Time, a precious commodity that few cherish or even take the time to understand the relevance of managing [it] to having a well-balanced life or at best a life with purpose.
We often make references to time being valuable – that which most people say they ‘get’ – but few people actually hold themselves accountable to. For instance, during the average day, how much of your time do you freely give away on non-value add activities? Most probably don’t have a clue just how much time is wasted on people, things, idle chatter, wandering aimlessly to and fro with no sense of direction or accomplishment.
As I am often chastised for my lack of tolerance in wasting time or sometimes strict personal routines in regards to structure and schedules I quite honestly couldn’t function any other way. Let’s examine further…..
People and time killers…..
“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg
I admit I enjoy gossip as much as the next warm-blooded female but only if it is a small percentage of the overall conversation mixed with business chatter, goals, dreams, desires, encouragement, actual life events, or recent accomplishments. Anything else and you are actively stealing time from me that which I do NOT take to kindly and therefore will put you on the “minimal contact” list. If the only conversation piece you have is about another person well then I gotta say no thanks because that has no value in my world and is time I could have dedicated to other meaningful activities.
To add additional color to people frequently stealing time from another think about those moments when a ‘friend’ asks for you to accompany them somewhere. Well I have an internal gauge for this and whether I accept/deny their request and that is to first determine a) are they constantly wasting their own time in their day-to-day, b) does this person have any sense of urgency in the activities they engage in, c) have I been led astray by them previously. If the answer to any of these is yes then most often my response to their request for my time is “NEGATIVE er uh I really don’t have the time.”
To take it a step further, how many of your friends (or you) are quick to accept an invitation from a man just because said individual extended an invite to say dinner, drinks or the like? Well every request is not always a good one. How much time has been wasted giving someone you know full well is not worthy of your time, some of your time just because they asked? Too much for me that’s for sure. Determine what a dinner/drink invitation is really worth and if it’s truly about the opportunity to have said meal, said drink then consider perhaps taking yourself….atleast that way you know the company and that it is or will be time well spent.
Directional time stealers…..“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”
Ever been out running errands and find yourself running in circles or looking at the clock only to realize you’ve not covered nearly as much of your to-do list as you planned? Um well I can’t say that I have that experience too often. Why, well because once I determine I have outside activities I make a point to think in a strategic fashion so that I take the most direct route to said errand in the most logical order. I save TONS of time in driving around aimlessly and cover much more ground as well. Plan! Plan! Plan! Yes it sounds anal and it may very well be to some but I guarantee that by thinking through WHERE I need to be/go and doing so strategically I rarely have to repeat my steps or cross my own path.
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” – William Penn
Multi-tasking is much more than a buzzword for the new millenium as it has some value add in monopolizing time and activities to make the most of time. Prime examples, laundry is something most dread and is a time stealer but MUST be done. How many of you kill 2 [or 3 birds] with one stone by doing laundry and another task at the same time (be it cleaning, cooking, running errands, etc.)? I’m sure there are some who prefer to sit idle in front of the tellie watching “The Real Housewives of Anywhere” without realizing that they are KILLING time and prolonging other boring or must-do activities.
It’s funny [to me], how most of my friends will call and ask, “so are you busy right now” and of course I always am but my response is usually “well I’m ALWAYS doing SOMETHING, but I can chat” which of course is normal to me but probably a little bizarro to others as in how can you always be so busy. Well easily because I realize there truly isn’t enough time in the day to do all of which we desire or HAVE to so understanding that I try to pack as much of my day as possible with value-added, task-oriented activities so I atleast have something to show for my time.
I, without question, value my time, guard it with my life, and would rather spend it crossing off goals, accomplishments and minor/major to-dos versus idly letting it slip away. I would rather say “no” to an invitation than to accept for the sake of doing so only to realize I’ve totally wasted my time on someone who wasn’t worthy of my time in the first place.
It’s about setting standards, knowing your worth, and understanding the value of time to your overall existence be it yours or that of another. Once that has been reached [with yourself] then you will be more apt to put more value on time management and who gets your time versus freely giving it away or having it stolen from you!