Every time we put something off, the excuse is some variation of the same: "I'll get to it later. I won't be long. I've got plenty of time." Once that moment is gone, though, it's gone forever.
While it may be tempting to think that it's okay to put something off, the truth is you'll never get those minutes back. You can allocate future time to doing tasks you could do now, but that's essentially spending on credit.
Consider these 7 golden rules of time management for effective management of our most valuable commodity.
1. Time is fleeting. Think about it...the moment you started reading this is gone, never to be regained. It seems we get so caught up in petty circumstances that we forget what we set out to do, and before you know it, the day is gone!
2. Time is valuable. You always have time to make money; but you can never have enough money to make time!
3. Time is unforgiving. The amazing thing about your time; even through no fault of your own, even "wasted" time will never stand still.
4. Time is money. You must be constantly asking yourself, "Am I doing the most productive thing I can be doing right now?" Watch out for those "wasted" moments we were talking about earlier.
5. Time is always changing. We all must constantly renew our minds, and let the past be just that...the past! It can't help you now, aside from the learning experience, don't dwell on it.
6. Time is the ultimate judge. We have all heard "time will tell!" Well, there is some truth to that, as the future has a way of finding any flaw in the plan. Pre-planning will save massive amounts of your precious commodity called time.
7. Time is in your control. We can all be more in control of our day and how we spend it. Today should have been planned out yesterday, and tomorrow should be thought about today.
Time can't be saved. It can only be spent! We spend it at the exact rate of one minute per minute. We can’t spend more or less no matter how hard we try. We can’t spend more than 5 minutes in five minutes with a friend, and we can’t spend less than 5 minutes in five minutes being angry in traffic. Our rate of spending is fixed. All we can control is where we choose to invest…
The saying that “time and tide wait for no man” means different things to different people. To some, it is precious and important while to many others, it is common and available when the need arises. The right essence of time is really in the doing and not in the waiting. A time spent in doing something worthwhile always comes back fruitfully. What cannot be allocated time is indeed not worth doing. Certainly, a person who invests time reading and writing is expected to acquire sound knowledge and writing skills. Time is life. He who wastes time has not only wasted life, but has also injured eternity. A person who wastes time in doing nothing will eventually end up being nothing. There is no two ways about that.
Sincerely speaking, a lot depends on the good use of time. Time used judiciously in reading and writing will eventually make one educated, knowledgeable and skilful. Famous scholars and writers like Les Brown, John Mason, Wole Soyinka, Kevin Hogan, Chimamanda Adichie, to mention but a few, are what they are today because they invested so much with their time. It goes without saying that good time management is always rewarding and self-fulfilling.
Worthy to note, time is the currency of the world. Anything one devotes much time doing largely determines what one is going to be in the future. If one decides to spend most of one’s time in running, one will certainly become a good athlete. Again, if one spends one’s time in dancing, one will definitely become a good dancer. There is time for everything. There is time to work and play. There is time to read, socialise and to sleep, everything has its own time allocation. When one uses the time for reading to sleep, one abuses that particular time. When one does the right thing at the right time, one manages time effectively. The end result is always rewarding and result-oriented.
Whether fleeting or standstill, time goes around and fails to come around. Time wasted can never be regained. Invest time now and not later.
- The reader is a social commentator based in Dubai, UAE