We all know that timing is everything in life. It’s also necessary in love, but that can be the topic of a different article! I was pondering about why I don’t seem to have enough time to complete all the tasks on my plate and I came across this quote attributed to Carl Sandburg the famous poet. “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful, lest you let other people spend it for you.”

Wow! What an interesting and relevant thought. Too often my time is controlled by others and I seem to just be blowing about in the winds of time responding to the requirements set forth by policies and procedures that in the name of saving time and being efficient seem to waste my time. Just the other day I called to make an appointment for my annual checkup – I want to protect my coin from falling apart too soon! Anyway, a machine answered the call and went through a litany of choices that required me to “press 1”, for this, “press 2” for that, “press 3” for whatever – you get the picture.

They were saving their time and wasting mine.

It was then that I decided to heed the advice that I have seen so often about how to be more efficient with time. The first thing I did this morning was make a list of the things that were important and had to be accomplished today. I then focused on completing those tasks and ignored all the other obstacles that appeared during the day. I didn’t return calls that were not relevant to my mission. I refused to get distracted by other events in the office and I rescheduled some activities that were not pressing. Many people call this prioritizing – I refer to it as selective neglect. Anyway, you’ll never believe it, but it worked! I even had some time left to complete some tasks that I had not intended to start. I think I just discovered a pot of gold called time. Now if only I can figure out how to compress a five day work week into four days, I’ll have more time to lie on the beach and contemplate the waves which is exactly where I want to spend my coin!

David Richards is a retired teacher and former business owner that lives in Williamsburg, Virginia. He enjoys sharing any knowledge gained or lessons learned in his life in hopes that they may be applicable to others.

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