Don’t Wait for Time – Claim It!

You’ve experienced it before – you’re finishing up a significant project (at work or at home), finishing up school, stepping off of a board or otherwise freeing up time. You’re excited about no longer having to invest the time that you have been on whatever you’ve been engaged with. You’re looking forward to having the extra time, whether it’s for yourself, for your family, to invest in something new, or to invest in something that had been on the back burner. Won’t it be fabulous to have that extra time available for however you choose to use it. There’s just one problem – typically, you never get back that extra time and, like a cruel magic trick, it disappears without you even knowing how or where that time went. The reason is simple – you were waiting for the time to come back to you, but that doesn’t work. The only way to have that extra time for whatever you choose is to proactively claim it.

Recently, I was talking with a coaching client who for the past six months has been consumed by work, special projects and a number of personal / family challenges. It’s been a difficult period of time, but they’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. They’re looking forward to the special projects ending because they will now have “plenty of time” for other things, including their business development efforts. When I heard this the following reality statement jumped into my mind – “Reactively waiting for time to come back to you won’t work. You must proactively claim it or it will slip away into your day-to-day activities.” That’s the funny (cruel) thing about time – it seeks to be consumed, which means that it finds its way into your daily activities and, before you know it, poof – it’s gone again.

Here’s an example of a way to claim your time. Let’s assume that you’ve been spending five hours a week on school, a board, a community effort or a special project, which means you’ll immediately have five extra hours available every week. Before time slips away from you, claim it by putting those extra five hours into your schedule. For example, block off those five hours on your schedule for specific things (e.g. personal time, another special project, business development, etc.). Actually put that reclaimed time in your schedule (at least in the beginning) before the time is unconsciously lost to other stuff in your life.

What or who have you been neglecting while you’ve been occupied by whatever you’ve been investing time in? We all know the dangers of assuming, and one of the costliest assumptions is assuming that freed up time is now yours. Wrong – freed up time belongs to the concept of time, and it only becomes your time once you claim it and intentionally invest it in something or someone else. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity (after all, you don’t get a do over with time), and claim your most precious resource – time!

Time Enough

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