Advertising
Advertising

Published on February 18, 2021

The Truth About the Value of Time in Life

The Truth About the Value of Time in Life

I’m sure you’ve heard people say that “time is precious”.

While this is a true statement, unfortunately, most people continue to waste their time on things that don’t really matter or things that don’t support their goals and dreams.

Stuff like constantly checking social media feeds, gossiping and procrastinating.

This time wasting is usually done subconsciously. In other words, people — perhaps including yourself — don’t even realize that they’re practicing unproductive behavior.

The good news is that there are some quick and easy methods that you can adopt that will make you a master of both your time and your life.

And the best news?

I’ll be showing you exactly how to benefit from these methods in this article.

Wasted Time Is Wasted Life

At work, you’ve probably noticed that many people waste valuable time through being disorganized.

Advertising

Their inbox is full of unread emails. Their desk is cluttered with junk. And their presentations at meetings are often rushed and unprepared.

These people are not lazy. In fact, often they are incredibly hardworking and committed to their job. However, through their lack of organization, they throw away their time and energy.

At home, many people waste time on endlessly searching the web and binge-watching the latest Netflix shows. Social media is also a massive time killer. For instance, if you spend just an hour a day looking/interacting with social media, that will equate to 15 full days of your year. In that time, you could have learned how to meditate or begun to retrain for a change in career.

While it’s fine to spend some time on social media and watching TV — if you want to get on in life — you should make sure that a portion of your home time is given over to staying fit and healthy through proper diet and exercise. Home time is also ideal for learning new things through books, videos and courses.

Just imagine how much more productive someone would become if they learned to be organized at work and disciplined and creative at home. The answer is a ton! But it’s not just their productivity that will be boosted. Perhaps more importantly, the person’s self-esteem and confidence will be increased too.

If you recognize yourself in any of the above examples, then don’t worry, as I’m going to explain now how you can become a master of time.

How to Take Back Control of Your Time

Mastering your time is essential if you want to be in control of your life and destiny.

Fortunately, time management is simple to learn and easy to implement.

Advertising

The first thing you need to understand is how to prioritize your tasks and responsibilities.

For example, what’s the first thing you always do when you log in for the day at work? Do you go through all your emails?

If you do, you might be surprised to know that going through all your emails is not the most productive start to the working day. Instead, you should spend the first 5-10 minutes of your day making a list of what tasks and projects you need to complete. Once you have your list, you should then sort then into order of priority. Urgent tasks at the top of your list, non-essential tasks at the bottom of your list.

When you do this daily, you’ll notice four positive things that occur in your life:

  1. You’ll always hit your deadlines
  2. You’ll get more work done
  3. You’ll feel in control
  4. You’ll be relaxed and free from stress

And it’s not just work stuff that can be prioritized in this manner. You can do the same for your personal stuff such as preparing meals, doing your laundry and walking your dog.

You just need to decide at the start of your day/week what are your MUST HAVES, SHOULD HAVES and GOOD TO HAVES.

Your essential tasks such as buying food and preparing your tax returns would go into the first category; tasks such as cleaning your home and filling up your car would likely go into the second category; while tasks such as chatting with your friends on Zoom would fall into the third category.

I also recommend that you create your to-do lists based on your life purpose. That way, everything you do will be aligned towards achieving your goals. If you need help prioritizing your daily demands so they align with your life purpose, get this free guide Create More Time Out Of A Busy Schedule. With this guide, you’ll learn how to identify your must haves, should haves and good to haves, and plan your life in a more meaningful way. Grab your free guide here.

Advertising

Another strategy to help you master your time is to consider this comparison between time and money:

The majority of people choose to focus on money — specifically, trying to earn as much money as they can — rather than focusing on time. However, if you think about it for a moment, money comes and goes, but when time passes by you can never get it back. Plus time is also strictly limited, as each of us only gets to spend a few decades on this planet.

A further thing I’d like you to consider is quality versus quantity.

Your quality of life is defined by your quality of time. Your minutes make your hours and your hours make your days. So how you spend each moment is critical to how you live your life.

