Imagine we’re moving. And we have two friends, who both extend an offer to help. The first friend writes us a check for 1,000 dollars to help with the moving expenses. Incredibly generous. The second friend doesn’t offer a dime, but instead comes to our old place, helps us pack up every box, drives with us to the new house, and unpacks everything with us into the early hours in the morning.
Fast forward two weeks later. Both friends call you to ask for a favor. Which friend are we more likely to help? We would choose the second friend. But why? If we were to try to explain, we collectively would flow to the same, natural response… “Because they would have done it for me.”
Money has relative value. But time is absolute. If we want to make a “perishable donation”, give money. If we want to make an everlasting impact, give time. The absoluteness of time is worth our attention, yet we often fail to honor it justly. Why Should We Care? Well, we should care because we don’t get it back and we don’t get any extra. What we get is what we get. And, to add to that, we have no idea when our time is up. Imagine playing a game of basketball. The game is going along, back and forth both teams are doing everything they can to ‘win’ the game. You’re midway through the 3rd quarter, the buzzer sounds, and the announcer comes on and says “And that’s the ballgame. Thank you everyone for coming out tonight. Have a safe trip home.” That’s how time is in our lives. Hopefully you didn’t waste your opportunity! We would be wise to consider our time more valuable than say, our money - which few people do. Afterall, it is more important, isn’t it? But, are you as intentional with your time as you are with your money? Are you investing it wisely? Not throwing it away? This is a tough ask. The monotony of the day to day routine gradually pulls us towards indifference. If we aren’t careful, we will soon be wondering where the time went REAL TALK - Action Steps Like anything we aspire to consistently do, making the best use of our time is a habit. And, habits require intentional actions in order to be formed. Here's a list of 5 things you can start doing today in order to make the best use of your time.
Be Still - Meditate, breath, sit there, or do nothing. 10 minutes a day is a great place to start. You will quickly notice the clarity this stillness creates. What you lose in the 10 minutes of time, you more than make-up for through your performance in all other aspects of your life.
Hell Yes, or No - Stop spending so much time deciding on things. It is either a Hell Yes or it’s a No. It doesn’t matter if it’s a decision to take a new job or install a new defense. Trust your gut enough to go for it or stay with what you’ve been doing.
Be Early - According to the late Dean Smith, tardiness was the height of all arrogance. When you’re late you are basically saying your time is more important than our time. And on time is late.
Stop Complaining - It’s a waste of time, regardless of who’s fault it is. You are doing nothing but weakening your character and wasting your precious time. Own it and move on. The people that ultimately matter to you will know, and respect you for it.
Know Your Eulogy - This week my leadership students have been writing their eulogy. It’s funny how the pursuit of fame and fortune give way to the humble acts of being a great friend and a loving father. We would be much better served if we valued our time in a way that reflected our eulogy.
So, the question is how are you using your time? As an absolute, limited resource or as a “perishable donation”? If we’re not intentional, it will always drift to the latter. For more information on building excellence in your teams, visit us at www.bluecollargrit.com. We would love to know how we could help!