“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you”. (Carl Sandburg)
What does your average day look like? How do you fill your hours?
If you do not know how, try to become more aware of it by keeping a daily journal. You can do it as a temporary endeavor just in order to increase your personal awareness about how, and on what kind of things, you actually spend your precious time.
Time is our friend, if we let it be. Time can also be our enemy, in case we are not well enough focused upon involving people and things in our lives that really matter to us, and make a difference. When keeping a daily journal you will soon become aware of what kind of things take up your time. Divide those things into categories according to positive and negative time (and energy) consumers. I bet you will be surprised at how much of your daily, and weekly, time goes wasted upon things (and even people) of no relevance. Things (and people) that are meaningless, rather consuming your energy than helping you achieve your goals.
I am not saying that we should ignore people, be cold-hearted or anything alike. The fact may just be that you are spending too much thought, effort, and energy on people and circumstances that do not serve your life purpose. People, who want to rob you of your time without having space for you in their lives, or in their affairs. This is especially true if you are a giver by nature, rather than a taker. It is not always possible to know beforehand what is useful, and what only consumes your time without giving you anything in return. A good way of estimating whether something/someone is worth your time is to observe behavior (in regards to people) and concrete results (in regards to things). People who value you will not waste your time, or your energy. They will respect you, and stick to their promises.
Tips for increasing your valuation of time, and making your days more effective:
– Keep a daily journal. Yes, daily, not only on a weekly basis. The better you realize how you actually spend your days, the easier it gets to make important changes, and adjustments.
– As soon as you notice which things (and people) consume too much of your energy, focus on diminishing their influence in your life.
– If you are a giver by nature (hopefully), keep on giving. But do not let people and/or circumstances take advantage of you.
– Be prepared to cut down on energy- and time consumers such as TV as well. If you spend three hours per day watching TV, start by reducing it to two hours, and fill the gap with something else, like reading an interesting book, or an (extra) hour of exercise.
– Cut down on unnecessary social media usage, and unnecessary emails. Only subscribe to pages that truly serve you, and unsubscribe from newsletters that do not. I can tell from personal experiences how much time we spend on useless emails, reading spam and all the like filling our digital mail boxes every day.
– If you haven ́t earlier, start respecting your time NOW. It is not too late.
– Remember also to respect other people’s time.
– Stop being too nice. If you have something scheduled, and your counterpart does not show up, or shows up too late without even apologizing, it is a bad sign. People and circumstances that do not value your time are not worth your time.
– If you still, despite of integrating these tips into your daily life, have trouble with time wasters: consider hiring a coach who is helping you. However, be careful when selecting a coach and make sure that your coach is someone who values your time, and is worthy of it.