To help you put your focus on quality of time and quality of life, ask yourself now these questions:

  • How much time in a day do you spend being angry, anxious or unhappy?
  • How much time in a day do you spend connecting with a loved one as opposed to just being in the same room as them?
  • How much time in a day do you spend doing things you really don’t enjoy?
  • How much time do you allow for improving yourself each day, week, month or year?

If these questions highlight weaknesses in how you use your time, then please feel don’t feel bad about it. Instead, start taking actions to address the issues. This will put you on the road to being in charge of the quality of your time and life.

Remember: Time is finite, so instead of wasting it, make the most of it!

If you need more help with managing your time, then I highly recommend you sign up to our free Fast-Track Class – No More Procrastination. This 30-minute session will teach you a simple and practical way to defeat procrastination, one of the biggest problems that plagues almost everybody. You’ll discover what triggers your procrastination, and you’ll also be given a strategy to fight and defeat it.

Advertising

A New You

Mastering your time will enable you to master your life.

You’ll go from being an average achiever to a super achiever. And this won’t involve any extra work on your part — it’ll just require you to adopt a new organized approach to all areas of your life.

You won’t have to wait years to see the results either. In fact, I’d expect you to see positive results within just a few days. And once you see these results for yourself, you’ll naturally want to keep going with your new time management approach.

With your new mastery of time, you’ll be more productive at home and work, you’ll be mentally and physically fitter, and you’ll be happier and more satisfied with your life then ever before.

This transformation will literally create a new you!

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” — Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

As the quote above so powerfully states, don’t let time pass you by. Instead, begin right now to take positive action.

To make sure you’re taking actions that truly matter, make use of the free guide The Dreamers’ Guide for Taking Action and Making Goals Happen. In this guide, you’ll discover how to prioritize your actions and achieve what you truly want for life.

Advertising

Featured photo credit: Rodion Kutsaev via unsplash.com

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success how to start over How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide) Do You Know Your Motivation Style?

Trending in Focus

1 How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster 2 Take Control of Your Focus! How to Avoid Distractions 3 How to Not Get Distracted: 10 Practical Tips to Sharpen Your Focus 4 How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide) 5 7 Signs That You’re Way Too Busy (And Need to Change That)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on June 22, 2021

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

Every one of my team members has a bucket load of tasks that they need to deal with every working day. On top of that, most of their tasks are either creative tasks or problem-solving tasks. Each one of them has had to learn how to prioritize tasks in order to get everything done.

Despite having many tasks to handle, our team is able to stay focused and creative and work towards our goals consistently in a set amount of time.

I’m going to reveal to you how I helped my team get more things done in less time through the power of correct prioritization. A few minutes spent reading this article could literally save you thousands of hours in the long run. So, let’s get started with my method on how to prioritize things:

How to Prioritize With the Scales Method

One of our new editors came to me the other day and told me how she was struggling to keep up with the many tasks she needed to handle and the deadlines she constantly needed to stick to.

At the end of each day, she felt like she had done a lot of things but often failed to come up with creative ideas and to get articles successfully published. From what she told me, it was obvious that she felt overwhelmed and was growing increasingly frustrated about failing to achieve her targets despite putting in extra hours most days. All of this was making it impossible for her to develop a good work life balance in the long term.

After she listened to my advice about utilizing the Scales Method, she immediately experienced a dramatic rise in productivity, which looked like this:

  • She could produce three times more creative ideas for blog articles.
  • She could publish all her articles on time.
  • And she could finish all her work on time every day (no more overtime!).

If you’re curious how she did it, read on for the step-by-step guide:

1. Set Aside 10 Minutes for Planning

When it comes to tackling productivity issues, it makes sense to plan before taking action. However, don’t become so involved in planning that you become trapped in it and never move beyond first base.

Advertising

My recommendation is to give yourself a specific time period for planning, but keep it short. 10 or 15 minutes should be adequate to think about your plan.

Use this time to:

  • Look at the big picture.
  • Think about the current goal and target that you need/want to achieve.
  • Lay out all the tasks you need to do.

2. Align Your Tasks With Your Goal

This is the core component that makes the Scales Method effective as you learn how to prioritize.

