Arnold Bennett, the Author of How to Live Your Life on 24 Hours a Day stated, “We never shall have any more time. We have, and we have always had, all the time there is.” How very honest Bennett is about this undervalued truth.
The last couple of weeks I have scurried about like a squirrel getting ready for winter. I have helped my wife prepare for our son, Andrew. He will have left the womb yesterday and will be snuggling in our arms about the time you start to read this. My eyes well up thinking about this special moment and what it represents. I incorporated all the hacks and schedules I know of to get my graduate studies done, wrote two blog posts, have fulfilled my role as a husband and father, have continued my rituals and have also entertained the parents as they are here in preparation for the greatest gift God could ever trust me with. I am feeling thrilled and blessed.
The reason I bring Bennett and my present situation together here is because the conditions are set and the environment is right. Last week, I read a perfectly timed article on time-management that created a dialogue of thought inside my head for several days afterwards. After my response, the article brought more attention to the topic of time throughout the week. The article sparked a fire inside my chest that has not simmered. Not because the article didn’t mislead or infringe on my worldview, but because I believe the call to action was off the mark. The call for action I am referring to was to stop concentrating on time, because to create substance, you must surrender time.
Time Is In Unlimited Supply
The remarkable thing about time is that it is in constant supply and you cannot use it in advance. We receive time in rations of 24 equal hours each day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. The exception would be leap years. We cannot touch time, taint it, prepare it, borrow it, or manipulate it. Time is constantly churning and never slows down or speeds up. It is the one constant in our lives that we cannot improve or destroy. What you do with it depends on you. You are as productive as you want or you can waste it as moments pass you by. It is your supply, it belongs to you, and nobody can snatch it from you or give you more.
I believe it is our attitude about time that robs us. We lose millions of hours across the world everyday, simply because most think so little of it. Bennett said that we should create days within the day because the average man, if there was such thing, looks at the day as just the 8-hour work day. The other 2/3rds of the day lacks spirited excitement to it. Of the other 16 hours, 8 hours are sleeping, the other 8 hours are used up dilly-dallying until it is time to go to sleep.
How Are You Spending Your Time?
The excuse that we only have 24 hours in a day is extremely common, but really falls short if not for the obvious truth in the statement. It is more important to view how the use of your time affects your daily outcomes. We have all the time we need to make better choices, but is your time being well-used or wasted? We do most tasks with reluctance because they do not bring instant relief. Work is difficult and as with most tasks, there is no shinny carrot at the end of the stick. There is no perfect schedule or secret hack. As I gain more knowledge, I apply lessons learned improving existing systems.
Reflect and Make Better Choices
Good time management is about making better choices. The choices I made about time leading to the present has caused me to scurry as if I did not know that winter was coming. I did not streamline my time. As I think about the situation, I had nine months to prepare, but I took much more leisurely time this year to spend as a husband and father. I cannot say these were wrong choices, because they are the most important roles in my life. It was the unproductive activities that I took guilty pleasure in that created the rush and feeling of being overloaded. A squirrel is not told to make provisions for winter because he knows his survival and his quality of life relies on his productivity long before winter comes.