We live in a society where people are so obsessed with having more and more materialistic possessions that they forget to take care of their most precious and not renewable resource: TIME!
“People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy.” - Seneca
Many people tend to work till night in jobs they hate just to have more money and squander it on useless things.
It’s insane to play this game, where you trade your most important asset for money.
Money, properties, and other assets can always be increased, our time is fixed!
However, it’s really easy to fall into this vicious circle where working as much as possible seems to be the best possible choice we can ever take.
What’s the price?
Studies show the negative impact of long working hours on general well-being.
Working long hours has been proved to drastically increase cardiovascular chronic diseases, anxiety, hypertension, mental health problems, depression, and addictions to alcohol and smoke.
There’s never been before a time when people’s health, relationships, and happiness have been so much at risk.
The message sold to us day in and day out is: “If you want to be happy, you need more, what you already have is not enough”!
By accepting this misleading “sermon” people end up being slaves to their jobs.
They no longer “work to live”, they “live to work”.
Human beings should focus on the quality of their life.
We should stay far away from the time for money trap, where we base our life exclusively around our work.
Just think for a moment, most of the people work in a 9 to 5 job, that is 40 hrs per week and over 2,000 hrs per year.
It’s an awful lot of time that you subtract from your unique life.
What is worse - 85% of the people worldwide are also disengaged at work.
This corrupt system has serious consequences on our general well-being.
Another myth sold to us is that we must work till retirement before being able to enjoy our life.
Following this misbelief, we tend to focus on the future, on the time when we will be free from all obligations.
We are so worried about what the future is going to be like that we let the present slip away.
In doing so we miss out on all the opportunities that come up every day, we forget about all the blessings we already have in our life.
People spend way too much of their time preparing for the life they will eventually have, forgetting about living today.
Time passes unnoticed and unseized.
The future's uncertain and it is outside our own control.
The life in the future we are looking forward to might never come.
Most people find themselves on their deathbed regretting not making the most out of their life.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that planning our future is wrong; but I really believe that allowing our concerns for the future to take away our most precious time, i.e. the PRESENT MOMENT is the biggest mistake we can ever make.
“Can anything be more idiotic than certain people who boast of their foresight? They keep themselves officiously preoccupied in order to improve their lives; they spend their lives in organizing their lives. They direct their purposes with an eye to a distant future. But putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today”. - Seneca
Having discussed how important our time is and how we often squander it, let’s dive into some ways to make the most out of our TIME.
10 TIPS TO CREATE VALUABLE TIME THROUGH YOUR DAY
1)DEFINE YOUR TOP PRIORITY
Ask yourself: “What is the one thing that I must get done by the end of the day”?
By having utter clarity on what you must achieve by the end of the day you avoid squandering your precious time on futile activities.
You are also able to better organise all the other minor tasks you have to carry out because you can arrange them around your main objective.
2)FIND YOUR MOST PRODUCTIVE TIME
You may be an early bird and be super productive in the morning, or you may need more time to warm up and become more efficient later on in the day.
It doesn’t really matter if you work better in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the evening, what matters is that you know the time frame when your productivity is at its highest level.
A trick to find out what hours suit you the most is to keep a diary and take note every hour about how you feel and perform.
3)SCHEDULE YOUR TASKS AND STICK TO THEM DAILY
A daily routine can help you achieve long-term goals by ensuring you're working towards them regularly.
Having a schedule allows you:
-to limit your procrastination and get things done,
-to find out which tasks need more effort,
-to understand the pace at which you’re capable of completing your work,
-to be more productive throughout the day,
-to prioritise your commitments.
4)FOCUS ON ONE THING AT A TIME
Doing too many things at a time is one of the biggest mistakes we do in our daily life.
Multitasking seems to be the best possible solution, but it forces us to do everything in a rush and we end up doing nothing properly.
Multitasking is the worst ever enemy of productivity!
Focusing on one task at a time allows you to get things done properly and to have more time to devote to other things.
5)TIDY UP YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT
Having a tidy space results in less time wasted looking for what you need in order to complete your tasks.
What’s more, having a tidy environment prevents you from getting stressed.
If you are anything like me, you have already experienced how stressful it is to not find something you really need.
6)LEARN TO SAY NO
Too often people tend to say YES to other people’s requests so as not to let them down, without realising that, in doing so, they are going to miss out on their own needs.
Learning to say NO doesn’t mean being rude or selfish, it’s an act of love towards oneself.
Saying NO to someone else’s request means saying YES to your priorities.
Nowadays most people have social media accounts, Netflix account, Apple TV account, Amazon Prime account, etc.
Let me ask you: How many hours a day do you WASTE on them?
Cutting the time wasted on the above platforms as much as possible allows you to have extra time to devote to something that is really important and that you might take for granted.
You could spend more time with your family.
Remember our time is limited, and we never know how long our loved ones will be with us.
Instead of squandering hours on social media and on watching TV, you could devote time to your personal development.
What would your life look like in one year if you invested 1 hr a day in your personal growth?
You should also make sure that you are not distracted by your mobile phone.
It can be a really precious resource, but it can easily turn into danger since it can be addictive.
Put your “black mirror” away from you when it’s time to work on your goals!
We are not robots, we need to rest.
Don't ask too much of yourself.
Arrange your breaks in a way that allows you to recover and better perform in your daily tasks.
Setting constant breaks throughout your day allows you to avoid running the risk of getting stressed.
Make the most out of your breaks by meditating, reading, doing exercise, or anything that can add value to your life.
This allows you to become a better version of yourself.
9)CREATE NEW MEMORIES
At the end of our life what really matters is not the number of possessions we have accumulated, but all the experiences we have had.
Make sure to live your life to the fullest by filling it with as many experiences as you can.
10)INVEST IN YOURSELF
The best way you can invest your time is by investing it in creating a life you love.
The longer you wait to start making a change, the longer you will spend your life working to make someone else’s dream a reality.
I personally took a shot in the dark when Covid-19 broke out.
When I was put on furlough I became aware that I was not living, I was giving all my attention and energy to my work, forgetting about my life.
I used to live to work.
The saddest thing was that I had got used to it.
But fortunately, I woke up and I made a covenant with myself: “I will never go back to the old working system, trading my time for money”.
I decided to join a digital academy and invest in myself, learning to master the digital skills that have enabled me to start my own online business.
A business that I could run from everywhere and that would not imply me working 8 hrs per day, 40 hrs per week, and over 2,000 hrs a year.
Thanks to the new technologies and software you can automate your business and leverage the net in a way that you no longer trade your time for money.
You are able to earn even when you sleep, 24/7/365.
Yes, I know that it can sound way too good to be true.
I also had the same feeling, but I wasn’t aware of the countless opportunities that there are in the digital era we live in.
It all boils down to two things - mastering the digital skills required to succeed in the digital economy and being surrounded by like-minded people that like you have chosen to invest in themselves to create a life worth living.
A life where FREEDOM is the key ingredient, because at the end of the day what really matters is how you spend your time.
We have gone through the importance of how we spend our time and listed some strategies you can start implementing right now in order to have more valuable time.
By following my simple time management tips, you should be able to make the most out of your most precious asset.
“It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much...The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.” - Seneca the Younger
I am looking forward to hearing how you have managed to give more value to your time and stop living it wastefully.