By Stephanie Brewer —
What happens when you have a limited amount of something valuable? We usually think of money when it comes to limited resources. There never seems to be enough to do what we need to do. But money isn’t the only limited resource. Our time is limited and it is just as valuable!
Why is time important?
- Use it well and you get more accomplished.
- With more time, you can honor your commitments – and have more time for fun!
- Time managed well sends the message that you care about other people’s time too.
- Business leaders value time management as one of the top skills in employees.
How we manage our time communicates clear messages to others. When we arrive early to an event or to meet a friend, we communicate that we value the time of those involved. Completing an assignment or work project early gives us time to review the work without rushing and often to make improvements. By contrast, when we arrive late or rush to turn work in, we are sending the message that the people or projects aren’t important to us.
Do you have a friend who always arrives late? Or maybe you have a difficult time arriving to school, work or an event on time? Do you ever feel rushed to get somewhere or to complete an assignment with enough time to review before submitting? These are all symptoms of a different problem—failing to plan. Most people aren’t late because they want to be late. They are late because they failed to plan enough time to manage all the things along the way.
Be sure you plan for all the ‘extras’ when you’re making plans. Just like money, time goes more quickly than we expect. When you make a plan to arrive at an event or a meeting (or school), be sure to add time for getting ready, gathering your items to leave, loading things in the car, extra traffic or a detour, parking, finding the room, finding a seat and settling in. If you plan only time to get ready and travel to your destination, you have under planned for all the ‘extras.’ Below are some tips to help manage your time.
Tips for making the best of your time:
- Make a plan
- Remember to include travel time (add an extra 10 minutes)
- Plan for delays (add an extra 10 minutes)
- Give yourself time for ‘do-overs’
- Get ready first before doing ‘one last thing’
- Plan to arrive early (add an extra 10 minutes)
- Be realistic about what you can— and can’t get done
Remember that time is a precious resource and building in extra time will help us relax, do better work and send the message that we value others’ time too.
I have only just a minute,
Only sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, can’t refuse it,
Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it,
But it’s up to me to use it.
I must suffer if I lose it,
Give account if I abuse it,
Just a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.
—Dr. Benjamin E. Mays