When You Take Your TIme, You Save Time

“When you take your time, you save time.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a watch in a glass bottle

Image from Stepping Stones

How are your investments doing these days? This past year? Since you began your personal investment plans?

What has been the return on your investments?

Given the tangibility and objectivity of money and its ability to be exchanged for products and services, you probably know this number reasonably well.

Time, on the other hand, is a bit more elusive, in that it is often far more difficult to determine exactly how well we spend it. One of my other favorite quotes on this topic is Time is the Coin of Life, suggesting its great importance to our overall success and satisfaction.

Today’s quote coaches us to be far more intentional and thoughtful in our decisions to allocate our time and energies. In doing so, it suggests, we will actually save time by not making poor decisions, false starts, or initiatives that may not optimally serve our visions and values.

EXERCISE:

Where and in what ways can and will you slow down and spend your time more wisely, in order to save time for those most prized and valued activities in your life?

The Purpose of the Call

“Before picking up the phone, pause for a moment and think about the purpose of the call.”

—Author Unknown

Image of hand holding a smartphone

Image from Unsplash

How many business meetings do you attend on a daily basis? If you gave each a grade of A, B, or C, or rated them from 1-10 with 10 being outstanding, how would they score?

If you are like many professionals, dissatisfying meetings can be the bane of your work days. Books and other resources on this topic abound, many of which I encourage you to explore.

Consider, too, that we all have more meetings than we think—we call them phone calls. In many cases, we don’t prepare for them half as well as our sub-optimal face-to-face meetings.

EXERCISE:

Today, and in the weeks ahead, make a microresolution to use the phrase the reason for my call is… and see if the clarity of purpose improves the value and outcomes of your conversations.

Want to Forget

“To want to forget something is to think of it.”

—French Proverb

Image of pink elephant with glasses

Image from Flickr by Eric Wilcox

Did you know that there is a perpetual motion machine? Not necessarily in the physical world, since energy is always required, but in terms of our minds.

Consider past events and memories of negative or bad things that have happened in your life. What happens when you make the effort to forget these events and leave these thoughts in the past? You might even say to yourself, “Don’t think about X,” and in doing so, X is all you think about.

A common example of this is when we try to fall asleep, when our active minds keep us from getting the rest we need and crave. Sadly, this is the norm for many people.

EXERCISE:

Rather than trying to forget something you don’t wish to think about, consider how you can replace those thoughts with more desirable and intentionally relaxing ideas.

Follow that Dream

“Follow that Dream!”

-Author Unknown

Image from nnbtheatre.com

Image from nnbtheatre.com

I was a young boy in the mid-sixties when Man of La Mancha was on Broadway. My mother, Rose, loved the story about Don Quixote, and loved to sing “The Impossible Dream.” Here are the lyrics, written by American lyricist Joe Darian:

To dream the impossible dream
to fight the unbeatable foe
to bear with unbearable sorrow
to run where the brave dare not go

to right the unrightable wrong
to love pure and chaste from afar
to try when your arms are too weary
to reach the unreachable star

This is my quest, to follow that star,
no matter how hopeless, no matter how far,
to fight for the right, without question or pause
to be willing to march into Hell for a Heavenly cause.

And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest,
that my heart will lie peaceful and calm,
when I’m laid to my rest.
And the world will be better for this:
that one man, scorned and covered with scars,
still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
to reach the unreachable star.

EXERCISE:

Where in your life is it time for you to follow your dream, be true to your own “glorious quest,” and help the world be better because of it?

Perseverance

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”

—Walter Elliot, 19th Century Scottish Politician

Image from timemanagementninja.com

Image from timemanagementninja.com

My daughter Rachel is one of the hardest working, most persevering people I know.

Over a six-year period during college and a few years beyond, she was involved in a 12-week summer sales program in which she worked over 80 hours each week.

Despite many challenges including bad weather, barking dogs, and of course, tons of rejection, she was committed to selling high-quality educational products. She broke her day into two-hour manageable blocks of time, which helped her manage her efforts in small short races, instead of being overwhelmed by the long road ahead.

EXERCISE:

How can you use Rachel’s strategy – running many short races one after the other – to demonstrate the perseverance you need to win your most important personal and professional races?

“A lot can happen in a year”

“A lot can happen in a year.”

-Author Unknown

Image from www.wordbypicture.com

Image from www.wordbypicture.com

As we age, many people experience time passing more quickly. I once heard the statement, “Life is like a toilet paper roll. The more sheets we use the faster it spins.” Given the finite nature of time, how we spend it becomes even more important.

I’d like to suggest we use the power of our intentions to identify our most highly prized goals and aspirations.  When we accompany them with focused determination, we experience the journey more fully and produce our desired results.

EXERCISE:

Given the fact that our years go by one way or the other, please consider identifying your intentions in the following areas, so what you want to happen will:

  • Career
  • Finances
  • Family & Friends
  • Personal Growth
  • Fun & Recreation
  • Physical Environment
  • Health
  • Community
  • Love & Romance
  • Faith

Feel free to add additional categories that are most important to you.
Consider the support of a friend, family member, mentor, or a coach to help you make this your best year yet.

Also consider breaking down this exercise into more management nuggets of days, weeks, or months, to build the habit of ongoing intentionality.