It works like this:

Take a look at all the tasks you’re doing, and review the importance of each of them. Specifically, measure a task’s importance by its cost and benefit.

By cost, I am referring to the effort needed per task (including time, money, and other resources). The benefit is how closely the task can contribute to your goal.

    To make this easier for you, I’ve listed below four combinations that will enable you to quickly and easily determine the priority of each of your tasks:

    Advertising

    Low Cost + High Benefit

    Do these tasks first because they’re the simplest ones to complete, but they’ll help you get closer to your goal.

    Approving artwork created for a sales brochure would likely fit this category. You could easily decide on whether you liked the artwork/layout, but your decision to approve it would trigger the production of the leaflet and the subsequent sales benefits of sending it out to potential customers.

    High Cost + High Benefit

    Break the high cost task down into smaller ones. In other words, break the big task into mini ones that take less than an hour to complete, and then re-evaluate these small tasks and set their correct priority level.

    Imagine if you were asked to write a product launch plan for a new, diary-free, protein powder supplement. Instead of trying to write the plan in one sitting, aim to write the different sections at different times (e.g. spend 30 minutes writing the introduction, one hour writing the body text, and 30 minutes writing the conclusion).

    Low Cost + Low Benefit

    When learning how to prioritize time and tasks, this particular combination should be your lowest priority. Either give yourself 10-15 minutes to handle this task, or put these kinds of tasks in between valuable tasks as a useful break.

    These are probably necessary tasks (e.g. routine tasks like checking emails), but they don’t contribute much towards reaching your desired goal. Keep them way down your priority list.

    High Cost + Low Benefit

    Review if these tasks are really necessary. Think of ways to reduce the cost if you decide that the completion of the task is required.

    For instance, can any tools or systems help to speed up doing the task? In this category, you’re likely to find things like checking and updating sales contacts spreadsheets. This can be a fiddly and time-consuming thing to do without making mistakes. However, there are plenty of apps out there that can make this process instant and seamless.

    Advertising

    Now, coming back to the editor who I referred to earlier, let’s take a look at her typical daily task list:

      After listening to my advice, she broke down the high cost + high benefit task into smaller ones. Her tasks then looked like this (in order of priority):

        And for the task about promoting articles to different platforms, after reviewing its benefits, we decided to focus on the most effective platform only, thereby significantly lowering the associated time cost.

        Once you’ve effectively analyzed the cost and benefits of your daily tasks, you can dive into this Full Life Planner to make sure you complete everything on your list in the best way possible.

        Bonus Tip: Tackling Tasks With Deadlines

        Once you’ve evaluated your tasks, you’ll know the importance of each of them. This will immediately give you a crystal-clear picture on how to prioritize based on which tasks would help you to achieve more (in terms of setting goals). Sometimes, however, you won’t be able to decide every task’s priority because there’ll be due dates set by external parties, such as managers and agencies.

        In cases like these, I suggest that, after considering the importance and values of your current tasks, align the list in a way that helps you meet deadlines and adjust the priorities accordingly.

        Advertising

        For example, let’s dip into the editor’s world again.

        Some of the articles she edited needed to be published by specific dates, so these are urgent and important tasks. The Scales Method allows for this, and in this case, her amended task list would look something like this:

          Hopefully, you can now see how easy it is to evaluate the importance of tasks and how to prioritize them into a workable order.

          The Bottom Line

          The Scales Method is different from anything else you’ve tried. By adopting the Scales Method, you’ll begin to correctly prioritize your work and boost your productivity by up to 10 times!

          Unlike other methods that don’t really explain how to decide the importance of a task, my method will help you break down each of your tasks into two parts: cost and benefit. My method will also help you to take follow-up action based on different cost and benefit combinations, which can boost your career development overall.

          Start right now by spending 10 minutes to evaluate your common daily tasks and how they align with your goal(s). Once you have this information, it’ll be very easy to put your tasks into a priority list. All that remains is that you kick off your next working day by following your new master list.

          More Productivity Tips

          Featured photo credit: Scott Graham via unsplash.com

          Advertising

          Read Next