Monday, July 23, 2012

Thoughts about Time

Everyone has the same amount of time in a day. You have exactly the same amount of time to spend today as everyone else who is alive.

Time waits for no man. We each have:

7 days a week.
365 days a year.
24 hours in a day.
1,440 minutes in a day.
86,400 seconds in a day.
You only have so much time, so spend it wisely. Recognize the value of your time. Wise King Solomon understood the importance of time, when he said, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV).

Time is more valuable than money. If you lose your money, you can figure out a way to earn more but if you run out of time, everything is over. You can get money back, but you can never get time back.

Time is the most valuable asset you have, but it is only as valuable as you make it. Hamburger flippers trade their time for $10 an hour; lawyers trade their time for $350 an hour. The way time is used separates the rich from the poor. The difference between an impoverished person and a wealthy person is how they use their time. Using time wisely is the secret of the wealthy.

Broke people abuse time.
Needy people misuse time.
Losers are those who do not use their time wisely.
Opportunities follow those who use their time wisely.

Time is our currency here on the earth. We trade time for money (paycheck). We trade time for relationships. We trade time for knowledge. What are you trading your time for? How are you spending your time?

What are the time wasters in your life? What steals your time? What do you need to eliminate from your life?

What is robbing your time?
            - Spending time with people who have no vision or goals.
            - Television, news, entertainment, paperwork, goofing off.
            - People who play all the time.
            - Being around critical people.
            - People who want what you have but do not do what you say.
            - People with self-defeating habits
            - People who are always late.
            - People who are unorganized.

Who steals your time? Who do you need to eliminate from your life? There are four types of people with whom you can spend your time.

1. Add-ers - People who add to your life.
            My wife Jessica is an example of someone who adds to my life. She makes me happy, gives me pleasure, and encourages me. She adds value to my life.

2. Subtract-ers - People who subtract from your life.
            These are people who waste your time. I have a friend who talks non-stop. If he calls me, it is impossible to get off the phone in less than an hour. He never talks about issues of significance or importance; he just likes to hear himself talk. I finally stopped answering his calls because he kept wasting my time.
            Another person called me and asked if he could come stay with me for a week. He just wanted to “hang out.” He wanted me to take him to see a movie and to go to the mall. I told him not to come because I did not have a week to waste on entertaining him. His time was worth little, but my time is valuable.
            If you do not fight for your time, other people will steal your time.

Who is a time thief in your life?
            - Time thieves have confusion in their lives.
            - Time thieves always have problems.
            - Time thieves have no focus.
            - Time thieves do not give you anything of value.

If you don’t respect my time, I am not going to give you any more of my time.

3. Multiply-ers - People who multiply your life.
            A mentor can multiply your effectiveness. There are only two ways to learn: through your mistakes or from the mistakes of others. Following the advice of a mentor can cut ten years from your development.
            One of my favorite ministers focuses on wisdom. When I go to his conferences, I am inspired to do more for God. When I listen to him, I get ideas that will help me achieve my purpose in life. An hour of listening to him motivates me to accomplish more.

4. Divide-rs - People who divide you.
            These are people who deliberately and maliciously attempt to distract you from your focus. They actively try to cause conflict between you and others.
            One time, someone opened an e-mail address that was similar to mine. He started e-mailing people negative comments but signing my name. This caused me to lose several relationships because this person deliberately tried to cause division. 

Your time is a seed. Use your time as a seed. You can never achieve your dreams, your purpose, or your assignment until you learn how to sow the miracle seed of time.

What you have in life is the result of the time you have sown. How do people sow their time? A body builder trades time for sculptured muscles. A master musician spends hours practicing the piano. The athlete practices until he is the best. A doctor trades eight years of his life in order to learn how to diagnose a disease.

Anything of significance in your life will require time. Investing time is the only way you can gain something you want.

People say, “I wish I had more time” but no one ever received any more time by saying this.  Start using the time you have more wisely. You will never find time because it isn’t lost. You can only decide to use your time in valuable ways.

You can never get more time, but you can maximize the time you have. Learn to master your time, or your time will master you. Develop time consciousness. Work on Time Management skills. 

1. Plan long term.
            If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. People who set goals are much more likely to be successful than those without goals. 

2. Use calendars, clocks, lists, and timers. 
            My mother is obsessed with calendars, clocks, lists, and timers. She makes a list of things to do everyday and she sets her timer for specific amounts of time in order to accomplish her tasks. When I was growing up, I never understood why. I often rolled my eyes and made fun of her because of her love of using timers. But now I understand. Her focus allowed her to be successful at raising five children.

3. Plan your day.
            When you wake up in the morning, make a list of the six most important tasks you need to accomplish. Start with the most important.            

4. Invest in your dreams
- Are you spending time on making your dreams come true?
- How much of your time are you willing to invest in order to build a great dream or future?
- How much time are you willing to invest to research and gather info about your dream?
- How much time are you willing to invest in planning every day of your life?

Your time should be focused on your strengths. Use your most alert time to do the most important things in your life. For example, the most valuable hour in my life is my first hour of being awake which is when I am most alert. I often devote this hour to writing because it is when I do my best work. Later in the day when I am more tired is when I devote time to washing the dishes or organizing my office. I save less important tasks for when I am tired.

Ask yourself these questions several times each day:
Am I using my time wisely?
Is this what I want or need to be doing right now?
Am I working on something urgent or something important?
Where can I best invest my time in order to maximize my income?

Some things are urgent, but not important. Other things are important but not urgent. The best use of your time is to use it doing things that are important.

What are some important (but non-urgent) things you should do with your time?
- Read
- Exercise
- Educate Yourself
- Build Relationships
- Family - Children spell love as T-I-M-E. You can give your children video games and roller skates, but what children really want from daddy and mommy is time.

If you don’t want or need to be doing an activity, STOP. By eliminating unproductive activities from your life you will discover more time for doing what you really want to be doing.