There are three statements that people make about time that drive me crazy.
1. “I don’t know where the time goes.”
2. “If I just had more time.”
3. “I try to manage my time.”
Let’s consider each of these statements.
1. Time goes where time has always gone – into the past. The truth is that all of us really do know where time goes but when we make that statement, it means that time is moving forward while we are standing still. It seems like my sons turned 18 years old in less than 18 years. But when they did turn 18, I was not surprised. They had been 17 years old for the previous 12 months! Anyone that finds themselves making this statement about time will also find themselves accomplishing less than they could in the time that they have.
2. We are not going to get any more time. Period. It is a ridiculous statement and one worth deleting from our verbal repertoire. The implication is that we would do something great or achieve greater success if we had more time. The key to winning is figuring out how to best use the time that we have. Seeking more time is a waste of time.
3. We cannot manage time. Time does not stand still – time is a fixed reality – time belongs to God. The idea of time management sounds catchy and cute but one cannot manage time. We manage our lives and we use time in the process. I have learned to consider time one of my most precious commodities. Before I owned any securities – before I owned any real estate – before I had any financial capacity – I realized that I was a wealthy person because I had a huge supply of time. I would rather waste money than waste time. One can always get more money - but we can never get more time.
So rather than bemoan how quickly time moves or wish for more of it, the most productive response to the fact of having time is to develop a strategic and effective use of time. The way I recommend doing that is to make a chart that outlines one week of one-hour blocks of time. The purpose of this chart is to fill in the blocks that correspond with times that you do regularly scheduled activities. (You can exclude the hours that you are normally sleeping.) After you completely insert activities for everything you normally do, you will see empty boxes that are unassigned. These are the time times that you can begin to fill with activities that will help you reach your goals.
The only way to accomplish our goals is to invest sufficient time in pursuing our goals.
1. Estimate how many hours you spend per week doing your various activities. What is the total?
2. Create your time chart and compare the actual hours to your original estimate.
3. Identify how much time you are spending on activities directly related to your goals.