COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
You can’t…buy it…catch it…hear it…touch it…recycle it…rewind it…return it…stop it…or sell it…yet, there are over 10,000 books available on Amazon.com on how to manage “it”.
This incredibly democratic, elusive and rigid concept governed by physics which holds everyone accountable is time. It is the great equalizer. Everyone gets the same number of minutes per day regardless of age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status: 1,440 minutes per day. Now, what you do with “it” is completely up to you.
When we are young, we often take time for granted. We anxiously look forward to “growing up”, “being bigger, stronger, or taller.” We can’t wait to be 10, then 16, then 18 and then 21 yrs old. Our vitality, vigor, and invincibility blind us to the march of time as we focus on the next milestones of life. As you speed though these milestones (only to reach another decade signpost and then another), you begin to realize that it is not about the destination or milestone, so much as it is about the journey and making a difference along the way. Inspire those around you through your actions. Share your life experiences, your successes, and your lessons learned. In the end, it’s not about the items you’ve accumulated in life but rather the lives you’ve touched and people you’ve helped along the way.
Invest your time!
We are inundated by a constant flow of data every day. From smartphones to televisions to social media, we are under attack from information overload. Compound this overload with a bottomless inbox and an arm-length “To Do List” and it feels like we’re on a hamster wheel. If only I had more time.
The supply of time is finite, so you must look to the demand side of the equation for the solution. One useful approach is to prioritize your demand. Categorize your list into the things you must do, need to do, and want to do. Unfortunately, this can be difficult and takes some discipline, but if you can align your time with your priorities you will begin to see results. Ask yourself: Am I focusing on the right priorities? Am I getting closer to my goals? Or, am I wasting precious time on non-value added or mindless tasks that don’t contribute to my health, my goals or my self-improvement? Ultimately, your time is the most precious resource that you manage.
Life is too short to not prioritize!
Over 27 years ago, my Air Force Academy sponsor, retired Col. Billy Meazell, shared an incredibly valuable lesson about the 80:20 rule in relation to time. He said, “Allocate 80 percent of your time ‘doing’ and the other 20 percent ‘thinking’ about how you could do it better.” By following this rule, you continually improve your processes and more efficiently use your time. I encourage you to block time on your schedule every week and determine if there is a better way to use your time.
Schedule time for reflection.
Lastly, it is imperative that we are respectful of each other’s time. We’re all on the same 24 hour clock!
I leave you with an uplifting quote from an incredibly wise individual…Master Oogway:
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present!”
You only get 1,440 minutes per day…Reflect-Invest-Prioritize…you can’t afford to waste “it”…tick-tock!