A Riddle

Author: , 2007


A riddle for you:

What can't money buy?
Once it is gone you can't reclaim it.
You have to use it now.
We all receive the same amount each day.


The answer:
Time

Wisdom of Arnold Bennett
Be inspired by these words written by Arnold Bennett , "You wake up in the morning and lo! Your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of the unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life. It is yours. It is the most precious of your possessions. No one can take it from you. It is unstealable. And no one receives either more or less than you receive."

The Issue of Procrastination
How often do you hear yourself say, I should have done that yesterday? Or, tomorrow I will do that. And, you end up thinking about the time you had yesterday, and the time you have tomorrow.

Procrastination is one of the main components of lost time. In fact, procrastination may also be the reason that what you have dreamed about remains only a dream.

If you look at thousands of people who have used their time to start and operate a business, or to complete post-secondary educational programs, or have contributed to service organizations despite working full-time, each one of these people used the same amount of time that each of us have. There is no one who has more time in day.

The real difference between
accomplishments or the achievement of goals is how effectively we use the time we have. If you desire something no matter whether it is seeking a new career, or to start your own business, you have to utilize each hour with the knowledge that once gone it can never be recovered. This means that a specific amount of time is set aside for those things or endeavours that must be initiated. Once initiated, you must follow through with the same precise use of time so that you can end up at the end of the goal.

Issue of Busy But Unproductive
One of the other issues in the management of time is that time which is in effect wasted because while you were busy what you have inappropriately defined as necessary tasks has been no more than engaging in unproductive use of time. This means that you have not used your available time to do what is absolutely critical to be done to move forward, but instead, have used your time on less than important tasks.

For example, let's say that you decide to start a business as a wood worker making pine tables and chairs. One of the first priorities may be the task of finding a suitable location for your business that is not only easy for your potential clients to find you but gives you sufficient space for all necessary aspects of storing wood, cutting and sanding, and finishing. Your first priority then is to find a preferred location and a building that is large enough to satisfy your entire operation. However, if you use your available time , in the first instance, to source a business card provider, you are not devoting your time to a priority. Obviously, you will need business cards at some point but this is not your first priority. Yes, you were busy doing a task but you have not yet found a location. It is something similar to putting the cart before the horse.

Issue of Distractions
Another critical issue in time management, especially if you work for yourself, is that of distractions. Distractions can come in all shapes and sizes and some that I'll list may not be applicable to your situation. Here is a partial list of distrcations:

- Non-business phone calls. One of the most frustrating of distractions are those caused by friends and family. Part of the main reason for this is that a) you have not communicated ground rules for these people, and b) because these types of people do not
appreciate that your time is not their time. In other words, they do not recognize, or choose not to recognize, that you are running a business; a business that demands all of your attention through normal working hours. Personally, I occasionally still experience this issue even though I have communicated time and time again that I need to work.

- Non-business visitors. Another issue you'll face is the unsolicited and unexpected visitors to your place of business whether that be at home or at a different location. It seems, for some, that these types of people do not value your business time thinking instead that since they know you personally this qualifies them to interrupt you whenever they feel like it. To them, it would seem, your business hours is a time for them to socialize with no apparent thought given that they are disturbing your business and, potentially, your ability to engage customers. How you handle these interruptions will be a test of your patience and good graces. The message, if not verbal, can be communicated by paying attention to your customers first and anything else that you must complete in order to maximize your business hours. If you place these types of people second on the list of attention, soon they will reduce or eliminate unwanted visitations.

Something To Think About
As we awake each day, we should consider carefully how we will use the time we have today. What are the things you want to accomplish? At the end of each day we should be able to look back on the day and say, this is what I accomplished today. What is your most valued of possessions? Do you consider "time" as a valued possession?

Some people live their lives with no regard for time. And, sadly, before they know it their time is running out. Time truly is a valued possession; you can't buy it; you can't reclaim it once it is gone, and you have to use it now when it is available.

An Inspiring Poem
I found this motivational poem written by Pearl Phillips that for me reinforces the thoughts of the time we had yesterday, the time we have tomorrow, and the time we have today.

Three Days
by Pearl Phillips

Yesterday. . . Like mintage spent, is past recall;
Its echo dimmed beyond time's wall.
Tomorrow. . . It never promised earthly man,
Nor does it often fit a plan.
Today. . . Is gold that covers hills and dell
And rich are they who use it well.

You Have Control
One thing you have to realize and accept right up front is that time is not your enemy, you are. You have control over what you do with your time and what not to do. But, I also know that sometimes you may be in a relationship and therefore there are two to consider. In this regard, time is something that has to be shared and that sharing also means that it is easier to use time effectively if you both cooperate in a complete way so that both can do chores together. By doing what is necessary in a completely shared way, time is released so that you both have more time to do what you really would rather do.

An Example
Here is an example. Let us assume that household chores are taking up your time including cooking but one partner does neither. If this is the case, you need to ask for assistance in preparing meals so that they can be done more quickly. In the case of household chores, there are things that both can do at the same time so that these chores are done quickly as well. It takes cooperation but it also takes compromise because this becomes a two-way street. If there are yard chores to do, then the other should pitch in to help as well.

Time is something to be cherished and with this comes a
choice to do what you can in a certain block of time. For example, let us go back to simple household chores. When you set a certain amount of time to do these chores, like one hour, use only one hour and then stop. Do what you can in that one hour and then decide what to do with the next hour. In this way, you will use only what you set for a task and then move on to something else that requires dedicated time.

Reflect
So as you begin each day this week, reflect on the wisdom in the words of Mr. Bennet and the words of Ms. Phillips. Use your time well each and every day. Time is ticking away.

Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"One thing is for sure, Procrastinators waste the most precious asset a human can have: time.
K. Collins

"Do the most important or least attractive task in the morning. This will ensure that you get it out of the way so procrastination becomes impossible."
Nathan Ergang

You are the person who has to decide. Whether you'll do it or toss it aside; You are the person who makes up your mind. Whether you'll lead or will linger behind. Whether you'll try for the goal that's afar. Or just be contented to stay where you are."
Edgar A. Guest


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