I Need More Time
How often I hear these words “I need more time in my life to do what I want to do. ”Desperately wanting more time became my biggest priority in 2004, when time became more important to me than anything else in the world. My brother, who was also my dearest friend, was diagnosed with lung disease. I realized the seriousness of those words when he told me, and spending more time with him became my focus. Lung disease is not curable and depending on when it is diagnosed, it can be controlled to a certain extent. In the case of my brother, his disease was advanced and the only hope for him was a lung transplant, and that would take time.
Time became my hope and my enemy. Time became more important to me than any kind of wealth. Thoughts of losing him permeated my every waking thought and I prayed a lot…for more time.
Spending time with people that I love has always been central to me, but suddenly I felt tremendous guilt that I had allowed work and other pressing needs to prevent me from spending time with my family in the past. I just didn’t have enough time it seemed. Now when I hear someone tell me they don’t have time to do what they really want, it makes me feel annoyed.
More Time or More Money-What’s Your Priority?
We all have 24 hours in our day, but what you do with those precious hours is something you should really think about. Ask yourself some questions: “Am I spending my hours doing what I love?” “Am I allowing myself enough time to spend with my family?” You can never turn back the clock or wish back time. Most of us take time for granted.
The majority of us have to work for a living and that consumes much of our time, but how you spend the rest of your time will inevitably become a focal point for you someday. It happens when you lose someone special or you recognize that you never fulfilled any of your dreams. It becomes a sad dose of reality when you look back and realize the important things you missed, because you believed there was never enough time. The truth is there wasn’t sufficient time because you didn’t create enough time for those things.
It’s important to define the priorities in your life and plan your time around those priorities. Don’t become a workaholic and rob yourself of the joys of life, time for family, friends, love, dreams and so much more.
You have to learn to manage your time to get the most out of your life, or sooner or later you will have feelings of remorse and regret, and perhaps even guilt. You don’t want to be one of those people who are plagued by thoughts of, “if only I had…” Learn to take control of your life and manage your time now.
Time is precious and is fleeting. Don’t wait until tragedy comes into your life with an irreplaceable loss before you comprehend the significance of time and its passing.
Moments become memories and that is what you hold onto when you experience a loss. You don’t look back with fondness at times when you worked 12 hours a day, or sat in front of a TV or computer for endless hours. Do something with your time that brings joy, fulfillment and gratification to you.
Organization Tips to Give You More Time for the Important Things
In order to start managing your time better, you need to look at how you spend your time. When I began the transition of prioritizing how I spent my time everyday so I could get the most out of my life and family, I analyzed my activities for just one week. It was an eye opener when I looked at how many hours I was wasting on trivialities. Just the time I spent checking and responding to daily emails was ridiculous. It was important to my business yes, but it was eating up so many hours of my day. That was just the beginning of the revelation I had when I looked at how I spent my time on a daily basis. So I went on a quest to better manage my time so I could focus on the things that were important to me. Here is how I manage my time. Maybe it will help you too.
- Prioritize your daily activities-Look at what needs to be done and categorize by; immediate, later, or by end of week or month.
- Keep a daily calendar - After prioritizing, I jot down the activities by day and sometimes by hour if I know I can complete in an hour. Other activities fall into week and month.
- Check and return emails at a set time - I notify my clients, colleagues and friends that I only check my emails 3 times a day, and that is morning, noon and evening. I tell them if they have something urgent to discuss, they can call me.
- Extend your day - I am an early bird and up at 5am, but to ensure I make the best use of my time I added an hour to my day by rising 30 minutes earlier and going to bed 30 minutes later at night. The early morning allows me to get more done because I have no interruptions. I write down my “to do” list for next day 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Schedule family time – I dedicate 1-1/2 to 2 hours minimum a day to spend time with family and loved ones. That may be simply talking on the phone or getting together, but it is a priority for me.
- Outsource tasks if you are inundated with work- I outsourced some of my administrative tasks to others. This alone saved many hours in my day. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for this kind of help.
- Multi task – I am definitely a “serial multi tasker” and if I can accomplish doing two or three things at once, I always do. It often cuts my work time in half.
Time is very important to me. Spending time with family and loved ones is a big part of my life. I lost my dear brother and best friend to lung disease on Christmas Day 2005. How I wish I had more time to spend with him.