Time: Use it Well

Imagine a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day. What would you do?

My guess is that you would draw out every cent. Well, everyone has such a bank. Its name is time. Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off whatever you have not invested to good purpose. If you don’t use the daily deposits, the loss is yours. There is no borrowing against tomorrow. So, you must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success. The clock is running.

To realize the value of one year, ask a student who has failed a grade; one month, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby; one week, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper; one day, ask a daily wage laborer who has kids to feed; one hour, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet; one minute, ask a person who has missed the train; one second, ask a person who has avoided an accident; one millisecond, ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.

With 8,760 hours in a year, why is it that there are so many times we are looking for just a few extra minutes in order to get things done? How often do you find yourself in a continuous time crunch? I know I do.

There are books, software and other time management systems offering so-called proven strategies that will help us discover our values, organize them, improve our productivity and live with greater satisfaction.

Whatever system you choose, similar to evaluating a budget, one must first know what is being spent and where—only then can one determine what is the proper amount and what needs to be evaluated. Same with our daily time.

I work with a number of professional service firms and the challenge is not to identify where the billable hours are spent, but instead, where did all of that non-billable time go? Putting business development time, prospecting, referral meetings, and similar strategic growth initiatives on your calendar and as a priority on a regular basis, will allow you to identify how much time has been wasted and give you an opportunity to make this productive and rewarding time in your day.

Start small…a couple of hours per week. When you start seeing results, increase it by a few hours and you will really benefit.

~tom

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