The Gift of Time

Time is a constant, and is provided freely and equally to all. Time is also a premium commodity, coveted by both individuals and organizations. They all compete for it in countless ways, and are willing to spend on it a great deal of value, monetary and otherwise. Time is one of the first things children learn about so they can begin fit in with society. But as is evident in many adults’ lives, mastering control over time is an ongoing challenge.

We can all relate to that. We have all arrived late to a meeting, spent more time than necessary on a project, struggled to fit certain events into our schedule, and other time conflicts. We all lead busy lives of varying degrees. How often do you need to resolve calendar conflicts, professional or personal? What do you need to do for your agenda to run more smoothly?

Most of us relate to time in a passive manner. We arrange our days using basic arithmetic rules. Simple numbers that fit together, based on experience, hope, and faith. Experience contributes the sense of how much time a task may take, hope rounds up any miscalculations that estimate may give, and faith instills trust in it all. Hopefully, it will all work out.

But time and again, it doesn’t.

Again, you arrive late or need to leave early and apologize. Once more you sit idle between meetings, frustrated. Your time is valuable no matter what you getting being paid for it. Keeping an effective and efficient schedule is a delicate task, and requires equal amounts of experience, common sense, fortune telling, and decisiveness. Some of us treat time like a fresh breeze, while others handle it as a withering storm. Without a crystal ball, you need to concentrate your efforts on other means.

Take steps to gain control over your schedule, and improve your ability to plan ahead.

Intelligence, common sense, and the various forms of data available to you allow you to assess your task. When approaching unfamiliar territory, search for information that will allow you to make a reliable estimate of the time needed for the task. Examples: plug in your route into Google Maps, and specify the day and time you plan to leave at, or arrive by, to get a close approximation of travel time. Look up previous similar tasks on your planner or ask experienced colleagues for input.

Maintaining efficient and effective schedule can lead to satisfying personal and professional life. If you are not satisfied with the way you keep your schedule, take active steps to improve your control over it. Talk to people you are close to and find ways to better arrange your personal time. Seek a mentor at work to help you improve your work schedule. Hire a life coach to help you set goals and reach them successfully. Be the driver of your schedule, not the passenger.

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