Time is precious and your life is made up of time. Therefore it may be said that when you waste time you are wasting your life.
You probably don’t realise that every day you make thousands of decisions about where you will focus your attention and your efforts. When you decide to focus on a single project you inadvertently say no to many other activities.
Saying no does not come easily to most people, however, it is something you must face to get what you want out of life. Whether you like it or not you will be faced with choices in life. You have limited resources and you must decide where to invest them.
Time is one resource you cannot take for granted. None of us know how much time we have ahead of us. Remember one day you are going to die, so you need to decide how you will use your time until then. How you invest your time determines who you are and ensures you pay more than lip service to those things close to your heart.
Make sure you stop and ask yourself often if what you are about to do is the most valuable thing you can do, in that role, at that time. In other words you need to recognise the most valuable activity when you spend time with your family will be different to what you value in your work role.
Sometimes you will need to let other people down by saying no to their requests. People will make unreasonable requests of you, which means eventually you will let someone down because you don’t have enough time, money, people or energy to serve everyone. Every time you say yes to something that consumes your time it will cost you the opportunity to do something else.
I am not just talking about work. Your time is your life. Imagine missing an anniversary with your partner because the boss wanted you to work late. Imagine missing you child’s birthday because a customer expected you to spend two hours helping them after your work.
These are just some of the precious moments you will never get back. I may be repeating myself but this point is really that important. Make sure you choose how you use your time wisely. Learn to say no, so you live your life instead of someone else’s.
I will leave you with the wisdom of Steve Jobs. He said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the results of other people’s thinking.”