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By Susan Rider
Don’t you wish you could go to the store and purchase a bottle of time? Wouldn’t that solve many of your stress moments and certainly help you complete your to do list? Time is something that either is controlled by us or controls us.
Recently, I was attending a funeral and I heard, “I wish I spent more time with her,” “I wish I talked about this,” “I wish …” You get the point.
I have a friend I worked with at First Hardin National Bank. First Hardin was more than 100 years old was bought by Citizens Fidelity and then PNC Bank. My friend, Patsy, and I moved on in life, and we left First Hardin about 28 years ago. Patsy and I have exchanged Christmas cards for the last 28 years. In every card, we say let’s get together this year.
It seems the years go by and we still haven’t gotten together. We just have never been able to find the time.
Everyone has things they want to do but haven’t found the time to complete the task. I now hear people say, “that’s on my bucket list.” Well, hopefully you’ll get to that list before you start taking the “dirt nap.”
I prefer to look at it this way: The now list. This week I completed two things on my now list, and it feels really good. Below are a few ideas on how to manage your time and get to the items on your now list.
WASTED TIME. Do away with things you consider wasted time. Realize things you consider wasted time might have value for others because they think differently or feel differently than you. Wasted time might include things like cleaning house, Facebook, polishing silver, running to the grocery, playing games, watching television, reading fiction books, waiting in lines, running errands or other time-consuming tasks you do not like.
STOLEN TIME. Take control of stolen time. Stolen time might be a nosey neighbor or friend who calls when there is new gossip or waiting at a doctor’s office or dentist’s office. Stolen time is time you feel you don’t have control of and someone else is in control of time important to you.
ORGANIZATION. Getting organized and performing tasks you feel must be done in a more efficient manner will allow more time for the things you truly enjoy. Take, for instance, errand running. Make a list of all stops you need to make. Organize the list by proximity and route so you spend less time in the car and more time getting your task completed. Combine the tasks if you can.
PRIORITIZATION. Prioritize your time. Make a list and drop things that aren’t a priority, number everything by priority. You will find items that are not very important to you automatically will get dropped off your list. By prioritizing your list, you can avoid over-committing yourself and leave more time for your rewarding events. Prioritize by what must get done and what you would love to do. What a novel idea? By prioritizing your now list, you will eliminate regrets and find more joy. Recently, on my travels I noticed many people are waking up about prioritization, value of time and accomplishments. A hotel chain has changed the note paper in each room to say, “The Accomplished List” rather than “To Do List.” A great switch.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT. Whenever you are asked to participate or to do something, look at your time as a precious jewel. Put a value to it. For example, every hour of every day is valued at $50 or every hour from 8 to 10 p.m. is valued at $50 and other hours are $20. Is it worth that amount to invest your time? It’s an interesting way to look at your tim,e but if you attach a monetary value to it you will be less likely to waste it.
Your time is precious. Enjoy every moment.
Susan Rider is Speakers With Spark’s Lead Dynamo. She lives in Upton.