by Peleg Top
I have one major pet peeve in life – people who waste my time.
You see, time is the most valuable thing I have. More valuable than money. I will never get back lost or wasted time, but I can always make more money. Every minute of my life is a precious one and I am the kind of person who likes to make the most out of life, so I treat my time with honor and respect.
Arriving late is a way of saying that your own time is more valuable than the time of the person who is waiting for you.
Time is a valuable gift, and if someone throws your gift away, why would you want to keep giving them more gifts?
I used to have friends who would joke about the way I manage my time. They would call me “anal retentive” or “rigid”. Those people aren’t my friends anymore. That’s because the way they treat time in their life is in a loose, unconscious way. They would constantly be late for our dates with lame excuses and often forget we made plans, resulting in needing to reschedule at the last minute. After a while, that type of behavior became exhausting and eventually those friendships faded away into obscurity.
Integrity and respect are the two most important values I look for in my relationships, both personal and professional. The way a person treats time will be a direct reflection of the level of integrity they live in, as well as a way to recognize how present, conscious, and dependable they are.
When you study the common traits of successful people, you’ll discover one thing in common – they have all mastered managing how they treat time. They manage themselves and their relationship with time in a way that’s respectful.
Successful people make conscious choices every day as to how and with whom they want to spend their time. They actually take the time to think about time. They know when to say no, they keep their word, and when life happens (and it always will) and they aren’t able to, they will still honor their word in a way that respects the relationship.
Mutual respect must exist in any healthy relationship. Time is a way to measure the level of respect that exists between people. Respect is like air. When it’s gone, it’s the first thing you will notice.
My most successful, long term and healthy relationships all have deep mutual respect as well as a mutual understanding that the way we treat the time inside of the relationship is a reflection of the respect we have for each other.
I know that I am part of a small group of people who think and live this way. I know this because people are often surprised when I show up on time or when I meet a deadline. We’ve become a culture that lives in such a fast paced way that being late has become the norm.
Being on time goes beyond my relationship with others. It also is a big part of maintaining a healthy and fulfilled lifestyle. The way I manage time with myself is key to my happiness and well being. I create time that is dedicated to the basic things I value (and need) in life, like exercise, meditation, meals, and sleep. This forces me to be diligent with what I say yes and no to. I make choices of how I spend my time according to what I value.
“I don’t have the time for…” is a poor excuse for not taking ownership of your life. It is victim thinking. It may feel like you don’t have the time to devote to things you want and yet I bet you find yourself wasting precious time watching mind numbing TV or scrolling the Facebook feed.
We all have the same twenty four hours in a day. How you choose to spend them will determine the quality of your life.
Over the years of coaching creative people, I learned that they have a different relationship with time according to their personality type. They have their own time consciousness because they perceive reality differently. They are, after all, artists.
Creative people tend to treat time like a huge pie that can be sliced into an infinite number of pieces. To them, time is always expendable. As long as they are having fun, there is always enough time. They keep adding one thing after another and pretty soon, they have trouble being on time or meeting deadlines. And then they procrastinate because getting down to details is not fun. It’s not surprising that so many creative people feel stuck.
The good news is that just because someone treats time in this way doesn’t mean they are unable to change. I’ve seen people turn around and completely shift how they organize their time when they realized that the key to their success was in their hands.
What it takes is a commitment to want to change and the work that is required to make it happen.
Managing time may feel like hard work. And sometimes it is. It can feel unnatural, restrictive and limiting. But the outcome is worth it. I promise you more powerful results, better relationships and deeper fulfillment from every day of your life.
Your mentoring challenge: For the next thirty days, become one with your calendar. Be on time to everything and keep your commitments to yourself and others for thirty days. If you are unable to keep a time commitment, honor it. Do whatever it takes to make it right.