We spend time in much the same way that we do money. We devote some of our time to actually earn money and some more of it in keeping up our lives by sleeping, spending it with friends and so on. Ultimately, the difference between achieving big goals and failing at them is how to use that time smartly. The real solution is not necessarily in some perfect time management program, but in recognising some few basics about how you use your time in general.
First, embrace the idea that “empty time” is your enemy. “Empty time” is time spent not doing something that enhances your life in a positive way. It is really easy to allow “empty time” to substitute for other needs in our lives. By the way, having true leisure time is not “empty time.” For me, an hour or two spent with a few close friends, talking about life and thinking about our future plans is more satisfying than spending same time in a chair doing ‘nothings’ on Facebook. True leisure time—time spent doing something that brings deep fulfillment into your life— is the opposite of “empty time.” It is one of the most important and most valuable elements of life. It recharges you and makes the other demands on your time go much easier.
Secondly, never, ever undervalue sleep. Many people, when they are trying to build something new or make their day more productive, will sacrifice sleep along the way. They will go to bed later to squeeze in more work or wake up earlier (without a bedtime adjustment) to get exercise.
Doctors tell us that inadequate sleep makes almost everything worse in your life. It saps away your decision-making power and your ability to think properly. You often don’t see those deficits in the moment, but they add up over time and they can definitely rear their head when you least expect them to.
Lastly, there are a few points where I have observed most people let precious time slip under their nose. Top is the time we spend in the toilet and yet some of us spend considerable amount of time in there. I normally use my time in the toilet to check my mails on the phone or reading newspaper.
Another point is when you are travelling in a coach—you can use this time to read a book or watch that movie you have been looking forward to. Similarly, time you spend on the queue in the bank or waiting to pay for utility service or in shopping mall should be fully utilised, reading or reflecting on some important plans. It’s a sorry sight to see people in a queue that is moving very slowly doing nothing—just wearing bored faces. The short and long of it is that you should never allow time just slip through your hands like that —it’s an important non-renewable resource. You mess time up today, you regret foreve—remember age is catching up with you.
Blessed weekend to you and yours as you plan to minimize your ‘empty time.’