Your time is your life

Your time is your life

In our today’s world, time travels at a dizzying speed. The mantra on many lips is that “there is no time”. Hardly does a day begin before we realise it has ended. In fact, the year 2018 started just like yesterday but now it is gone, never to return! Imagine.

Everyone has to contend with the reality that time is never enough. “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot,” Michael Altshuler once said. Usually, you are in charge of your time as you are in charge of your life.

The most common metaphor about time in English is the one that equates it with money. The saying suggests that wasting time is wasting money. But this is not correct. Money lost can be regained but a life lost is lost forever. Therefore, time is life and to “kill time” has to be rightly construed as “killing life” or committing murder.

If the well-known riddle may be posed, one asks: “What is the longest, yet the shortest; the swiftest, yet the slowest; all of us neglect it, and then we regret it? Nothing can be done without it, and it swallows up all that is small and it builds up all that is great, what is it?” The answer is time.

As a new year begins in the reckoning of many of us, a good starting point is to appreciate the value of time and know that how we spend our days is ultimately how we spend our lives. People do three things with time: they invest, spend and waste it. It is time you resolved to invest your time, not just spend it, not to talk of wasting it.

Everyone has heard that to appreciate the value of four years, ask a politician who has lost an election. To appreciate the value of a year, ask a candidate who has failed JAMB’s UTME or a failed student who has an extra year to spend in school. To appreciate the value of one month, ask a woman who gave birth to a premature baby. To appreciate the value of one week, ask the editor of a weekly publication. To appreciate the value of one day, ask a widow who has seven children to feed. To appreciate the value of one hour, ask the lovers waiting to meet. To appreciate the value of one minute, ask the person who has missed a flight. To appreciate the value of one second, ask the person that has just avoided a head-on collision with a lorry. And to appreciate the value of a millisecond, ask the person who won a silver medal at an Olympic race.

Every bit of time is important. So, rather than waste your time, think of how best to spend it. Indeed, instead of spending your time, think of the best ways of investing it such that your present will enrich your future. Your past is gone; it is history. Your present is now and it is all yours to fully utilise. This is because your future depends on your present.

Time builds and time destroys. Time makes and time mars. Time is the greatest resource you have to change your life. The difference between a successful student and a failed one lies in the use of time. Each day, everyone is credited with 24 hours. While many do not really know how they spend their own, others maximise theirs and achieve fantastic results in their studies and careers.

As 2019 slowly progresses, and having realised that wasting your time is wasting your life, which does not have a duplicate, you may find the “10 simple ways to make the most of your time” by Jay Lickus as instructive as I do to be more productive and successful as a student or as a professional:

  1. Make time to plan.
  2. Remember there are always 1,440 minutes in each day.
  3. Include “energy management” with your “time management”.
  4. Tackle top priorities first.
  5. Stay focused.
  6. Try to touch things only once.
  7. Learn to say “No”.
  8. Slow down and think.
  9. Visualise your outcome.
  10. Delegate and outsource.

I wish you a successful and fruitful 2019!