1. Respecting Our Time.
By the time most people “figure it out” it is usually too late for them to enjoy the benefits of putting “it” into practice. That simply underscores that TIME is one of the most important commodities available to us. Nothing means anything without time. Time consciousness is an important element of achievement when used correctly. It can also be an enemy, so respect for time and consciousness thereof is always a wise attitude to develop. If we do not respect our time, then others will not do so either.
There are two types of time: clock time and psychological time. Clock time is what we use to measure our daily structure; when we are to meet others, when we have to move on from one task or activity to the next. If mismanaged, time slips through our fingers. If not well used, we find gaps where boredom, misdirection, and unrest can manifest themselves. Psychological time is something we create, namely the past and the future: they don’t exist anywhere other than in our minds. Dwelling on the past is a waste of time and dwelling on the future is pointless. The only thing we have power over, time-wise, is NOW. Each moment or second we are not present for is wasted time. This doesn’t mean that we should neurotically hold on to every second or moment in case it is lost, but if we are present to observe it, then we are present for life and all the opportunities it has to offer us. Time mastery is life mastery.
2. Valuing Our Time.
Time is a non-renewable resource and acts as a great leveler. There are twenty-four hours in a day for each and every one of us. The question of what we try and achieve in that period is what differentiates us from one another. Busy, productive people are highly efficient with their time. That doesn’t mean that we should become workaholics. On the contrary, time efficiency allows us more time to do the things we most enjoy, the things which are most meaningful to us. Getting up earlier so as not to hurry gives we the gift of OUR day. Time to compose one’s thoughts and prepare for the day and even time plan the day create a new power and perspective. Life is not intended to be a series of “catch-ups”.
3. Evaluating Our Time.
Create priorities and allow them the focus of our energy. Everything else, in turn, will fall into place. Family, friends, and relationships are as important as jobs and commitments and deserve our time and complete energy. Writing down appointments and scheduling the day not only makes organization easier, but it allows the head to be empty of unnecessary “scheduling thoughts”. Once it is recorded on paper, there is no need to think about it again. Life is one indivisible whole, not a series of compartmentalized realities. Time spent enriching our non-working hours is never a waste, so do not sacrifice them to the imagined priorities of a work schedule.
4. Focus on Our Priorities and Maintain Balance.
Remember that only twenty percent of our activities yield any lasting results on our lives. Direct all of our time to those activities that count which includes time spent nourishing and renewing mind, body, and spirit. Don’t let others steal our time. There are time thieves who appear in our lives. They require a little discipline in understanding that our time is important to us and therefore deserves to be respected. There are those whose time is MORE important than ours. These are the people who don’t show up. These are the people who are late. These are the people whose drama impinges on our time. These are the people who need us to get back to them “as soon as we get this message”.
Our phones, pagers, and emails are for OUR convenience, as are theirs for them. But if we do not value our time, there is no reason to expect that anybody else should. This not to say that we should respect people any less, rather that we should respect them within the confines of our available time. A full and enriching life does not appear at the expense of peace of mind. Any task or activity done under stress is most likely not going to be fulfilled better than if it undertook in a relaxed and unhurried manner.
5. Keep it Simple.
Do not confuse procrastination with the inability to see what is important in our life. Often we let our lives become too complex. As a result, we spend time and energy on superfluous things – things which have no meaning or importance NOW and which will most likely have no importance at any time in the future. The easiest way of avoiding this is to reduce the complexity of life by scaling it down to the essentials. A hurried, frenzied pace is not what nature intended, so by prioritizing and simplifying, we can remove some elements, which reduce the number of focal points in our day. As a result, we can spend more time and energy on fewer things and as a natural consequence, achieve more. Everything we need today is in our lives today. All we have to do is stop and see it before it is gone. Do more and experience more within the realm of simplicity and The NOW. Everything else can wait.
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