“We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch.”
– John F. Kennedy
You might be saying to yourself, “Dang, this guy sure likes to write about time management.” And the truth is, well, there’s little else more important than using your time wisely.
It seems that we have this wonderful tendency to convince ourselves that we’ll always have more time for something and then end up not using our full potential on that very thing because we waited until the last minute to do it.
I know that, personally, I’m a master at convincing myself on a daily basis how it would be better to put at least one thing off today. Sometimes that thing is as tiny as not practicing the guitar and other times it’s as serious as deciding not to go to the grocery store to feed myself. And as I wander around my apartment wondering where all of the food is, I’m forced to come to the wicked conclusion that I’m hungry and foodless for a reason: me.
Putting off a grocery store trip pales in comparison, of course, to putting off something you should be working on for your job or putting off pursuing one of your dreams.
You see, that’s the awful thing about time: you won’t ever get it back.
How often do you find yourself looking back and thinking how if you’d only started that earlier you’d be done now, or at least well on your way? I know I find myself asking that question a little more often than I’d like. And I’m sure that if you dug down deep enough to try and find out why you didn’t start on something when you should have, you’d find a plethora of throwaway excuses like “I had to walk my dog” or “It just didn’t feel like the right time.”
Well, when it doesn’t feel like “the right time” you’ll find that it never will be the right time.
We spend so much time assuring ourselves that we’ll know when it’s the right time or that we’ll get some sort of sign or be influenced to do something at some point. A lot of hollow promises to ourselves that something very concrete will happen to push us forward, yet the world is not a concrete place – things are changing constantly. And things are moving forward with or without you.
Don’t Fool Yourself Into Believing That It’s Too Late
This post isn’t meant to deter anyone who may feel that it’s too late to start something new or to pursue something they’ve always wanted to pursue. Quite the opposite, I am merely trying to stress that waiting an instant longer to would be madness.
There are no excuses for putting off things. Your TV show isn’t as important as doing that thing you’ve always wanted to do: be it learning to play the guitar, writing that novel, starting that restaurant, or seeing Prague – planting the seed today is what matters.
Try reminding yourself of your long term goals and don’t be overwhelmed by the desire to do something fun or comfortable now at the expense of completing something extraordinary later.