Quick Thought on Time

A phrase we hear often is I didn’t have time or I’m not going to have time.

Oh really, when did God shorten your day to 20 hours?

The truth is we all have the same amount of time; we simply choose to spend it doing things most important to us.

I like the principle of packing luggage. We always put the biggest things in first (same thing applies to packing anything, like your car) and then fill in the rest of the space with the small stuff- it makes sense.

But why do we know this principle so well yet ignore it in our lives?

So often we spend all day doing the little things which never leave enough time for the big (important) things.

The little things will always take as much time as you let them.

So actually, everyone has equal amounts of time but each person has different priorities.

Therefore, the phrase we really should be saying is something like this I DO have time but I’m going to spend it doing something more important. Sorry.

Revised/Added February 4, 2011

It’s important to block off time and commit to it. If you tell someone you have a block from 1pm-3pm to meet, make sure you leave at 3pm-no later. This does a few things:

  1. Makes it clear that you have two hours. They will actually look at their watch more than you. Don’t be afraid to look at yours. Watch, not cell phone.
  2. Builds value in the time you spend with them.
  3. Conveys you need to be efficient, otherwise you must finish the conversation later.
  4. Shows them you do the same thing with others. If they know you’re leaving their meeting to go see someone else on time, they will trust you’ll do the same thing for them.

I’m not saying you must give every relationship specific blocks of time. I think there is a ton of value in having a semi-open schedule so you can have spontaneous hang outs. But when it comes down to meetings, arrive and leave on time.


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