Time is the most valuable commodity that we have in our lives. It is ticking away every breath we take and every moment we have. Too bad we couldn’t add two more hours to a day so we could spend more time doing what we want. A 26 hour day would be nice, but it’s not going to happen. I often hear from parents and prospective adult martial arts students that they would train if they had more time.
Truth is, everyone has the time. What matters is how we choose to use it. We all need the ability to choose how and when to spend our time. We all have 24 hours in a day and could choose to spend it however we wish. Everyone has the gift and power to do so. If someone is frustrated with their lack of time than I highly recommend to do something about it. We have to prioritize our time and arrange it in away so we could do what we want to do. It is important to understand the difference between spending time and wasting time.
Spending Time: Spending time is allotting time to do the things that you want to do with the people you want to be with. For example, when I am training and having tea, there is nothing in this world that I would rather do at that moment so therefore I am spending my time wisely. When I am with my family I am spending my time wisely. When I am teaching martial arts classes or coaching clients, I am spending my time wisely. Spending time is doing the things that you choose to do with the people you want to be with.
Wasting Time: Wasting time is the opposite of spending time. Wasting time is when you are doing things that you have no choice to do with people who you do not necessarily care to be with. I experience this when individuals come to my business and try to sell me something. I never sit with someone when they come in, if I am interested, I will have them set an appointment so it is based on my time availability, not theirs. Wasting time could be doing something that is out of your unique ability. It could be doing something that you know will not help you towards your goals. Wasting time is being with people who are sucking the energy out of you and are not productive relationships. Of course, you should do your best to spend the time if you choose to try and help the individual if you care about them.
We all have the ability to utilize our time and spend it wisely and not waste it. Do this by embracing everything that happens throughout the day and take the opportunity to make other people happy. Share your love for life, say thank you to a cashier, give them the gift of your time by looking at them and say, “Have a great day”. I believe doing this is spending time wisely despite it may not feel productive. Mindfulness is being completely present at all times and look at all situations; positive or negative; successes and hardships as training to improve our selves. If we look every situation in our life as an opportunity to improve, we are spending our time wisely.
Another way to create more time in our lives is to be more focused when we do things. If you are working on a project and are constantly getting distracted by phone calls, e-mails, people interrupting, that small task could take three hours to complete when it should have only take a half hour. You lost two and a half hours of your time because you lacked focus. Maximize your time by focusing solely on what you would like to accomplish and have more time to do other things. I explain to my own children as well as clients and students I work with that if they focus, they are more productive in less time. When they are not focused, they take double the time. When you lose that time, you will never see it again. It is the one thing in life that you will never get back.
Four Tips to Maximize Your Time
1. Time Block: Make sure you pre-set time for the activities that are going to bring you the best results. Go into your calendar and set up time that is distraction free where you could focus on the single task. In doing this, you will be more productive along the way.
2. Schedule a week ahead: If you start planning your week in the week you are too late. Time block time to prepare for the next week. Many clients I suggest to set up the next week on Friday before they go home for the weekend. This way, they could start the new week with a plan of action. The five “P”’s are…”Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance”.
3. Be Proactive instead of Reactive: Do you find yourself behind the eight ball. Do you always feel like you are working to catch up and never feel ahead of the game? If so, you are living in reactive mode. Proactive people will time block their calendar and pre-determine their week ahead of time. Of course, issues will come up that you will have to react to but you will be amazed on how much more efficient and effective you will be.
4. Prioritizing time: If you have set goals that you would like to achieve and they are imbedded in your mind; you will do what ever it takes to achieve them. For example, if your goal is to run a half marathon or hit a key initiative at work or even practice meditation everyday. If it is really important to you no matter what it is, you will make it happen. You will do what needs to be done to re-arrange your schedule and set the time aside to do. If it is not important to you, you most likely won’t do it.
All in all, we are in charge of our own success. We could create as much time as we would like to do the things we want. Conversely, we could always feel one step behind and be over committed and obligated to always have to be some where. Work should not be viewed as an obligation or something that you have to do. Work should and could be fun and fulfilling. If you view your career negatively, I highly recommend to either change your perspective on work or find a career that matches your passion. Remember, the objective is to spend our time wisely, not wastefully. I am very lucky. I personally never say I have to go to work. I either say I am going to the school (referencing my martial arts school) or to coach, teach or give a seminar. I spend time everyday with people I care about. What better life is there than to spend every day living life to the fullest and sharing to others about my passion.
If you are interested in learning more about what we do at Empowered Mastery, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I promise that we will spend our time wisely!!!
Master Chris Berlow