Imagine life span of an 80 year old, and how many hours that would constitute. Do you know that 80 years on earth is approximately 700,000 hours? It’s not that long if you think about it, but can it be enough if you use it wisely?
If we were given an assignment to name a few of life’s most precious gifts, arguably ‘time’ would be included amongst other significant factors such as oxygen. Unfortunately, many of us take this invaluable gift for granted, due to the fact that like oxygen, we are not required to pay for it.
I’ve learned to understand that, anything that’s beneficial for personal growth, for instance the unlimited supply of drinking water at our reach, access to infinite knowledge at the touch of a button, or time at our disposal should not be taken lightly; it’s a blessing from God. Whatever we take for granted we fail to receive the maximum results from.
My encounters with countless successful individuals in various fields, from business to sports to even the Church ministry, have all had one common denominator which was the ways in which they treated the concept of time. What I came to terms with, was that, what lead them to their high achievements was treating time as a scarce and valuable resource. In comparison, I also realised that the so-called ‘unlucky’ spent their time as if was in infinite supply.
“Time equals life; therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.” Alan Lakein
In order to be impactful in society you must learn to invest your time wisely because even though we may not be born into the same advantages in life, we all are given the same 24 hours a day and what we do in the day determines how our future is shaped.
“A man reaps what he sows.” Galatians 6:7
The reason I am writing this article is to encourage others who like me, throughout the majority of their life allowed myself to attend to other people’s needs which in return took me off the path that God had already prepared for me. Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
It’s impossible to be effective in society, to bless others, or to know your individual purpose if you are too busy catering to the demands of many at the detriment of sabotaging your own time which could be used in cultivating gifts in order to impact.
Once you grasp the importance of time, you will then have the heart to politely decline the distractions of social media, interruptions of negative news, the non-stop feeble family issues, unimportant requests from associates, and the constant celebratory invites from friends.
To succeed in any field or aspect of life you must adopt a Luke 10:4 mentality. When Jesus the master teacher sent his disciples to spread the gospel, he instructed them “Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.” Jesus the master understood that time is limited and you cannot attend to multiple demands at once, you must learn to prioritize.
When legendary billionaire stockbroker and humanitarian Warren Buffet was asked by economic students to distinguish the difference between high achievers and average performers he replied, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” What Mr. Buffet was emphasising in this message is that in order to be impactful in any capacity requires your time and commitment. Bestselling Christian self-help author Dr. John Townsend agrees, “I’ve never spoken to a person that has accomplished a lot who can’t say I’ve disappointed a lot of people who wanted my time, my energy and my answers, the ones who says yes to everyone’s demands don’t get anywhere.”
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Colossians 3:23
Everything we use and cherish in our daily lives today was established by those who did not deviate from their vision. For example, imagine if Steve Jobs allowed his hippie friends during his 20’s to distract him from investing his time in setting up the Apple company; then I would not now have the privilege of writing this article on the Mac book I’m typing on.
7 reasons why people fail to use their time wisely;
- They lack the desire to find their own life purpose.
- They neglected writing down their goals for the future, and prioritising them.
- They fail to schedule their day before starting the day.
- They’ve not educated themselves on the importance of time.
- They believe time is in infinite supply.
- They want to please everyone so they make every effort to say yes to the demands of others.
- They are afraid to disappoint others even if it hinders their own progress.
For many of us who’ve not put their time to the best use, don’t feel discouraged because where there is life, there is hope.
How effective will you be if you treat one day like a year?
Countless times I have witnessed people I know fall into self-pity on occasions such as birthdays and New Year’s. Many of the comments I’ve heard resonate with the words “I’ve turned 40, I’m no longer a youth anymore” or “I cannot believe a years gone past, I’ve not accomplished anything measurable.”
A great way to combat falling into that trap is to make every day special like it’s your birthday, and effectively you will re-programme your subconscious mind to successfully manage your time and get the best out of your day.
A practical thing you can do towards this aim is making it a habit of writing a to-do list at the start of your day, and analysing your performance at the end of the day. If you make one day of your life as significant as a whole year of your life then you will automatically become more productive and learn to accomplish in one day, what others takes months to do, you’ll be a time-management master.
Many complain about being in a job they dislike and longing for the week to be over so that they can have the weekend off, which in actual fact means that they are wishing their precious time be cut short. What they don’t realise, is that the company they work for are paying them wages in exchange for their most valuable commodity, time, and that they will never get this time back.
The individuals that make the maximum impacts in life follow their passions so that they can enjoy and spend hours doing what they love. It would be impossible for Thomas Edison to invent the light bulb if he didn’t have the desire to find a solution which allowed him to fail 10,000 times before he succeeded.
Managing your time wisely gives you the opportunity to fail enough times until you learn to succeed. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 11:6, “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”
Those who are effective in their profession live with the principle that failure is not the destination; failure is the road that leads to success. Basketball legend Michael Jordan said in a Nike commercial, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
So the question you must ask yourself is:
- How many skills can you learn in a day?
- How many books can you read in a day?
- How many people can you evangelize to?
- How many potential clients can you contact to grow your business in a day?
- How many articles can you write a day?
- What I’m trying to express is that you can achieve far more in a day, if you value the time you’ve been blessed with.
Six benefits of valuing your time:
- You learn to accomplish in one day what others take months to do.
- You will feel more fulfilled knowing that you are making progression towards your goal.
- You’ll be in a position to help others with your gifts and resources.
- You will not fall into temptation of covertness because you are excelling in your calling.
- Others will learn to value and respect your time.
I conclude this article with a quote from Bishop T.D Jakes, “You can take my suit, I’ve got another one, you can take my car, I can get another one, you can take my house, I can get another house, but when you take my time you have taken something from me that is totally irreplaceable.”
Thanks for reading and remember to use your time wisely.