Take Control Of Your Time

Lesson number: 

Throughout these lessons, I have stressed the use of your time in many different ways, shapes and forms. I don't believe there are many individuals who haven't constantly repeated "I wish time would slow down or I just can't believe how fast time flies by!" I for one, repeat these statements often. Thus, I continue to try and emphasize what we may be able to do, to maximize our time by investing it wisely. For once it's gone it can never be retrieved.

I've also stressed that the fastest way to get ahead in your short lifetime is to study those in your field of interest who have been extremely successful. Research and see what they have done to get to where you want to go. Read their books; listen to their recordings; and learn from people who have gained wisdom via the school of hard knocks and are willing to pass their experiences on to others. This doesn't mean that you should follow every step someone else has taken. However there are always nuggets of information to gain from every person of wisdom. Sounds simple enough right? Wrong! We all feel as though we are short a few hours each day, and just can't find the time to do these really important things.

Before we go on, a reality check and understanding of human nature is in order. As a human being, EVERY action that you take is done so because you believe that it will either increase pleasure in your life or decrease pain. There is no avoiding this. It is our nature. Accept this fact and life will make more sense.

Second, human beings TEND to take the road of least resistance. If there's an easier way to do things or a way to avoid labor or get something for nothing, then humans will TEND to choose the easy way. Now this CAN be avoided. In this area, there is a CHOICE. The choice is to take a handout or get your butt into gear and earn your own way!

We live in remarkable times. Even with the 24-7 bad news bombarding us daily, most individuals still enjoy luxuries that earlier generations couldn't even dream of. However, along with this abundance come many distractions. While it may appear to be a blessing to have every product, gadget and service advertised to us, responsible individuals choose wisely and engage in healthy activities as well as respect their time. Because there's nothing in this world that's more valuable than your health and your time!

While it's very important to enjoy all of the possibilities that are available (e.g., sporting events, TV shows, video games, etc.), it's also important not to forget about building your knowledge base, skills, and character. It's very easy to sit back and let yourself be entertained all of the time. There's plenty of entertainment. No, actually there's TOO MUCH entertainment available today. But you're not growing when you're being entertained. You're not becoming better at anything. Let entertainment have its place. Enjoy entertainment after a hard day's work; don't let it BE your day. Let it be a reward, not a way of life.

When comparing the two groups of actions, it's easy to see which road is easy and which road takes work. And as mentioned above, most people will tend to choose the easy road ALL OF THE TIME. The key to even more abundance is to CHOOSE the harder road on a consistent basis. Everyone has one thing in common: 24 hours in each day, or 168 hours in each week. No one has any advantage in this area.

When I read statistics of the amount of time tween's, teens and college students spend playing video games; texting; watching you tube; using Face Book or My Space; or indulging in the multitude of distractions available today, I am saddened. And it's not just young people involved in these activities. Many people at work have access to most of these same distractions.

If we are to become a more productive society, there has to be more respect for how we invest our time. If children grow up thinking their life should be one big social event full of fun, games and friends entertaining each other, how will they adjust to the real world where you need skills to work and produce a valuable product or service. How will those who played for the last ten years compete with young workers on the other side of the globe that have studied and prepared themselves to compete for the best jobs in the marketplace?

Now is as good a time as any, to take control of your own time. A good start is to write down what you do with your time for a week. Sit back and analyze your findings and perform surgery by cutting the waste and inserting productive activities into your life. Identify all of the hard stuff that you've been putting off or ignoring and get to work on these things. Set an example and steer your kids to do the same. This stuff may seem hard but it's really necessary!