How much time do you have?

Ever since we have been trying to get things done, we’ve considered time to be our enemy – one seemingly out to get us and spoil our lives. With a different view of time, though, we get a lot more done and still have time to enjoy life along the way.

When I was a student, a friend’s mother always complained about how busy she was. If he asked his mom to help downloadhim with something, she would say, “I’m very busy. I don’t have time to do this.” I was puzzled by her view as “very busy” because, quite frankly, all I saw her do was watch TV. She never had a full-time job; a domestic worker cooked the family meals; her children were fairly independent young adults.

What was it, I wondered, that gave her the impression she was very busy and had little time at her disposal? It was only many years later that I learned the answer.

How about you? Feel you just don’t have enough time? Are you feeling that time is slipping through your fingers
before you’ve had a chance to do anything with it?

There’s good or bad news, depending on how you view it …

Everybody is given the same amount of time in their day. Whether you are Bill Gates, Patrice Motsepe or Barack Obama, you are given 60 minutes to your hour and 24 hours to your day. The difference lies in what you do with the time you’re all given. The question should rather be: what do you do with the time you’re given?

If you choose to allow time to slip away through a lack of focus, unorganised thinking and general inactivity or procrastination, you will have nothing to show for it. If you are a good steward of your time and use it wisely, you will probably have something worthwhile to show for your time.

You may have heard the expression, “There’s no time like the present.” Well, that could be adapted to read, “There’s no time but the present.”

The only time you can do something is in the present. You can’t implement your plans in the past or the future – they do not exist where you are. Whatever you are going to do must be done in the present. Your future is created in the present.

People use their time for what they consider to be important. Do you know what is important to you? If not, you will
allow time to slip away then live to regret it when it’s too late to do anything about it. The problem with regret is that you feel it when it’s too late to do anything to change the feeling.

there-is-a-time-picDecide today what’s important to you: your family, career, money, happiness, health or whatever. Once you’ve decided, spend the appropriate amount of time on it. We do not have only one thing that’s important. That’s why we spread our time accordingly to accommodate all we want to achieve. With a clear idea of your priorities, you can correctly allocate your time to the things that matter the most.
Should you then find you have little time left at the end of your life, you will have some contentment in the knowledge that you used your time as wisely as possible.

There is a time for everything. Learn to tell the time so you do the right thing in the right season. While it’s important to do what’s important, it’s just as important to do things at the right time.

Alan Hosking is publisher of HR Future magazine,, @HRFuturemag, a self-mastery teacher and age management coach.

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