I resolve to treat my time as if it were gold!

The time is gold. Is finite. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, we can’t ‘Redo’ past moments that have passed. But think about it. . . Do we really treat the time we have as a precious commodity, a precious gift, what it really is? Personally, I run ‘hot and cold’ with the way I treat my time and how I use it best.

I live to focus, keep my priorities front and center and my ‘eye on the prize’, while managing work for my clients and while working towards my own dreams, resolutions and goals. I keep calendars, a written journal, and to-do lists that need to be done both daily and in the future. I do daily and weekly ‘Check-Ins’ to track and measure my progress, make course corrections and reward myself when I have big ‘wins’. All of that would indicate that I run ‘hot’ with the way I treat my time, more than I run ‘cold’. It would indicate that I make good use of my time and, for the most part, I use it wisely.

On the ‘hot’ end of the spectrum, I easily slip into the groove. I enter the area where my fingers fly as I write; I cross one task after another from my ‘To Do List’; my decisions are “correct”; and I feel productive with a capital ‘P’. Those days are wonderful. They make me feel great. They feed my confidence and self-esteem. They make me and my clients happy.

Then there are those days at the other end of the spectrum that get ‘cold’ in regards to my energy level, my focus, my decision making, my use of time, and in turn my productivity. Sometimes, unfortunately, the day is hijacked by events beyond my control. ‘Outperformed by events’OBE. Unfortunately, on those “cold days” I, too, sometimes hijack my own productivity. Procrastination is often a key culprit. I have tasks at hand that I don’t want to do. They will be done, they are necessary, but the motivation is not there, I invent delays.

You know how that is. Instead of concentrating and applying, we find other things to do. We check email. We surf the Internet. We make unrelated phone calls and we receive unrelated phone calls. We drift away to do things that are not “priorities.” You get the idea. We all do. We waste time. We sinter it. Sometimes we do it unconsciously by postponing the inevitable: sitting down and concentrating on those tasks that we don’t want to do. These activities are often very important to ‘what we do for a living’, or non-negotiable personal responsibilities, however we postpone them.

My point is this: each of us has 24 hours a day. Using that time wisely in activities that advance work, dreams, goals, responsibilities, and priorities makes us feel happy, fulfilled, and productive because we are accomplishing what we need to accomplish. The alternative, procrastination, postponing the inevitable, causes stress and puts us directly behind the eight ball as we fall behind on deadlines and then are forced to rush to catch up.

My own plate is full of priorities that are very important to me. I’m not always excited about all tasks, but when I waste precious time on unnecessary activities, it hurts by depleting my health and reducing the time I have to relax and engage in enjoyable activities. The solution? Stop checking the Blackberry every two minutes. Reply to the email several times a day. Tackle the most important projects first, not last. Be aware of what you are doing and why you are doing it.

test yourself: Keep track of what you “do” for a day or a week. Write down everything you do and how much time you spend on each task. When I do that test, when I am aware of what I am doing at that level, it often amazes me how I use my time and inspires me to improve my habits. I work hard to treat my time like gold. Yes, I have ‘days off’, but instead of punishing myself, I promise to do better. I strive to invest my time carefully. Time is one of the most valuable assets each of us has and once it is gone, we cannot get it back. However, if we spend it wisely, it reaps bountiful dividends as money well invested in the bank.

Remember: I am determined to achieve my New Year’s resolutions, one resolution, one day at a time for a year. It’s your choice. Do it today Turn your resolution into reality in five simple common sense steps: Dare to dream, decide, define, develop a plan, and do it every day. Make your resolution a permanent Resolution for life, something that will be with you forever! Above all else, be a resolutionist, someone who makes resolutions, keeps resolutions, and enjoys the journey. Let’s go for it!

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