Take Time

As we quickly approach the holiday season and the frenzied feelings it brings, we should compel ourselves to take personal inventory of our time management skills.  We are constantly pulled in many directions during the course of any “typical” day.  It’s how we handle not only the unexpected but our ordinary tasks that will determine how successful our day will be.  We need to be especially cognizant of this during the holiday season, when our personal and professional schedules are even more difficult to balance effectively.

John Wooden once said, “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  As you progress through your daily routine, try to keep in mind that you’re better off spending a few  more minutes getting it ”right” the first time.  If you’re pressed for time to begin with, you certainly can’t afford wasting time repeating the tasks.  My mentor once posed an interesting question when we were discussing my time management concerns:  “Is there a negative effect if you don’t complete what you’re working on?”  When I answered, “Most likely, no,” he responded: “Then put it to the side and work on something that will.”  I think of that exchange at least once a day and have shared it with others, as it keeps me focused on what is important.

Too often, our schedules are so packed that we find it difficult to find time that isn’t spoken for.  While this is unavoidable at times, there is still an inherent need for a little down time during the day.  Whether it’s taking  lunch, going to the gym, going for a walk, etc., the mind needs a change of scenery to recharge and re-energize.  Lorraine Hansberry said, “Never be afraid to sit awhile and think.”  Although it sounds very elementary, when is the last time you actually sat down for a few minutes to just think?  If you have to pause to contemplate the answer, then it hasn’t been anytime recently.  The most successful people, in life and in business, tend to be people who always have great ideas, new insights, and a fresh perspective.  Those same people all have one thing in common: they take the time to meditate and re-evaluate their environment and surroundings.  They make the time to think about what can be changed for the better.

An important aspect of taking time to reflect is recognizing those tendencies, habits, and behaviors which need improvement.  Each of us has traits that we know could improve from some refinements.  Unfortunately, taking time for ourselves is usually last on our list of priorities.  Always make time for yourself.  It’s not selfish, nor greedy.  Rather, it’s very necessary if you want to become better both professionally and personally.  You will always be pulled in different directions and endless interruptions will never cease.  If you don’t make the time for yourself to become better, you will never be better.

William Penn said, “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”   How will you use your time?

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