Someone has quipped, “Why do we call it ‘Rush Hour’ when everyone is moving so slowly? Ironically, rush hour (and really almost all other times on the road) is filled with people in their cars in a hurry to get somewhere. People are jamming the accelerator down, darting in and out of traffic lanes, and racing as fast as they can to get wherever they are going. We are in a hurry. We may be calling it rush hour because of what we feel inside. We have places to go, people to see, meetings to attend, planes to catch, events to take kids to, tasks to check off, and more. We are busy. There is never enough time to get it all in. So we hurry and rush (and more than just for an hour!)
Frankly, being busy and commenting on the insufficient time we have to “do it all” has become somewhat of a badge of honor.
Some time ago, I attended a workshop where one of the participants shared learning that the word “time” was an acronym to help us better live our lives. She said TIME stands for Things I May Earn. Then, she told us how time is a gift each of us has been given to us to earn what we most want in life. It was an inspiring thought. However, do we really look at time as a gift? We often say we do not have enough time. Frankly, being busy and commenting on the insufficient time we have to “do it all” has become somewhat of a badge of honor. We don’t really like to wear it, but we find ourselves reluctantly putting it on more often than not. Have you recently said to yourself or others, “I just do not have enough time!”? In the hustle and hurry of this life, we may find ourselves stretched too thin, harried with pressures and demands, and feeling sure we are running out of time. This is a real challenge.
David A. Bednar has said, “All of us have all of the time available to us.” Each one of us has been given the same allotment of 24 hours in the day—an equal share. So, the issue may not so much be how much time we have been given, but what we choose to do with that time. All of us know someone who accomplishes a ton of things and is really successful. Sometimes we marvel and send out a desperate, “I wish I could be more like that.” Likely, we also know people who never seem to get anything done and we wonder how they remember to eat to survive! Most of us are somewhere in the middle—too hurried and feeling pressured by the all-too-many demands placed on us and our time. Regardless, each has been allocated the same amount of time each day.
So, here is the rub! We all have time for the things which matter most to us. Let’s be honest here! We make time to do the things which we desire most to do. So, this is really not about time at all. This is about priorities. It is about the choices you make and what you wish to emphasize in your life. It is not “I don’t have enough time,” as much as it is probably “I spent too much time on (fill in the blank) so I no longer have sufficient time for (fill in the blank).” Let’s face it!
We are victims of thinking we do not have enough time. We become powerless when we blame time for not getting done all that we so wish to do.
In stark contrast, we become powerful, when we reclaim time as a gift and choose (also in power) to do better and more with it.
So, let us look at time as a gift—as Things I May Earn (This would be a good time to pull out a piece of paper!). What if you first looked at the things you really want to earn in this life? What is it which matters most to you? What do you consider to be your most significant priorities? If you are like most of us, you have responsibilities at home, a job or school, and you want to enjoy life. Even more, you probably have dreams you wish to achieve. Please list these. Get them down on paper so you can see them and give them life. As you look at this list, please courageously ask yourself, “Of all the activities I am most often engaged in, how many are connected to these priorities, goals, and dreams?” If there is a disconnect between this list and what you are rushing around trying to do, you probably need to rearrange how you spend your time.
At the risk of oversimplifying, when your list of priorities and what you are doing do not match up, the simple answer is to plan. Sit down and take the time to decide how you will spend your day, your week, your month, and your life. Seriously, take the time. Then, make the changes you need to make. Some things likely will drop off your activity list. Others will be added. Schedules may need to be adjusted. You may choose to go to bed earlier and get up earlier, and so on. If this is too difficult for you to figure out, a friend, a counselor, or a coach can help you sort this out.
Time really is a gift. There is so much to earn by choosing wisely how we use it. Let’s resolve to no longer be victims of “not having enough time.” Let’s choose more carefully how we use the gift that has been allotted to us!
Thanks for making the time to read this! I just handed you the gift of time! What will you earn with it?