I am adding a few paragraphs today from a sermon my pastor preached a few years back. Pastor Greg has a knack of getting to the heart of the matter. Think about how rich you really are and I don’t mean in dollars. “Let’s suppose you had a bank account that every morning at six a.m. the bank deposited eighty six thousand four hundred dollars into your account. Like this idea? The one requirement was that you had to spend it all that day. When you went to bed at night, any of the money you had not spent would be debited back out of the account. What would you do? You’d spend every cent, wouldn’t you? You’d figure out a way to use it.
That is exactly what God does with you every twenty-four hours. He gives you eighty six thousand four hundred seconds. God says you can use this any way you want to use it. But at the end of the day any that’s unused or misused or didn’t use, you lose. If you don’t use it, you lose it. And you’re never going to get it back.
If you are an average American you will live twenty five thousand five hundred fifty days. If you live to be seventy years of age you will spend in your life time twenty-three years of your life sleeping, seventeen years of your life working. You will spend eleven years of your life watching television and playing. You’ll spend six years of your life traveling. You’ll spend six years of your life eating (some of us a little bit more than that). You’ll spend two years of your life getting ready (except women – that will be nineteen years!). You will spend one year in church. A solid year in church if you are a typical American.”
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not but time does not always cooperate with my agenda. When I want it to go slow, it goes fast. And when I want it to go fast, it goes slow. Do you remember when you were in school and you were waiting for that clock to tick so you could get out of class? It was going so slow. Yet when things were fun the time went really fast and you’re going, “Already over? That ride’s over? Let’s do it again.”
Do you use those seconds wisely each and everyday? Or do you foolishly waste them and never give it a second thought. Here are some wise quotations that I wanted to share with you. As you read them, think about what they are saying to you.
“All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that.”
“Time is what we want most, but… what we use worst.”
“All my possessions for a moment of time.”
“If time flies when you’re having fun, it hits the afterburners when you don’t think you’re having enough.”
“Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.”
Do you struggle with managing your time? Do you wonder where the time of day goes? Do you need help in planning your day? Here are some thoughts that can help you! Be realistic in setting your goals for time management, do not over commit yourself.
My example of poor time management: I worked at UPS in the early mornings from 3:30 to 8:30 AM. I would head home and shower, eat a quick breakfast, then head to the University of Wisconsin an hour drive. That’s the semester that I took 21 credit hours. At 3:30 in the afternoon I would go to football practice after my classes, as I was a freshman running backs coach. Practice would take 2 hours, then I’d drive back home, another hour. I would then head straight to Pepsi plant from the University to work in the warehouse until 10:00 PM. Then I’d head home to shower and go back to bed. This was a killer semester for me. I certainly over committed myself and would never do that again. I was tired all the time, and had very little energy to do anything in my life that was fun!
I would suggest that you define your top priorities: If you want to have time to do important tasks, then you better plan (that is key)! Being successful requires a well thought out game plan. Make sure that you keep a calendar on your desk, or a day timer with what action items that you need to accomplish for that day. What is important and that you must have to do that day? Write it down. Trying to recall what you need to do will rarely work. Have a list for important phone calls. Make sure that you have a date and time to call. Have a list that you can see “what has to be done today”. This must be gone over each morning without fail. Don’t plan a thing without first looking at this list.
Avoid being distracted. Looking back at my schedule while in college, I was distracted constantly. I never ate regular meals. My college studies were in between classes or in the cafeteria or all day Sunday. I didn’t have a life back then. How often do you put off doing important tasks? What areas do you waste time in? I wanted to have a time management plan (I would swear that I would stick by it) then see the news on TV, and stop, sit down and watch the news. I’d get a phone call from a friend, who just wanted to talk and I’d have things I needed to get done. I’d ask myself, “Why did I take that call?” I will waste 20 minutes talking about sports. Is my time worth something? You bet it is! Learn to avoid wasted time, and focus on what has to be done.
Do you easily get overwhelmed so that you just give up or cannot function? For many of us, that’s because we take on too many projects or over commit ourselves. You need to focus on one project at a time. Let people know that they must wait until your task is completed. I used to be the Mr. Fix it guy. I would get calls from all over the country asking me to fix relationship problems or confrontation mediation issues on the job site. All the while trying to manage a life coaching practice here in Colorado. I decided that I needed to make a priority list. Clients are first, and corporations are second.
I make a to do list for each day, week and month. This list keeps me on track and not floundering with my tasks and thoughts. I have clients tell me that one of their big problem areas is when they get side tracked by menial tasks, like straightening out their desks, rearranging books, or magazines. They may be looking for data on a website, then start surfing the Internet. They may take phone calls, start talking about personal things, and get nothing done. Some will daydream and lose all track of time. These kind of things will keep you from following your schedule and cause all kinds of problems. Stick to your commitment goals.
Ask yourself these questions, Do I need help in managing my time? Do I easily get side tracked and cannot keep to my schedule? Am I in trouble with my boss, because I don’t complete projects on time? Is my life disorganized because I have no clue where to start projects or who to ask for help? If you have asked yourself any of these questions, you can contact Dr. Mike for help in setting up a time management program.