How Are You Using Time?

“The difference between the rich and the poor is what they do in their spare time .”

Time waits for no man. This is simply known by everyone, but it lacks a corresponding common practice to back it. Consider a new – born baby. Upon birth, the child has nothing to his name, except “baba” and “mama”. All this little human has is his time, and he only would one day get to discover that every other thing he would receive / have in his life only would come in exchange for this precious commodity. Many a times, man seeks more of this treasure, while all they need is a better way of employing it as a good steward. Friends, we need to be the pilot of this time, while it flies before your eyes. Believe me, before you say Jack, or the “O” in OBJECTION, the year is gone, and while you take an inventory, you find – out that you have achieved nothing!

It is quite unfortunate to see many people live with no picture of where they are going or what lies ahead. Many merely exist with nothing to show for their existence. The one thing they know how to do best is mark time. This is clearly seen in the way many manage their time. It is worth remembering that a week from now – it will be a week from now and what becomes of you after then is determined by how you make use of your God-given asset. Whether you manage it well or not, either way, you will surely achieve a certain result – it just might not be what you expected.

You have to make a conscious effort to reduce some of time’s best enemies. Probably the strongest of those has just two initials …TV! Is your TV time cutting into your productive time? Take this little test. Take a time out now and estimate how many hours of TV you watched last week. Be honest with yourself. I believe you are surprised at what the result turned out to be. On average, people spend 20 to 30 hours watching TV every week. If you reduce that even by a little, you have more time to take the actions that will lead you towards [tag]success[/tag].

What about the time spent just surfing the Internet with no clear direction what you intend to achieve? Many times we just sit down behind the computer system at the Internet cafés or at home wasting away the precious gift of time God has given us. An average person spends most of his / her time online in the chat room chatting with people they know next to nothing about. Many lives have been re-configured to exist only in the chat rooms. This makes me wonder what the life of many will turn out to be if Yahoo, Hotmail or most of the chat rooms decide to shut down their chat facility today.

Some already understand how to maximize their time on the internet but they still spend so much time arguing about what they can’t change. You will see them in groups discussing the reasons why someone must be impeached or why one football team lost her last match or another. Imagine what our world would have turned out to be if all those hours are converted to doing things that truly add values to lives or even in a meaningful way to their topics of discussion.

The problem is NOT that there isn’t enough time. Time doesn’t expand. The problem is that we burden ourselves with too many unplanned and most times irrelevant activities. We always want to take part in even activities that do not necessarily need our attention. Many a time, you hear people say that they are busy. But the question is how productive is what they are doing with their time. Don’t confuse being busy with working effectively – activities can be tension-relieving, not goal achieving. By concentrating on fewer priorities regularly on a fixed schedule, you can achieve a lot more in less time.

[tag]Time management[/tag] is an interesting notion. Though it may not be possible to own or control time, we can manage ourselves in time: our awareness of what we are doing and how we are doing it within the construct of time. We can actually determine what we do with the gift of 24 hours that we get freely each day from God. God has given us freely the ability to influence our experience of time and what we do with ourselves within the time construct. What we put our attention on increases, and so it is with our perception of how we use time. It’s all about focus. Focusing your attention is one thing you need to learn if you indeed want to determine what you do with your time. Since you cannot focus on everything, you must be selective about that which you will spend your time on. This means that you must prioritize. The key to success is how you allocate your time to the important ones.

“If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.” ~ Lee Iacocca ~

You have, no doubt, heard the phrase “the time value of money“. It means that a naira in your hand today is worth more than a naira in your hand a year from now. Why? Because of what you can do with that naira over the next year. You can invest that naira in any [tag]business[/tag] or even in an interest-bearing project and have N1.05 at the end of the year. If you decide to take your money in after a year, your opportunity cost (foregone investment) will be five kobo. Not to mention what inflation will have done to your purchasing power within the time frame under consideration.

Think about how many hours you are losing each time you engage in those irrelevant activities. Apply the same thought process to when you actually ARE working – maximizing your time. Decide what better use of your time each time. By having this uppermost in your mind at all times, you can always decide what the best use of your time is. Time is money and money is time. So, spend them wisely.