“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
What a powerful quote from Thoreau. When I came across this quote I was highly impacted by the challenge to be even more intentional about my life. After all, life is made up of basically time. How we live our life will be dependent upon how we use our time. I have always been somewhat of a time-nut…whatever that means I guess. But I have such a drive to squeeze every ounce of life out of my time that it is a topic I am obviously very passionate about. And when I say passionate I literally mean the original meaning of the word “passion.” Passion has its roots in the Latin word pati, which means “to suffer or endure.” At the root of passion is suffering or a cause. I am passionate about time.
I hope that you are passionate about how you use your time, because it is the most fleeing commodity we have in life. You can’t get time back, so we have to understand how to use it NOW! Here are some tips…
1) NEVER Kill Time
The goal is that everything we do is intentional. Now I know this is not completely attainable, but it is the target we should always shoot for. It is like a compass…you never arrive at “North” but the compass keeps pointing to it. We should never kill time because we should always have something we could be doing. You need to have a backup plan for “down time.” For example I keep several notebooks and reading books in my car just in case I am stuck in traffic, waiting on something (cough, cough…my family), or just find myself having a few moments. Instead of getting lost of Facebook…(cough, cough, waste of time) I get lost in something that is feeding my soul for the good. I also, have a list of things to do whenever I get some downtime…that’s right an intentional plan if I get some extra time…I already know what I’m going to do, I don’t waste time thinking about what I should do. You should never kill time, because you have prepared on the front end for how to use it.
2) ONLY Do What You Should Be Doing
Again, this is more about shooting for than actually attaining. I understand there are many things that we just have to do in life that aren’t really on our highest priority, but we need to strive to eliminate the unnecessary. Take an inventory of your life and see what you can start to trim off. Trust me…there is always something that could go. We need to make sure we have the most amount of time to fulfill what really matters in life. If our time is getting sucked away by the little things that steal time for the big things we will miss out on so much. Delegate or outsource what you can by only doing what you should be doing. You may have to give up some things you like to do in order to do what you love to do. I have know many highly productive people that enjoy cutting their grass but would rather spend those few hours with their family therefor they outsource their mowing. Now, mowing isn’t the point, but figuring out what fits your goals and time needs is. Eliminate the clutter of your life and get to the commitment of your purpose.
3) REST To Be More Productive
You can’t be productive with your life if you don’t properly rest and recover. Your life was meant to move in rhythm of high intensity and high recovery. By never stopping to rest and recover you actually do less in the long run. Your energy depletes and it takes longer to do what you could have done with proper rest and energy to bring to your work. Life is not just about doing it is also about being. Remember, we are human beings, not human doings. As important as your purpose and work in this life is, you have to create margin for rest. And not just rest, but blessed rest. Make sure you are taking the proper time to get away and refresh your mind, heart, soul, and strength. Life is a marathon, not just a short sprint. So as passionate as we are about making our time productive, remember you can only be as productive as your energy allows. Find out what rejuvenates your energy and make sure you schedule it in.
*Here are some resources to use your time wisely…
Faithology Podcast: The 4 C’s To Get More Time
Blog Post: Plan If You Want To Produce
Blog Post: The Secret To Getting More Done