Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waste Time but Not Life

By: Sheridan Tax & Bookkeeping
With all the little timesaving tips being offered in articles, books, and seminars, there's a danger of being distracted from what's really important in life.  It's great to be able to shave two minutes from your travel time or take fewer trips to the supermarket or reduce photocopies by 10 percent.  But how important is that? Will it make much difference ten years from now? Seems to me it's more important that you're still in business or earning a good living ten years from now.
We should be careful not to focus so much on the little things that we neglect the big stuff.  Our focus should be more on making our life meaningful than on making our minutes productive. There's no sense in saving time if we have nothing meaningful to spend it on.

 1. I sometimes think we spend too much time saving time and not enough time living it.  Some of my most memorable times were when I wasted it.  Like the time I spent most of the day fishing with my brother in a lake where there were no fish. Or those mornings when I watched my son skate in circles during an endless chain of hockey tryouts.

 2. Life is not measured in minutes and seconds, but in activities and events. I don't think of my past as a series of minutes well utilized, but as a series of times well spent.  My memories are not of time but of times. This is not to say that time management is not important; but the emphasis should be on managing our lives, not our minutes.  This involves having a personal mission, setting life goals, and freeing up time for the meaningful areas.

 3. All those little timesavers may help free up time for the meaningful activities; but not if we become so obsessed with saving time that we lose sight of the reason for saving it.  Don't put yourself on a guilt trip just because you can't account for every minute.  Modern technology will never succeed in saving time; only in changing the way we spend it.

 4. Relentlessly crossing off items on a “things to do” list could eventually condition you to believe that the objective of the exercise is to cross off items.  People have been known to complete items that were not on their "to do" lists and quickly add them to their list so they could cross them off. 

5. If we become so obsessed with the minutes, we may not enjoy the hours.  Don't let the means become the objective. It's better to waste time than to waste life.

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