Some people are obsessed with the past; they can’t take their eyes off their failures or even their successes. Some others only care about now; their philosophy is “live, eat and enjoy all you can today because no one knows tomorrow”. Yet, some live in dread or hope of the future and they waste their present. There’s got to be a balance somewhere. Interestingly, yesterday, today and tomorrow have something in common- they are made up of time. For yesterday, time had passed, today, time is passing by and tomorrow, time is going to pass. One way or the other, we can’t keep time from passing.
What you do with your time is what determines whether you are wise or not. Your time is your asset; you will become rich in whatever you invest it into. When you administer your time wisely, you will build your wealth gradually. As time passes without much formality, so will your wealth grow without much publicity. You should have a proper disposition towards time. Let yesterday teach you, let tomorrow motivate you, but don’t let today pass you by.
Don’t worry unnecessarily about things you can’t control, just focus on what is within your reach. Don’t worry about yesterday, it is gone. Don’t worry about tomorrow, it is out of reach. Don’t worry about today, it’s a whole lot of time. Focus your attention on “now” because it is the meeting point between yesterday, today and tomorrow. You never do anything yesterday- by now you must have done it, otherwise, it’s too late. You never do anything tomorrow- it is always a future projection that is constantly ahead. You never do anything today- today is just an illusion that makes you think you have a lot of time until it passes you by. You only do things now. Yesterday had a “now” that passed already. Today is full of “now” that are passing as you read this article. Tomorrow’s “now” is useless until it comes to the present.
How much of your day do you invest in profitable activities? I’m not trying to judge you; I’ve gone through the evaluation myself. Try out these suggestions:
- Mind your own business: if you know what other people are doing, the time they are doing it, why they do it and probably why they shouldn’t be doing it (unless it is your job to know), watch out! You are probably doing nothing yourself! Protect your time as much as you can. Avoid whatever does not help you to achieve your goals. Shut out every distraction and focus. You don’t need to know any information that will not add anything to you. Miss the gossip and gain some value.
- Avoid time wasters: there are some people who are gifted in consuming other people’s time. If they visit you while you are preparing to attend an event, you may end up going late or not going at all. After making your plans for the day, all you need is to meet them and your plans go out of the window. I’m not being unkind, it is just the fact. Once you identify such people, find a strategy to manage your relationship with them.
- Plan with time: any plan that is not set to time is no plan at all. At the beginning of everyday, make a list of what you want to achieve and assign time to each of them. This will give you a sense of mission. Even if you cannot follow through completely, you will have a sense of accomplishment when you evaluate your activities at the end of the day.
- Trade busyness for productivity: have you ever been so busy that you hardly had a breathing space, yet by the end of the day, you hadn’t achieved much? It happens all the time. What happens is that we tend to spend our time on things that are urgent but we ignore things that are important. Why not do an evaluation of your day? Determine the activities that add to you and the ones that drain you? Find out the things you invest most of your time on that bring little or no dividend? Try to reduce the time you allot to them. On the other hand, when you discover the activities you spend little time on that end up being productive, increase the time allotted to them. If you do this, you will multiply your success.
- Delegate responsibilities: I know you think no one can measure up to your standards or do things exactly the way you want them done. Nevertheless, unless you desire to wear yourself out quickly, you need help. If a leader feels that subordinates can’t perform tasks to his/her taste, it is a clear sign of leadership failure. If you train them well, they will take a lot of burden off you and you will do more productive things with your time.