James Gray, who is my son, was upset because a new computer that he bought wasn’t working properly. He had invested a considerable amount of time to get it set up.
I said, “Don’t worry, James, I’m sure they’ll give you your money back.”
James said, “I don’t care about the money! GIVE ME MY LIFE BACK!”
James creates physical card games. He is very creative and productive doing it. He has produced several series of his game, Crazier Eights, during the past several years and has conducted kickstarter campaigns to finance producing them.
He understands something that many of us don’t.
Our lives are made up of pieces of our time stitched together.
How fulfilling our lives are depends on how we “fill up” the pieces of time.
Our time is a unique “asset” because it is irreplaceable. We can replace money. We can replace “things”. We can’t replace time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
If we don’t value our time, we probably won’t use it wisely. When we realize it is pieces of our lives that we are wasting, we shouldn’t do it so much.
Some productivity teachers emphasize the dollar value of time. For example, if you want to earn $100,000 and half of your regular workday produces revenue, you would have to generate about $100,000 / 1,000 hours = $100 per hour for each of those hours.
But there are other valuable ways of spending time that shouldn’t be neglected.
One of them is investing your time in relationships. If you neglect your relationship with your family and lose them, your business won’t seem very rewarding.
Another is investing time in your health. If you’re sick or your life expectancy is shorter because you neglect your health, you won’t enjoy the income that you produce.
Steven Covey, in his classic book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, reminds us to “Sharpen the Saw”. Invest time in improving your skills and in self-renewal, prayer and meditation.
Be careful of time vampires! These are people and situations that literally suck the life out of you!
- A coworker comes to you with his or her problem and “leaves” it with you to solve.
- A “friend” “dumps” his or her emotional “garbage” on you.
- An associate “ropes you into” a project that you really have no interest in.
If the encounter is in person, stand up and look at your watch as a clue to cut the conversation short.
If it’s on the telephone or a remote conversation, tell the person, “I’m sorry, I have to let you go…”
Avoid obligations you don’t want to be involved with by just saying, “I’m sorry, but no.”
Remember, it’s your life we’re talking about. Take as much control as you can and fill your time up with moving towards achieving your goals and activities you love!