Dear reader, let me ask you a question: what is your second greatest asset in the world? The correct answer is, your ability to earn money. Your earning power or earning capability.
Now dear reader, let me ask you this: if your ability to earn money is your second greatest asset in the world, then what’s your single greatest asset? The correct answer is, your time. Your time is the most precious asset or commodity that you have in the whole world.
If you lose all of your money, you can use your earning capability and go to work and get it all back. When you spend your money, you use your earning capability and you replace what you spent. You can increase the amount of money that you have and the amount of money that you earn at one time. If you waste your money, you may suffer some negative consequences but you can replace that wasted money, and next time you can choose to spend the money intelligently.
But. What about your time?
Once your time is spent, it’s gone forever. However you spent it–wisely, stupidly, wastefully, productively, or whatever else–once it’s gone, there’s no getting it back. Yes, you can do things that should add more years to your life, but even if that happens those added years cannot eradicate the fact that once your time is spent it’s gone forever. There’s not way to earn or buy it back.
You have heard that “time is money”. How true that is; because the better your time management is, the more money you can earn. But it’s more than that. Time management does not merely allow you to become more productive and increase your earning power. It also allows you to have more precious personal time. Your personal time–all of those minutes and hours in your lifetime when you don’t have to be focused (not directly, anyway) on earning wealth–is really what your life is all about.
There is only one true way in which you can, in any sense at all, add more time to your life. And that is through smart time management.
It’s true as has just been elaborated that there’s no way to add any spent time back into your life in terms of the quantity of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years that you have left once they are spent. However, time management lets you compensate for this by enhancing the quality of the time that you do have.
You see, where money is the quantitative matter in your life, time is the qualitative matter. It is Quality Time which is the greatest wealth in the world. Thus, it’s imperative for the sake of the quality of your life that you stop wasting time.
How to Stop Wasting Time
Get organized. Spend a little of that precious time that you do have planning out how you will spend the rest of your time. This means that you need to have SMART goals professionally and personally on a daily, weekly, monthly, annual, and multiple-year basis. You need to have a purposeful life , and for that you must engage in planning and discipline. If you’re not organized, you are wasting big loads of your time.
Get focused. Neither your personal life nor your professional one can always be handled through multitasking; yet, we live in a multitasking-inundated world today. Slow down enough to get a strong, clear focus on what’s of paramount importance. Easy things can be handled with multitasking. I used to have a VP of Marketing role where I was constantly on the telephone while updating data in our company CRM program, drafting e-mails, and talking on Instant Messenger and doing some or all of those things at the same time. But none of them was particularly difficult for me, and you can see how they all flowed together. On the other hand, when I am doing my serious writing I need a quiet place with nobody else around and nobody telephoning me or IMing me. I may have music on but that’s about it. I need total engagement and focus to do real writing of quality. This the kind of focus that you need for the important, serious, more complex tasks that you have to handle in your work and personal life.
Get creative. We can’t all be artists. But we can all be creative. This means making something of your own, which is the opposite of purchasing or consuming something that others made. If you’re no artist, find some other creative expression. Gardening. Woodworking. Building model airplanes. You need to invest energy into personal creativity.
Write stuff down. Just because you’re not a writer doesn’t mean you should not write things down. This discipline dovetails nicely with the other three above. Write down your ideas, inspirations, things that come to you that you feel are important to do, all day long. It’s a good idea to keep a dream journal, even. Review these notes throughout the day or at least each evening. These notes will enhance your success with getting organized, creative, and focused.
Remember, the atomic clocks are silently ticking. The cells in your body are clicking away toward eventual death. Only Quality Time can fulfil you personally and remove the waste that gets in your way of making more money.