Time is the great equalizer. At least, that’s what people say. What does that mean? To put it succinctly, it doesn’t matter how rich or successful you are…how old or young–everyone gets only 168 hours each week. Period. You can’t buy more time, but you can give your available hours away. When we do that it is commonly known as “wasted time.”
Everyone wastes time. At least I do. I’d like to waste less time, but doing that requires identifying which time is wasted. And that’s not so easy. Free time isn’t wasted time. Sometimes white space is where my best ideas are born. Watching TV and surfing the web are often low-value activities, but they’re not automatically wasted time. But they can be. These things sometimes bring pleasure and distraction that is needed to bring equilibrium to your life. It’s just when those low-value activities dominate your time that you find yourself out of balance. So a deeper definition might be this: Time is wasted when it’s neither enjoyed nor spent in pursuit of some larger life goal.
To make the most of our time, there are two things that we should do. First, avoid wasted time. Consider doing an inventory of your activities. Is there a balance? More high-value than low-level activities? Ask a couple of trusted friends to look at your daily schedule. Are there some adjustments needed?
Second, leverage your time to accomplish more. Organize your day into chunks of time –time for emails, time for phone calls, time for reading, time talking with God, time with your family, time for the large project due at the end of the month. You get the idea. Also, focus on the big goals of life, but work in chunks. Remember, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 “For everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.”