I recently celebrated the day six years ago when I was told I had 48 hours or so to live if I didn’t have heart surgery. In the moments before surgery, not knowing if I would survive, I was forced to consider the most important thing I could do right then. I could have said, “Golly, I wish I had spent last Saturday in the office.” Or, I could call three people I loved and tell them so. I made the calls, by the way.
So, now it’s time that we just as well get the subject of wasted time out of the way. We must cherish time. Think about it, and you’ll realize the great lesson of the ages that few ever think about: Time is perishable. Time is like a banana that sits on the counter too long. It will get soft, mushy, and utterly inedible if you don’t eat it. Time is the same way. Once you waste it, you cannot retrieve that time to use it again. Once it’s gone, it is gone forever.
We must protect our time. Learn now that time is our most precious commodity. However, if time is so damned special, why do we waste so much of it?
The secret is that we should not worry about managing our time in a day.
The secret is that we’ll never be able to do everything we think or want to do in a given day, week, month, year, or life.
The SECRET is that we need to prioritize the things we think we need to do and only do the items with the highest priority and carry the most significant consequence. Then, forget about the rest of the junk we’re worried about getting done. The mistake people make is to unconsciously place the same importance on low-priority issues or tasks as high-priority issues or tasks. The German Philosopher Goethe said it best when he said, “The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.” And by the way, he said that in 1780. Prioritizing time is not a new principle. Learn to master time now so it doesn’t master you later. The quality of your life will change immediately when you begin to apply this lesson. But don’t tell me that you’ll start prioritizing your time when you have the time. When you prioritize your time to do it finally, you may be out of time.
Don’t wait to learn this lesson until it’s too late to apply it.