There are 365 days a year which is broken down into 12 month cycles. Those 12 month cycles are broken down into 52 weeks. Those 52 weeks are broken down into 7 day weeks. Those 7 day weeks break down into 24 hour days, which breaks down into 1 hour cycles, which breaks down into 60 minutes, and each minute is broken down into 60 seconds.
Whether you or I like it or not the clock just keeps ticking. Calendars, clocks, and watches of all kinds helps us to keep track of time. We are “racing the clock” to meet deadlines, appointments, and schedules. The technology available to us is supposed to help us be more efficient so we can get more done, but often times it causes us to over schedule, over commit, which leads to ultimately over promising and under delievering.
I just wish I had more time
We have all said it: “I just wish I had more time” to do all that needs to be done. The truth of the matter is you have plenty of time. You have the same 60 seconds a minute that the next individual has. The problem is that we don’t need more time, but we need to learn how to prioritize our time. How we spend our money is often a good indicator how we spend our time, and how we spend our time is often a good indicator of how we spend our money. Learn to prioritize your time. Look at what is important, and begin there. Here is an idea: when you are at work you should be working. Don’t just work hard, but work smart. Your time, and energy is too valuable to waste. Once that 8 hour work day is gone it can never be used again. Do work that matters. Do work that makes a difference. Think of it like this: you are hired to do a job for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. You have been hired at a rate of $15/hour. What you have essentially done is traded your giftings, talents, and abilities for $15/hour. If you work 40 hours a week you will earn $600.00 for that week of work. Now suppose you want to be like everyone else and have the new iPhone 7 plus with 256 GB of memory; you would pay $969.00 for that phone. It would take you 64.6 working hours at $15/hour in order to pay for this phone. Or in other words you are allocating a little over 8 working days of your life just to have a phone like everyone else has. 8 working days that you will never get back again. 8 days of your giftings, talents, and abilities just to have the latest technology.
Prioritize your time with what matters most. Work to provide for your family. Spend quality time with your family. Spend quality time on your relationship with God. The clock is ticking. Maximize every moment of time you have, because once that moment is gone you will never get it back.
Your calendar shows what is important
Use your calendar wisely. Schedule date nights with your spouse. Schedule quality time with your children. Schedule time every day with God. Mathew 6:33 says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”
When we steward our time correctly we actually get more done. Your calendar gives you the ability to say “no” when necessary in order not to over commit yourself. Schedule travel time between your appointments or events on your calendar so that you arrive on time. My father taught my brother and I growing up that “to be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is not to be.” Let that sink in for just a minute. If you are running a meeting with 30 people in the room, and the meeting is to start at 9:00am, and you don’t start the meeting until 9:01am, then what you have just done is wasted 30 minutes of time that you will never get back. It may not seem like a big deal at the moment, but start the meeting 10 minutes late and now that number of minutes wasted as grown to 300 minutes. That my friend is a big deal.
The time you have been given is very valuable. Once it is gone you can never have that time again. Make every moment count. A calendar is to your time what a budget is to your money. Be intentional with the time you have.
I highly recommend you get and read the book “18 Minutes” by Peter Bregman. 18 Minutes provides a solution to struggles and frustrations. It’s a comprehensive approach to managing a year, a day, and a moment so that your life will move forward in a way that will keep you focused on, and doing, the things that are most important. The book is broken down into 4 parts: “Pause”, “What is this year about”, “What is this day about”, and “What is this moment about”.
In part 1, Pause, you’ll set the foundation that will enable you to take the insights from the book and translate them into action. This part will help you focus on the right things, translate those things into a daily plan, follow through with that plan, and master the inevitable distractions that threaten to undermine your efforts.
In part 2, What Is This Year About?, you’ll be guided to organize your life around the things that matter to you, make you happy, use your gifts, and move you toward your goals. In this part, I’ll share four elements around which you should focus your efforts over the year. We’ll look at some of the ways people tend to derail themselves from maintaining a clear focus, and I’ll offer some strategies to avoid those derailers. In the final chapter of this section, you’ll pull it all together to create your annual focus: the five areas where you want to spend the majority of your time over the next year.
In part 3, What Is This Day About?, you’ll learn how to translate your annual focus into an 18-minute daily plan, ensuring that the right things get done, concretely structuring your day so it’s productive, satisfying, and a measurable step toward fulfilling your focus for the year.
In part 4, What Is This Moment About?, you’ll learn how to master distraction—sometimes by using it, sometimes by avoiding it. Here you’ll learn how to get yourself motivated, how to follow through even when it’s tempting to give up, and how to protect yourself and your time by creating the right kind of boundaries. This section is divided into three subsections—Mastering Your Initiative, Mastering Your Boundaries, and Mastering Yourself—and is full of simple tricks, tips, and rules to help you stay on track.
Finally, the conclusion, Now What?, sets you on your way by sharing a foolproof method for gaining the critical momentum to move you in the direction you want to go.
Don’t wait until tomorrow, because precious moments will be lost forever. You can’t afford to wait. Why put off until tomorrow what you could and should do today? Start today! Start right now!