There’s no such thing as more time

“Remember, there’s no such thing as more time,” the seminar leader said in her most emphatic tone.
It was a seminar on public presentations, given by a leader with the best of skills in that area. Among other things, she underscored that if you’ve been asked to speak for 15 minutes, then you must speak for 15 minutes.
And when that 15 minutes is up, she said, “Remember, there’s no such thing as more time!”
She was right. When it comes to speeches and sermons, we don’t like presentations that go past their assigned time. But that’s not why I’ve remembered the quote all these years.
Time is the stuff life is made of.
And by the time you arrive this side of 60, it’s easy to recognize the truth of both that seminar leader’s warning and Benjamin Franklin’s statement, “Lost time is never found again.”
Some people would say time management is less important once people officially “retire.” But that simply isn’t true.
When you went to an office or a classroom or a factory every day, large blocks of your time were managed for you. A quick shower and breakfast in the morning. At your post by eight. A brief coffee break. Run a few errands at noon. Work late.
Turn on the oven the second you walk in the door. Get a little exercise, or take a few rounds with the lawn mower if you have the pep. And then watch tomorrow’s weather to see what clothes to lay out.
For the recently retired person, however, life can look much different.
Suddenly, the familiar structures are gone. One day you are working a 60-hour week and the next thing you know you are faced with a week that is totally unstructured.
What you do from morning to night is exclusively up to your own initiative.
Now that’s a situation that requires time management skills if I’ve ever seen one.
So what are the basic requirements for good time management? Well to begin with, a good time management plan is never a carbon copy. After all, it’s your life. Every day of it. Every hour of it. Other people are entitled to use their time as they choose. But so are you.
What is it you want most out of life? If you could do whatever you wanted to, what would it be?
Travel to Tibet. Learn to play golf. Write a novel. Build a place in the country. Get a graduate degree. Become a gourmet cook. Start a mail order business. Become an authority on frogs. Or stars.
Or maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer your time, in this country or abroad.
Why not sit down right now, for an hour or so, with pencil and paper in hand. And ask yourself–just what is it I want most out of life? What are the things I most want to accomplish before time runs out?
Until you answer those questions, you can’t even begin to think about effective time management. And once you answer them, everything else will fall into place.
Your life dream will become the touchstone by which all use of time is measured. And each day’s tasks will be chosen not by other people’s demands and pressures but by how they fit your dream.
But whatever you do, don’t delay. Start thinking about it today because it really is true that when your time is used up, there simply is no such thing as more time.

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