Sometimes it helps to just sit down and be reminded of what really matters most in life. I hope this helps.
So you are having a hard time completing your daily tasks and keeping everything up to date. Welcome to the party! You are experiencing a phenomena as old as humanity itself.
What about all of those successful people? You know, the ones that are rich and famous. They have enough resources and fame to do whatever they want. Why is it so hard for the rest of us?
If we are being honest, we must come to the conclusion that no one has enough time in the day; in their life. If they did, the term “bucket list” would not exist. Everyone is hampered by time. It never stops and so it runs us over, crushing us by its sheer power; showing us just how weak we really are.
How then do we get out in front of it? How can we complete all of what we want to complete and experience all that we want to experience while being chased by this force that transcends even the forces of nature?
The question puts me in mind of a movie scene I watched back when I was a kid. There are a group of explorers that find a hidden, and cursed, treasure in an Egyptian tomb. The main characters flee when the temple begins to collapse but the antagonist refuses to release the treasure. The main characters escape with their life and some small concessions but the antagonist pays for their greed with their life.
My 15 year old and I were watching the movie again. Early on in the scene my Son made the statement, “Well, that idiot is not gonna make it out of the temple alive!”
“Oh, really?” I queried.
“Yeah, come on Dad. Greed always gets the idiot. You should only take as much as you can carry and forget the rest.”
I laughed inside, remembering a very similar conversation with my Dad some two decades earlier.
If it is so obvious to us watching it on the big screen then why is the principle profoundly evasive to our recognition in real life!
Picture yourself standing in a room stocked full of treasures and pleasures. The second you put your paws on the treasure the whole place begins to collapse. What do you do? Pack as much as you can carry while you are running away? Load your arms full and stumble out?
You know, when I was younger, I would have chosen to keep what I could grab as I bolted for the door. Now that I am older, and presumably wiser, I would make a dash for the exit and count anything I had with me on the outside as a bonus… then I would hire some professional help and excavate the treasure at a later date reaping the rewards and spreading the wealth.
The same philosophy holds true for real life situations. When you have searched high and low and finally find what it is that you are looking for, do not expect to collect the rewards immediately. If those are your expectations, you will certainly be disappointed.
You must understand that the law of sowing and reaping is always in affect.
This law of sowing and reaping states:
- You will reap what you sow.
- You will reap more than you sow.
- You will reap later than you sow.
Just like planting corn in a garden. Once you have met the necessary soil and environmental conditions then if you plant corn kernels and tend to them, corn will grow; not carrots, onions or watermelons. When the corn grows, if properly cared for, each stalk will produce multiple ears and hundreds of kernels. But it will take months for the corn to mature and produce a yield.
That law governs every life. What that law ALSO INCLUDES is the law of the weeds.
The Law Of The Weeds proffers:
- If nothing is planted, weeds will grow.
- If something is planted, weeds will grow.
- The weeds will grow faster than what is planted.
- The weeds will steal nutrition from what is planted stunting the growth of the plants.
- If you want the plants to thrive you must destroy the weeds.
To be succinct, the laws of nature teach us that if we want to have something beneficial then we must work for it. Conversely, just like weeds, if you want something casual then it will manifest itself en masse, choking out anything beneficial. It has been said that to love your garden you must hate the weeds. With a firm grasp on these laws and their affectations let us return to the original question.
How do I find more time in my day?
- Figure out what you want. What you REALLY WANT!
- Find what you want.
- Follow the law of sowing and reaping.
- Follow the law of the weeds.
As stated, this formula is predicated on figuring out what you want. To be perfectly frank, singling out your goal is the hardest portion of the formula. If we refer to the aforementioned treasure story, most of the movie was played out with the company trying to locate the hidden treasure. By the time the treasure was realized it was almost time for the heros to ride off into the sunset. It is my sincere wish that you locate your treasure as quickly as possible. That way you can find it and then plan how to extricate it with enough time to enjoy the rewards before your sun sets.
- Figure out what you want. Do your homework and realize that money is not a treasure; it is the reward of becoming a treasure.
- Find what you want. Search high and low, far and wide. You will find what you are looking for… so be careful what you look for.
- Regard the law of sowing and reaping. Develop patience and other virtues, they are the true treasures and they sweeten the reward.
- Regard the law of the weeds. Go through the steps to make yourself worthy of earning the treasure.
But what does this have to do with finding more time?
To borrow a term from golf, your time is, “in the weeds.” That term denotes that you are off the intended path and playing from a difficult spot. We can use that term as a double meaning to allude to the law of the weeds as well. The weeds (distractions) are stealing your time, sucking the life out of the plants that you are intending to grow. Get rid of the weeds! Distractions are literally stealing your time. Remember the law of the weeds, if you love your garden you must HATE THE WEEDS!
Follow this protocol:
- Write down your list for the day.
- Plan your time for the day.
- Guard your schedule as if your life depended on it, because it does. Life is the culmination of your decisions, including indecision.
What to do about distractions:
When distractions arise, and they will. You must handle them with care and determination. Your judgement must be swift and principle based… meaning NOT BASED ON EMOTIONS. To deal with distractions properly classify them into 4 categories and deal with them accordingly.
Category 1. A worthy distraction.
Category 2. An important distraction
Category 3. An important distraction that can be handled by someone else or at a later date.
Category 4. Unimportant distractions.
Allow me to clarify the categories by telling you some stories.
Category 1- My family and I were driving when I happened to notice an elderly lady attempting to take her walker down a steep grassy bank that led to a busy street. I immediately realized that she was in great peril. Whipping the car into the next driveway I ran to her and helped her find her way back to her house. As we neared the house her daughter burst through the front door in hysterics. She explained that her Mother, the elderly Lady with the walker, suffered from Dementia and thanked us for saving her Mother’s life.
That, my friends, was a worthy distraction. We surely saved either life or limb by stopping to help.
Category 2- Several years ago I went through a serious health issue. For some unknown reason my blood sugar would suddenly drop causing me to feel faint or dizzy. Being a stubborn male, I attempted to ignore the problem claiming that it was weakness and I could push through it. That ignorance nearly cost me my life. I wisened up and eventually realized that I could carry certain foods with me and now when I start to feel dizzy I take a break and eat. Problem solved. Neglecting needs because they are inconvenient is not a wise life management strategy.
Category 3- My Daughter bursts into the room while I am writing. “Dad, come quick!” Like any good Father I obey only to find that she has found a funny video that she wants to share with me. I then take some time to explain to her that she is VERY important to me. Spending time with my family is a top tier treasure to me. However, distractions such as this can be saved for another time when it will not be an actual distraction. It will then be a planned investment.
Category 4- If it does not fall into the first three categories then it is a category 4. As my friend used to say, “give it the boot!” Using that statement meant kick it away and that is precisely what you must do, even if it ruffles feathers or hurts feelings. Kick it away.
Let me interject these words of wisdom at this point. If someone does not like you, make certain that the dislike is over your position not your disposition. That means kick the distraction away not the people. You need to stand for what is right and for what you believe but you do not need to be a jerk about it.
John is a recognized and highly respected author, educator, and businessman with a reputation for helping individuals and organizations create helpful and sustainable results.