Managing your time so it doesn’t manage you
by A.C. Green
“I’ve got way too much time on my hands.”
How often do you say this to yourself? Boy, if I could just find something to do with all this extra time.
Maybe you are in the fortunate position that you do have a lot of free time at the moment. All I can tell you is, I don’t remember thelast time I had too much time on my hands.
In fact, it seems like I could usually use a few more hours in the day. Let me just give you a quick overview of my commitments:
- I’m married
- I have a few businesses
- Speaking engagements
There’s just a few of them. It’s true that some of my responsibilities might be a bit different than yours, but I’m guessing you have a lot going on as well. School…work…sports…friends…boyfriend or girlfriend…school clubs…music… I get tired just thinking about it all!
All these commitments take time. How you manage that time is important, both now and in the future.
When I played in the NBA, it seemed like we were always traveling, practicing, playing a game, or sleeping. There was a shortage of free time during the season. But I still had responsibilities and priorities I needed to fit into my schedule. So I woke up at 5:00 a.m. I’m serious!
I disciplined myself to wake up so early because I knew that was time I could control. Sure, sometimes that meant going to sleep instead of watching TV late at night, or going out with my friends. But I knew what I wanted to accomplish and was determined to not let anything keep me from my goals.
So is anything keeping you from your goals? Do you make good use of your time? I’ve discovered some great ways to waste time: the mall, Xbox, and PlayStation are a few that come to mind. Hey, I know NBA Live is fun, BUT it can also burn a lot of hours!
So why’s that matter? Do you remember the last time you looked at a bad test score and wished you would have spent a little more time studying? Maybe If that Xbox would’ve been turned off just a little bit earlier…. Just remember, there is only so much time in a day – you need to use it wisely.
What is really important to you in life? Do you want to be a doctor, an artist, a teacher? All of these goals will take discipline. And they will also require good time management. That means that sometimes you will have to make a conscious decision to say “no” to something, simply because it will hinder your progress. It might not even be a bad thing you have to turn down.
Maybe some friends are staying up late to watch a movie, but you have an early practice. In order to give it your best in the morning, you may need to pass on the movie. Sure, that might be disappointing in the moment. But several months down the road, when you know you had your best season as a team…that sacrifice will be worth it.
I want to leave you with a couple questions to ask yourself:
What is most important to me? Is this reflected by the ways I spend my time?
What do I want to establish as a “time priority” for the next month? What sacrifices do I need to make in order to accomplish this goal?
Time is the only thing you can’t bank, borrow, or buy. So spend it wisely.