I was particularly fascinated by the timing and movement of the minute hand as the second hand reached the XII point. I would often spend thirty minutes, sometimes even an hour sitting there watching time pass by.
I’m still fascinated by the movement of time.
The difference is that I’m no longer waiting for the second hand to reach the XII. Rather, I’m fighting with everything I’ve got to make the most of it.
We all have 24 hours
It’s what we want most, but what we take most for granted.
Some may argue that money is more important than time.
While one can make money with time, no one can buy time with money.
I argued that the difference between a six-year old and an adult is that the latter understands the value of time. Yet, far too many of us are still watching time pass by as the day tramples us over. There’s no such thing as a time calculator for your life.
Here’s the truth: Time doesn’t give a shit about us.
You can choose to wake up ten minutes late, or you may decide to watch another 40-minute episode of Walking Dead.
Either way, time doesn’t care.
It will continue to do what it has always done since its existence. Tick tock.
If we recognize time as a neutral element in life that is neither against us or on our side, it becomes easier to fully embrace the belief of carpe diem.
That is, the day will run you over unless you step up and seize it.
It adds up
The little things we do or don’t do during our day adds up over time.
A study done by The Daily Mail shows that the average person spends 14 minutes a day hitting the snooze button.
I do it too, and those extra minutes are often the best sleeps I get.
But if you do the math, that’s about 1 hour and 38 minutes a week or just under 85 hours a year. If you factor in life expectancy, it means you’ll waste somewhere around 173 days of your life hitting snooze.
Get off your ass.
“You may delay, but time will not.”
― Benjamin Franklin
Effective vs. Efficient
The most common mistake that we make is being efficient rather than effective. We convince ourselves that getting to “0″ in our inbox was the most productive use of our time, when we should be closing deals.
Although being efficient with our time is important, channeling our efficiency in the most impactful tasks is where we achieve maximum productivity.
Here are weapons to use for your battle against time:
1. Automate your decisions
Every day we make hundreds of small to big decisions, from what to have for breakfast to what meetings we should take.
There’s only a finite amount of decisions a human brain can make before exhausting all of our energy. This happens to many of us, and it’s known as decision fatigue.
When we suffer decision fatigue, our willpower begins to fade away and the quality of our decisions quickly diminishes.
A simple solution is to automate the small decisions that we normally need to make on a daily basis.
a) List your top 3 most important tasks the night before.
b) Do the most creative task first
c) Lay out your work clothes before you sleep
2. Join the 5am Club
If you want time, then make more time.
People always ask how the most successful people today get so much done in a day. It’s simple, they’re early risers.
When you wake up at 5am, there’s no one to distract you. In fact, there’s something about being awake knowing that everyone else is sleeping.
It fuels a sense of drive that you don’t get during normal work hours.
Whether it’s exercising, writing an article, or reading, you can accomplish in a few hours, what the rest of the world takes the whole day to do.
5–8am are your most productive hours. Join the 5am club.
3. Invest in the right tools
You don’t have to do this alone.
There are dozens of powerful, free tools online that can help you be more productive in less time. It’s without a doubt that making the most of your time comes with organization, scheduling, and preparation.
4. Just say no. Then say it 99 more times.
If you have 99 problems, time is one of them. Don’t worry, so does Jay-Z.
As time goes on, you’ll be presented with opportunities and so-called billion dollar ideas that will be tempting to explore. Making the right choice will become more crucial than ever, because as the number of opportunities in your life increases, so does the opportunity cost of your time.
Learn to say no. From partnerships to side projects to “coffee dates.”
Steve Jobs took Apple from good to great by reducing the number of product lines from 330 to 10 products. His mantra was to say no to almost everything in order to say yes to a few game-changing products.
Few opportunites will help us make the leap to success. Focus is the key.
“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”
― Bill Watterson
5. Relax and enjoy the music
Productivity does not always have to be about protecting time.
Engraving a mindset, where every single minute counts, can do more harm than good for your long-term happiness and effectiveness.
Five years from now, there will be very few productive tasks you completed that will be memorable. The task you finished today won’t matter in a week, certainly not a year. Squeezing in 5 extra minutes of productivity is not the answer.
Focus on creating quality moments in your life, which is guaranteed to be with you a year from now, even decades. These memories are created by taking a step back, being present in the moment, and seeing the bigger picture of what we want in our lives.
“When you run so fast to get somewhere, you miss half the fun of getting there. Hear the music, before the song is over.” — Tim Ferriss
Time may not give a shit about us, but it does demonstrate that we are all on equal footing in this world.
No matter who we are or where we live — we all have the same 24 hours to spend.
The biggest regret you can have in your life is waiting for the silence to start dancing when the drum beats have stopped playing. March your damn feet to the music, and do it now.
Cherish every hour you have left, spend it with the ones that love you, and don’t ever live your life for someone else.
The future may be uncertain, but the end is near.