The busy and the bored.
The Asian and the African.
The Millennial and the Boomer.
The billionaire and the homeless man.
You and I.
What do we all have in common?
Time is the most valuable resource available to man and we have all been given a piece of it. It’s your greatest wealth. A universal gift equally given to people who will use it wisely and those who won’t. More specifically, we all have 24 hours within each day. No one gets a little extra and no one has been shortchanged.
In this blog you are going to discover the remarkable value of your time and 4 ways you can avoid wasting it!
Value 1. Time Over Money.
Ever heard the phrase “time is money”? Well that’s barely half of the story. Time can be used to produce money but in itself, it is so much more valuable than currency.
Many people think of their assets, houses, cars or bank statements as their most valuable resource, but all of these things can be replenished.
In fact, I’m certain you’ve heard countless stories of people who went from broke to millions [and wish they were related to you ;)]. As well as others who went from millions to broke and are right back where they started.
Money can be earned, spent, invested, multiplied, wasted and maybe just maybe, there is more to spare. But, no one person has that same luxury with time.
No one can reclaim or re-earn time. It cannot be recycled and refuses to be stalled (with the exception of once in history where God showed Himself as the master of time.)
However, if you’re not Joshua in ~1000BC,
each moment you receive comes once and then it is forever gone.
Finito. Done. Irretrievable.
Value 2. Time Creates.
Time was used to create everything you see.
Your house, car, food and even the relationships you have are all product of time. What about your work, salary or income? Yup, you guessed it, simply a product of time. Even your child is a product of time.
How? It took people time to study and think in order to create all that you see. The raw material would still be untouched if someone didn’t take the time to convert it into a tangible product that is useful for you.
For the period of 9 months, God handcrafted your child and took them patiently step-by-step through each necessary level of development to enable them to survive outside your womb.
Even when God created the very basis and foundation of life on earth, He started by establishing time as a marker for his work.
“In the beginning, God created…”
Before anything else was made (birds, trees, beasts or man), God started the clock of time. It was the very first thing He recorded for us to see! And guess what? After that He continued His work in measurements of time –
“On the first day… On the second day…”
He has given you the exact same raw material you need to function in His image and likeness. He has given you the ability to use time to create anything.
You have to understand this –
If you have time, you can do anything, create anything and become anyone.
Even if you have natural ability in a skill/field, you still require a huge investment of time in order to become an outlier (someone who will stand out in that field). Paraphrased from Malcolm Gladwell.
3. Time Is Life.
You must learn how to convert time into knowledge, materials or products, and value for yourself and others. Because if you don’t know how to master and convert time, you will waste it. And if you waste time, you waste life.
Say what now?
Yep, I’ll say it again.
If you waste your time, you waste your life.
A second becomes a minute
A minute becomes an hour
An hour becomes a day
A day becomes a year
Years are the entirety of your life
The value you place on each second determines the value you place on your life.
So many people figure they’re just wasting a bit of time. One hour, one evening, one week and don’t realize that your life is made up of these smaller fragments of time.
Whoever controls your time, controls your life.
For most people, your time is controlled by everything and everyone else but you. From the moment you wake up, you are moved by the tyranny of the urgent. Jumping through hoops with no larger plan and very little accomplished because you are being spread so thin.
Your eyes open up and immediately the wastage begins. Your time gets sucked into Snapchat, Facebook, phone calls, Snapchat, emails, people, people, people, errands, Snapchat, Snapchat, Instagram, blank mind space worrying… friends, family, Snapchat, enemies, problems and challenges. And then Snapchat.
You are driven from the most demanding, to the most enticing, to whatever is dished to you until you are completely wiped out and the day is gone.
Does Church Own Your Time?
*watches and waves as half of our readers walk out of the room*
For many people, church controls your time. Not God, like you would like to think. Religion is in charge of your life. Your time is taken in church activity and tradition but there is no fruit to show for it.
I’m not talking to those who barely go to church and don’t see the value in a church community for growth and accountability in our Christian walk. A Christian community is valuable and necessary for every christian.
I’m speaking to those who think that their life is being fulfilled by living and serving ONLY within those 4 walls without any attempt to put action to their prayers. Or have an impact in the lives of the people in the communities around them, outside of the church. Going to church is great, but are you actually using time to apply what you are learning outside?
How God Uses Time
God is the originator of time. He used time first and He did so masterfully. What was His example to us from the first 7 days of time?
Creation and Rest.
He created the seed necessary for every.single.created thing we see and haven’t yet discovered in the Universe.
He took time to rest.
Now, how can you say that you have given your life (and time) over to this same God and he has you simply sitting in a pew multiple times a week, listening to someone. And then living the rest of your life like everyone else who doesn’t have a relationship with Him?
If God owns your life, if He controls your time, there should be fruit that is birthed from it.
I don’t mean you need to have “accomplished success” on men’s terms, but there must be arenas where you are adding tangible value to yourself and others. There must be something you are adding to this earth. People you are pouring into, knowledge and wisdom you are gaining. Things you are producing.
Look at how much God produced in the first day alone! Much less the 3-6th.
