small projects in an orderly fashion.
6. Set deadlines for everything. Most of us tend to work harder as something comes due. No deadline means less motivation and more procrastination.
7. From John Maxwell: “If something can be done 80% as well by someone else, then delegate it to them!”
8. From Babe Ruth: “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.”
9. It’s ok to relax. It’s not ok to be lazy. Know the difference.
10. Remember that more work hours does not always equal more productivity and it rarely equals a better life. Perspective is paramount in all things time related.