Lose not yourself in a far off time, seize the moment that is thine.
~ Friedrich Schiller
Time. It is one of the few things that we cannot get back when it disappears. In the wise words of Benjamin Franklin: “Lost time is never found again.” When time is gone, it is gone. Yet, I personally find that time is one of the things that I manage to waste more often than not.
Harvey MacKay said, “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never go back. His words are so simple, so poignant, so true…… and yet, how many of us continue to trudge along in our daily routines never even thinking about the daily amount of waste we produce (in the area of wasted time?)
If many of you are like me, the two largest chunks of your day are probably going to work and sleep. Both of which are critical in their own right, for differing reasons. In between the work and sleep is when I have to squeeze in feeding and watering my family, making lunches, directing homework completion, chatting with my children, writing my blog, exercising daily, and the occasional knitting project. Some days there is just too much, some days I just can’t cope… then I have the horrid task of trying to deem which activity is most worthy of being dropped in order for me to be able to have more time, breathing room within the day.
Some people really do not have a lot of time and are squeezing the most into every day. Yet, others have all the time in the world, even when their perception is that they do not have time. Those people I like to remind of this quote by H. Jackson Brown Jr. , “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” His words are so true, yet so hard for some to accept, particularly when they are living stressful moments in the context of their own lives.
As we know we all waste time, I think the first step in gaining more time is to really analyze where our time is going. Break the day into 30 minute increments and create a log. Log what you do during the day, all day, for a minimum of three days (maximum of 7). I believe that, when you are through with the seven days, you will have a significant piece of information pertaining to yourself.As you look at your time log, see which activities take the most of your time. Also, look for patterns in your log. And, of course, look for areas that you might be able to cut out in order to ensure a more time to yourself.
While I personally struggle with having the best time management skills, I also understand the need to analyze my priorities. As I look deeper I can make conscious decisions about where I want to place my time, my precious time, my treasured time, and my energy. With a limited amount of time, I want to know that I can use it wisely to help impact the lives of others.
In the words of Nelson Mandela: We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” I agree with Mandela, the time is always ripe to do right, to offer and contribute to this world we live in.
I will leave you with a final quote from Alan Lakein: “Time = Life, Therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.”
Today, 328 Days ’til 40, I will NOT take time for granted – I seek to keep myself in check and not waste time. I will live consciously and will make my decisions based on the best use of my limited time.