Wisdom//

7 Reasons Why You Should Guard Your Time Jealously

Time is one of the most important things to man, because as mere mortals, we have a limited amount of time on earth.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Be careful not to let people waste your time because time is what life is made up of. Here are 7 reasons why you should guard your time jealously; making sure the rest of your life is well spent.

1. YOU HAVE LIMITED TIME ON EARTH
Time is one of the most important things to man, because as mere mortals, we have a limited amount of time on earth. If you had a limited amount of money like most people, would you waste it or let anyone waste it? I bet you won’t. Apply the same principle to your limited time because you don’t know how much time you have left on the planet. The next time someone or something demands of your time, pay attention to how much of your time you spend on them, making sure it is not time wasted.

Pope Paul VI said “Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it, I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows”.

2. YOU CANNOT RECOVER LOST TIME
Are you aware that your time on earth keeps reducing with each second that ticks away? You should be cautious about your time the same way you would spend and invest your hard-earned money. Being cautious not to waste any bit of it nor let anyone or anything waste it.

Unlike money that can often be recovered when lost, we cannot recover lost time from the bulk of the time that we’re destined to spend on the planet. Not even all the money in the world can buy us an additional second to the 24 hours that we have in a day. We can only make up for lost time through other ways. Let’s use Abraham Lincoln’s quote as an example. He said, “Give me four hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” He would have recovered all the time he “lost” sharpening the ax because it was time well invested.

Have you wasted a lot of your time over the years? It’s never too late to make a U-turn and make good use of the time you have ahead of you. History tells us about several people who attained success at later parts of their lives. Spider-Man creator, Stan Lee only started to draw his superheroes at the age of 43. Colonel Sanders was 62 when he founded Kentucky Fried Chicken, now known as KFC. Former Mau Mau fighter of Kenya Kimani Maruge enrolled in primary school at the age of 84.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

3. VALUABLE HOURS ARE WASTED IN QUEUES, TRAFFIC, BUS STOPS, RECEPTIONS
A whole lot of our time is wasted every day on queues, traffic, bus stops, office receptions and the likes. Sometimes you can’t avoid these waiting periods. In such cases, it is up to you to find meaningful ways to put these waiting periods to good use. You could spend these waiting times on your phone to connect with people that matter in your life. You can spend them reading or listening to materials that will add value to your life. How about spending the time managing your to-do-list? This way, you further make the best use of your time.

4. PROCRASTINATION IS A DANGEROUSLY PLEASANT HABIT
How about the wasted moments that are totally of your making? Sometimes you just keep wasting your own time by being too lazy to do what’s important. Procrastinating and telling yourself you will do that task the following day. Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield said “Know the true value of time: snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”.

Or maybe you are waiting for the perfect moment to get started? The fact is that the perfect moment is most likely not going to come. Other times you might be busy doing every other task except the important task. Or maybe you have the habit of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. You have to learn from your mistakes and then avoid repeating them.

5. OTHER PEOPLE DESPERATELY WANT YOUR TIME
And then we have the menace of other people who waste our time, either at work or outside work. This is where we have to be firm and refuse to be sorry for trying to take control of our time and our lives. It is important to learn to delegate tasks. Set time limits. Make appointments with people at work and in your personal life. Learn to politely say “no” without fear.

6. EXPOSURE TO WORK-LIFE IMBALANCE
Do you spend several hours at work away from your loved ones? Maybe you do this in exchange for financial benefits to provide for your loved ones. You need to learn to find a balance here. At the end of the day, the time that you get to spend doing the things you love with those you love is the most important.

Do you want to get to the end of your life only to find that you lived most of it not present in the lives of your loved ones? Not truly experiencing life. It is easy to get so engrossed with the hustle and grind of making money to live life. So much that you forget to live life altogether.

People do get carried away with the desperate desire to provide for people and things they care about. At the end of the day, they overlook the importance of spending quality time with them. They forget the importance of being fully involved with them, body and soul. Work-related distractions always come in the way.

7. BORING ROUTINES MAKE THE YEARS OF YOUR LIFE SEEM SHORT
Research by psychologists Dinah Avni-Babad and Ilana Ritov showed that the more we focus on a task we’re busy with, the faster time tends to fly. But with boring routine tasks, the slower time tends to drag. That doesn’t mean your limited time will feel like it flew past if you’re busy living your life to the fullest. When you reflect on memorable experiences, the reverse is the case. Interesting time periods seem like they took a longer time. But boring routine experiences seem to have flown past quite fast.

This is because fun times usually have a lot of new memorable experiences. But boring routine activities usually come with little or no new experiences.

Have you ever wondered why the years seem to be flying by so fast the older you become? Even though they didn’t seem to fly so fast when you were younger. Another research by Psychologist William James showed that the older we become the fewer the new experiences we are likely to have. This means the less fun we’re actually having. You paid attention to many new engaging experiences as a youth. This made the years seem to move slowly. Develop a habit of setting time aside to get engaged in many new fun experiences regardless of your age.

Strive to have your days seem short and your years to seem long. And not having your days seeming long while your years seem short.

As hard as it might sound, the fact remains that sometimes it is better to trade some of your money for time. Especially if you have little or no passive income that has your money doing all the work for you. It is better to earn a little less money and have more time to live the time of your life. Or will you rather have more money with little or no life to show for it? I guess your answer would be “No”.


Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on September 28, 2016.

Originally published at medium.com

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