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If you lose money, you can recover it and if you lose a job, you can always find another. However, if you lose time, it’s lost forever.
Time is an intangible force of nature that’s extremely precious, for it’s the only element in the world that’s irretrievable. The sad truth is, we don’t value it as much as we should. If we think about it, time is the basic building block from which money, recognition, and all the things we strive for are achieved. If we didn’t have the time, we wouldn’t even be able to work toward our goals in the first place.
In a single day, we have 24 hours. That’s a whopping 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds, depending on how you want to see it. Assuming that we have a wholesome sleep and spend 7-8 hours a day in bed, we’ll still be left with 16-17 hours of opportunity. How do we spend these hours?
Do you spend 8-9 hours of it doing a job you love? Or do you slave away feeling unhappy and claustrophobic in a small cubicle? Do you spend at least half an hour giving your body the exercise it needs? Or do you sit for hours on end on your couch watching Netflix and scrolling through your Instagram feed? Do you set aside 30 minutes every day to achieve your goals? Or do you spend what’s left of your time after work hanging out with people who don’t inspire or motivate you to be the best version of yourself?
You don’t have to answer me but at least you owe yourself an honest reply.
Most of us are guilty of wasting time, even if it is just an hour per day. Sometimes, wasting time turns into a daily habit that eventually stops us from focusing our attention on things that matter. If this sounds like a favorite pastime of yours, here are 5 things you can do to kick it to the curb:
1. Create a schedule and stick to it.
Whether you want to use a good old planner book or Google Calendar is up to you but keeping a schedule and following it is one of the easiest ways to make sure you waste no time. First, block out half an hour in the morning for breakfast and an hour in the afternoon and evening for lunch and dinner. Next, fill in your work hours. Think of all the activities you’d like to do on a daily and weekly basis. Bear in mind that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, so it’s important that you set aside time for fun and relaxation. Once you’re done with the planning process, it’s time to go!
2. Turn off notifications on your phone.
Are you easily distracted? If you are, you’ll agree that the constant notifications on your phone get the better of your attention. Or in the worst case, you open Facebook or Reddit “for a minute” and the next thing you know, half an hour has magically passed. Fortunately, all smartphones have the option to turn off notifications. You can do this by going to your settings and turning off notifications for social media platforms, games and any other unnecessary apps that take up too much of your precious time.
3. Get into the habit of multitasking.
You’re probably already aware of the great benefits of multitasking. After all, the adage “kill two birds with one stone” wasn’t said in vain. If you could clean your house while listening to a podcast you’ve been wanting to listen to for a while, or meet your target steps for the day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator while running errands, wouldn’t you go for it? Whenever you can multitask at ease, you should.
4. Learn to say “No”.
While saying “yes” is a great way to try new things, life is too short to do things you don’t want to do. A lot of us are hesitant to say “no”, even when we want to, out of fear of looking bad or offending others. If you don’t want to join your colleagues for Happy Hour, say so. If you don’t want to see the movie your friends want to watch, then don’t go. Once you start saying “no”, you’ll realize how much time you can save and use toward achieving your goals.
5. Learn to prioritize.
When you prioritize, you’ll spend little to no time on minor, unimportant things, leaving you with lots of time to spend on the important stuff. This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to hear how often the simple, yet powerful act of setting priorities is overlooked. To identify your priorities, start by writing down the tasks you have to complete on a piece of paper along with any deadlines assigned to each task. Next, take 3 different colored highlighters and highlight tasks that are “very important”, “important”, and “not-so-important” in different colors. Once you’ve done this, you’ll know exactly what to do.
Now, are you ready to put your time to good use?
About Andres Pira – philanthropist, real estate tycoon, author, speaker, and global citizen. Andres Pira enjoys living in Thailand, where his journey began from Homeless to Billionaire.
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