Don’t Choose to Have Time Keep You at It’s Mercy

by on June 14, 2011

Don’t Choose to Have Time Keep You at It’s Mercy

When we were married in 2009, my wife and I received a beautiful clock for our home that chimes a musical tone every 15 minutes.  I noticed recently how conscious I am of that tone when I’m not focused on the items that I start the day with an intention of completing, versus how much the sound of the chimes fade into the background when I’m working on what I determine to be the correct thing for me at a particular moment.  The passage of time during a day can at times seem so effortless and at other times so frustrating.  Yet, each day everyone receives the same amount of time to use as they see fit.

On those days that I find I’m frustrated by time, I often find in hindsight that it is my own fault on how I spent the time.  For example, I may determine I’m going to allocate my time to write my column for my website or to study for the latest coaching certification I am pursuing.  However, when I think back I remember interrupting myself to constantly check my e-mail, surf websites or topics of interest or take care of an errand around my home.  Any of these items I have done is of itself not necessarily wrong to do.  However, on the days where I’m finding that I’m frustrated with how my time is being spent , it is the misusing of the time I’ve planned to spend that directly leads to my frustration.

This past week has been an excellent week in how I’ve used my time.  And, it isn’t that I have not been busy.  After my most recent battles with how I was utilizing the hours in my day, I took the time to think through what was it I most want to accomplish, particularly as it centered on the business related aspects of my life.  I realized there were four major focus points at this time.  Each I could justify as one which currently deserved my attention.  When I looked ahead to the upcoming week, I could see where I could allocate the time I needed to spend on each activity I wanted to accomplish.  However, this week I made an agreement with myself.  If I said I was going to focus on certain items during particular time frames of each day, I was not going to move off of that, unless it was absolutely critical to do so.  While critical things can come up, it’s kind of ironic that truly critical things don’t come up as often as you may think when you commit to items ahead of time as deserving your attention at particular times during your day.  If anything, I often times find I battle more with having the self discipline to let non-important things, (checking news articles on the internet, feeling I need to respond to e-mails, jumping immediately to a task for another before addressing what I need to do for myself).

In today’s fast paced world it is easy to get caught up in trying to focus on multiple stimulus at the same time.  While we say we know we shouldn’t, and it does not pay to do so, the discipline not to do so is so very hard to obtain.  When you feel that time is controlling you and is ticking away at a pace that is working against you, remember the following.  Determine the key items you want to accomplish over a day or an upcoming week.  Allocate the appropriate time period that you are looking to focus on them to get them accomplished.  Honor your commitment to that time period being for that activity.  Realize that other tasks, while important, will ultimately have their time and place.  And, above all, if you slip up, don’t berate yourself for not meeting your expectations, but just take a deep breath, refocus and get yourself back on track.  After all, just like everyone else you have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to use as you choose.  Only you are able to determine the best way for you to use it to generate your own feeling of satisfaction with your life.

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