Everybody wants more time but it is finite. It doesn’t discriminate—it can’t. You’ll cry out with anguish that you don’t have enough time, but it is one thing that no one has more of or less of than anyone else.
How you spend your time fully exposes where your heart is and what you’re passionate about. It is simply the nature of time—it marches on regardless of circumstance. You can’t put a price on it, but to the people you love and lead it is the most valuable gift you give them.Horace Mann recognizing this most valuable gift of time ran this ad in his local newspaper.
I recently watched a short (5:33 minute) TED Talk titled, “Am I Dying.” Matthew O’Reilly, an emergency medical technician, describes what he has learned from attending to patients who were inevitably going to die. He describes three patterns of thought that consistently repeated themselves.
- A need for forgiveness.
- A need for remembrance.
- A need to know their life had meaning.
What Matthew describes is our deep seeded desire to live an impactful life. Impact is created and sustained through serving the people you love, the teams you lead and the causes that stir your heart. Service that will ultimately reflect how you spend your time, talent and resources.
Everyone can more effectively use their gift of time and raise their impact by doing three things.
- Identify the roles that want to invest your time in. True success is identifying your most important roles, values and goals and living your personal and professional life in alignment with those roles, values and goals. Your most important roles will emerge from answering two questions.
- Who do you want to be remembered by?
- What do you want to be remembered for?
- Improve your awareness of how you spend the gift of time with this question, “Is what I am doing right now contributing to my highest priority roles and my most important goals?” Here’s a challenge. Ask yourself this question every 30 minutes for a week—it will alert you to opportunities to spend your time more effectively.
- Engage a coach or accountability partner to help you commit your time towards what you have identified as being most important. If you stood a foot away from a wall with a grand mural painted on it, it would be impossible to describe the mural. You’d have to step back to gain perspective. Coaches help you step back and gain needed perspective.
Matthew experience as an EMT shines a bright light on the gift of time. He heard an elderly man say, “I wish I had spent more time with my children and grandchildren instead of being selfish with my time.” He recalled countless people asking, “Will you remember me?” And finally a woman who said, “There was so much more I wanted to do with my life.”
It’s a gift—the most valuable gift you are given. Every day is filled with 24 golden hours, each set with sixty golden minutes. Who are you going to spend your time with? What can you do today to raise your impact on the people you love and lead?
I needed this reminder. I am taking the challenge—how about you?
Question: Are you in? Type Yes or No in the comment box and let me know what you learn. You can leave a comment by clicking here.