Telling people I work in the time management field produces the same result as telling people I was once a lawyer. They make a polite remark about my choice of endeavors and move on to another, more interesting subject. The only difference is that no one has ever felt compelled to tell me their favorite time management joke.
There’s a blessing in that last bit.
Seriously, though, I know speaking on time management doesn’t sound exciting. It pales in comparison to things like, “I do product design for Apple.” or “I’m in marketing at Nike.” I get that, but unfortunately I possess a driving need to find better, faster ways of getting things done. In the bio I provide those tasked with introducing me at speaking engagements it says that at age thirteen I found the quickest way to vacuum the family store so I could spend more time fly fishing. It’s true. I’m afflicted. I’m okay with that. Let me tell you why.
What is Time?
In conversations about QuietSpacing® – my time management methodology – and the related programs I conduct, I often explain to people that the overarching principle of all my work is this:
Time is a limited, non-renewal source with an undisclosed expiration date for each of us.
This fact drives me personally and professionally. I want to make the best use of the time I have because I know that, at least in this life, when it’s over, it’s over. There’s no way to get more no matter how much money or power I accumulate.
The Potential of Time
But that’s only one aspect of this philosophy. Another is that time represents potential. The potential to use it well or not so well. It’s our time, it’s our choice.
Realizing that potential is the fruit of time well used. It is seen and felt as accomplishment, a sense of well being, the ability to truly relax or, in my vernacular, experience a quiet mind. This is the promise of fulfilling the potential of time.
Measuring a Life of Realized Potential
We humans are visual creatures. We think in pictures and our memories are stored pictures of events in our life. Thus, memories – snapshots of time – are the currency of life. As our days draw to a close, we will look back over our lives using our memories and we will assess whether we’ve made good use of our time.
My belief is that if we pursue our potential – personally and professionally – we will make good memories so that when we look back later, we’ll be able to say “Yes, I made good use of my time.”
Yet Another Holiday Season Lurks
As we enter another frenzied holiday season, remember this: Most of the gifts we receive will mean nothing in the end, except the gift of the present. Maximizing the potential in the present creates the wealth of memories that mark a successful life.