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Can You Stretch Time To Get More Done?

Author : Wayne Messick

Submitted : 2008-11-01 00:00:00    Word Count : 930    Popularity:   291

Tags:   time management, time stretcher

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If you had a time machine would you use it to see what the future will bring or to go back and do the important things you didn't do when you had the chance? Your success in life, your happiness, your health and your prospects for success will be largely determined by what you choose to do with your time.

Needless to say, you'll never have enough time to do everything that you want to or have to do. You will always have to choose between competing alternatives. The accuracy of your choices will determine much of what happens to you in life, how things turn out in the end.

Having read Think and Grow Rich and all sorts of other similar books and having practiced their principles over the last quarter or a century, I am living proof of their accuracy. It has been proven true in my life and the lives of numerous other people I have met over the years that no action is neutral. No matter how small or inconsequential it seems, it is either propelling you toward success or failure.

You need to be good at many things in order to be successful. The number one thing, after your ability to perform at your profession, is to become an expert in time management. Time management is perhaps most essential for the person who owns his or her own business. As you become more focused on time management, doing the right things, you will also become more efficient. You will begin making better contacts with better prospects and consequently making more sales of your products or services more profitably.

For over thirty years numerous academic studies have shown that a major reason for success in life is the development of a long-time perspective. People who achieve the most are those who take the future into consideration in every decision they make in the present. This long-time perspective is key when setting priorities, because doing things right is not as important as doing the right things. And doing the right things right is the ultimate result of successful time management.

The more time we take when considering what's important, while planning and acting today, the more likely it is that we will achieve our goals. To work efficiently and at the same time effectively we need to work on the most important, highest value tasks.

Consider the difference between a family owned company that plans today knowing the rewards will come years in the future, or a farmer who plants today knowing that harvest is months if not years in the future. A long-time perspective is an essential key to setting priorities for them. Compare them with Wall Street companies who manage their vast organizations from quarter to quarter to meet the expectations of their investors and bankers. Often their short time thinking damages their long term success.

You can usually tell how important something is today by measuring its potential future impact on your business or your life. Something that is important right now is something that has a high potential impact on your future. Something that's urgent has limited or no future importance at all.

If you choose to spend time with your family rather than watching TV or reading the paper you have a long-time perspective. You know that investing time in your the health and happiness of your family is a very valuable high priority use of time of the long term implications for everyone.

Taking additional night courses to upgrade your skills to make yourself more valuable to your customers demonstrates a long-time perspective because learning something practical and useful can have a long term impact on your career. But if you do what is fun and enjoyable in the short term with little of no concern for the long term consequences of your actions then you are operating with a short time perspective.

For example someone who reads the sports pages every day and watches ESPN Sports Center more than once a day is operating with a short term perspective. Will knowing the details and the game track of all the games have an impact on their life and career? If you want a positive impact, the answer is no.

There are some things that you can do for countless hours, like watching Cops on TV, and because they are of low priority relative to where you are and where you want to go - they will have no possible future positive impact on your life. These activities are like coasting through life and we all know that there is only one direction you can coast.

Actually the key word in setting priorities is "sacrifice" because setting priorities usually requires sacrificing present enjoyment for future fulfillment. You will be required to give up a short term pleasure in the present in order to enjoy a far greater and more substantial pleasure or reward in the future.

Economists have concluded that the inability to delay gratification, which is the natural tendency of individuals to spend everything they earn and a little bit more besides and waste away their time doing what is easy and enjoyable is the primary reason for both economic and personal failures in life.

On the other hand having the discipline to do what you know is right and important - even though it's difficult, is the high road to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.

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