Time is the most common gift of God to man. The same amount of time is given to everyone, irrespective of the racial, ethnic, cultural, social or economic differences. You can neither slow it down nor speed it up; but you can manage it. Think deeply on this. What you are today or whatever you will become in future depends on the use of your own time. How you manage your time is how you manage your life because time is life.
Your life can be a blessing or a curse depending, on how your time is managed. If you make an inventory of your life today – your resources, health, education, influence, achievements and so on – you are simply evaluating the use of your time. Many people make new year resolutions at the beginning of the year. What they do is just to define or re-define or prioritise the use of their time in the new year.
For example, if you have spent your Saturday mornings going through the newspapers and magazines, you could have also decided to convert the same time for physical exercises to improve your health. Or you may decide to use the time for writing the book you have been having in mind. If you are a teacher, you may invest the time on weekend teaching to make some money.
It has been said that time is money. People who do not appreciate the value of time tend to waste it. Time can be lost. If I set out time to read a useful book and a casual visitor steps in to tell me of how two colleagues conspired to steal their company’s bus. This distraction of some minutes is a loss of my reading time. I might have listened to a good story but not at the right time. In fact, money can be lost and recoved but it is not so with time.
Maximising your time
Time can be squandered. Think of that parable of the lost son in Luke 15. The Bible records that he squandered his portion of their father’s wealth allocated to him. That guy did not only squander his wealth; he also squandered his time and life. Although his compassionate father restored him materially, he could not restore the years he squandered on riotous living. Benjamin Franklin said, “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”
Don’t allow people to steal your time. If you allow them, realise that you have allowed them to steal a portion your life. The Bible describes Satan as one who comes to steal, to kill and to destroy. But the truth is that those who can steal your time could be people close to you. They are your relations, friends and associates. They are those you want to help, please and associate with.
You must control distractions from your life’s set objectives. No person can please everybody. You need to focus on your destiny and maintain your course. You have your time and life to protect. And only you can do it. Identify your own values and establish your priorities. Remain focused.
Without self-discipline you cannot be the person God created you to be. The word ‘no’ is in your dictionary and it must be used when necessary. You must have the courage to say no to certain invitations from associations, friends and relations. Evaluate and prioritise them. You are not omnipresent.
Your time can be devalued as money. For some time now, the naira has been dropping in value when compared with the dollar. Our importers are lamenting the use large amount of naira to purchase goods in dollars. Do you know that in the same way, you can use a lot of your time to achieve just a little? My friend used to say, “I don’t know what I have done today.” Surely, this type of statement can bring frustration. My friend did not have a plan for the day. If he had, he did not document it. If he documented it, he did not prioritise and follow up the activities.
As you get older, decisions on time usage become more critical. The time you have to live gets shorter. Your energy gets depleted and cannot be easily renewed. Psalm 39:4 says, “O Lord, let me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am.”
You must be taking stock of your time and how it has so far been used. Within the time still available to you, what do you want start and complete? What do you want to leave behind? What do you want to be remembered for? Review of life plan then becomes a daily and not yearly routine.
Your review is aimed at leading you to a better usage of your time. What is important is the future. The past is gone and you cannot change whatever has happened. But you can control and determine the future by proper usage of your time today.