Our time is one of the most valuable things we have. We all start with the same amount…it’s how we spend it. It may seem like there are never enough hours in the day. In 1998, Randy Pausch, a former professor at Carnegie Mellon University, gave a speech on time management. His speech was poignant and became even more so when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. In Pausch’s speech he says, “To live richly and avoid regret, we must give priority to things of real importance.” When we work ourselves into a frenzy over the need to get everything done, whether it is at work or at home, there is an energy expenditure that quickly depletes us. In his five minute Super Soul Sunday video, Bishop T.D. Jakes says we have traded effectiveness for busyness. Echoing Pausch, Jakes challenges us to think of ourselves as a precious commodity. He says, “We are not using our life, our time, our energy for our highest and best use.” When we allow ourselves the gift of stepping back, taking a few breaths, going for a walk, run, a yoga class, cooking, just simply doing something we enjoy, we find a relief. Our breath slows down and so does our mind. All of the sudden we can actually do our work more efficiently once we take a few moments to do the things that aren’t necessarily urgent, but that we actually enjoy and reflect our very best.
We are so programed to get everything done in an instant, especially with the way we relate to one another through the constant contact of telephone, email, texting, etc. Carrie Fisher once said, “Even instant gratification takes too long.” It’s a concept we probably all know but simply forget, the idea that “To live richly and avoid regret, we must give priority to things of real importance.” When we are under urgent pressure to get something done it can almost take away from the very thing you are trying to make happen (whether it’s a presentation at work or getting your kids to bed). Either way, things happen more efficiently when we are in alignment with ourselves and allow things to fall into place. Pausch’s outlook is something that so easily gets lost in our everyday lives. Stephen Covey says it this way, “Do the important things first.”
The blessing of time is a gift. Use it wisely every day and be grateful. Go take that walk you didn’t have time for, spend time with your family, go to that sporting event or show, and THEN do your best work. Eat well, fuel your body and mind, get outside and don’t forget to not just live, but LIVE WELL.