If you say God controls your time but you don’t have a day to rest because you are always working, I humbly disagree. God doesn’t play with time. He doesn’t make light of days and hours. He teaches us to work and also to rest. If you are always on the go, God isn’t in charge of your time, people, projects, or maybe even money is, but not God.
He gives His beloved rest.You are not just God's work horse, you are a child of His and He takes good care of those who follow His leadership.Click To Tweet
So if you say that God controls your life/time, make sure it is not actually the fear of man, church, old traditions, a pastor or your own perception of religion.
Make sure it is really, God.
Wasters of Time.
Ever had those conversations where someone calls to tell you one thing or ask one question but spends the first 30 minutes greeting you? I’m talking acquaintances, not family or close friends. (And all the Nigerians said mmmmhmm 👀 )
Sometimes, this waste of time is presented as fun, pleasure or friendship. But if you use all your free time to go “have fun”, when do you work? I don’t mean the time you invest into a job or working per hour. I mean the time you invest into creating value in yourself and others.
Most people who waste time don’t realize it. They’re trying to be nice. They don’t want to offend people, so they never say no. Someone calls to speak to them and they cannot let them know they were working on something else. Or getting rest, or simply cannot have that conversation at that time. They must always be a listening ear at all times.
My friend, you are not the Messiah.
It is not your job to solve everyone else’s problems and you cannot do it, even if you tried.
Masters Of Time
Masters of time are productive. And you either are one, or know them. They don’t just plan well, set great goals, or have good character, they fight for every minute of their day. They are purposeful about the use of their time.
They know when to say yes and when the only appropriate response is a big, fat N-O.
They set priorities and fill up their time accordingly.
Have you ever tried to meet with a successful person? Outside of them being your parent or spouse. Do you find them to be completely available for calls at any time of the day (and long-winded conversations at that)? NO.
If you respect their time by sending them concise short emails, keeping your conversations to the point, it means you value their time.
But do you value your own time? Do others value your time?
See, other people will attribute to you, the same exact value you put on your time. If you are a time waster, they will help you to waste it well. If you are a wise woman or man who fights for every minute of your day, they will also respect your time.
But I Don’t Have Time!
Now I can already hear you thinking, “this is all well and good but Toyin, my problem is I don’t have time!” And this is where I’m going to be that friend that rains on your pity party and points out that you do in fact, have time.
You have a whopping 168 hours every week!!
That means that even if you work a full-time job, and then factor in eating, hygiene and sleeping you still have at least 40 hours each week that belongs completely to you, to do with as you please.
So here’s the truth – You have enough time to do anything that matters. But you only enjoy the time you have been given if you discipline yourself to understand and become a master of your own time. Which leads me to my last point-
Why I Have Never Owned A TV
I remember when I was younger, myself and my sisters spent quite a lot of time watching the television (owned by my parents, hence the title of this section :-P) lol. My dad would often walk into the living room and say – “stop watching other people live, go do something that will cause others to watch you. Instead of watching TV, get on TV.“
Some of you are smiling because that is such a Nigerian parent thing to say (it is).
And it worked.
I took his advice and stopped wasting my time watching the TV. Since then I have been featured on TV numerous times and guess what? After I moved out of my parent’s place and since I’ve been married, I have not yet owned a TV. Not because there is anything wrong with it, but because I know that if I did, it would be my kryptonite. My number one time (life) waster.
Now, don’t all go selling your TV’s on Kijiji (many of you just thought “YEA RIGHT, like I was going to do that”) lol. You do not have to do what I did, but you should be determined to deal with whatever is taking up the majority of your time outside of purposeful living.
If you don’t know where to start, I am about to share with you 4 secrets I use to avoid wasting time (apart from having a TV-less home).
4 Ways To Avoid Wasting Time!
1. Learn to say NO.
If you say no to the wrong things, you will have the capacity to say YES to the things that matter most.
- Prioritize what relationships and friendships you want to develop so that you are saying yes to them. Time management doesn’t mean you don’t spend time with people, it means, you spend time where it matters most. Remember, it is a very limited resource.
Do you tend to go out all the time?
- Here’s a liberating truth – you do not have to attend every social gathering or be in every conference, concert or chill session. You just don’t have to be there. Yes they’ll miss you. Yes you’ll miss them, but generations will be grateful that you chose to take control of your life and produce something valuable with it instead. When it’s time to rest, do so, when it’s time to have fun, go out. But if you are going out every single weekend and using all your spare time at “meet-ups” you need to sit back and think hard about where you’re trying to go.
But I have ministry to do…
- My father once told me, “there will always be ministry work to do”. So you think you are the only one available to do everything under the sun but when you die, ministry will continue. When you are behind on God’s plan for you and trying to catch up, that ministry will look you square in the face with nothing to offer you but an excuse.
- Like we said in point one, focus in on your priorities and only do the things that God is leading you to do because the need will always be greater than your capacity.
2. Phones, oh Lord, our phones
Here are some tips I use to be productive despite the constant temptation of my phone.
- Charge your phone in a different room from where you sleep so that when you wake up, you can greet God, your loved ones and read a bit of the Word before you even get tempted to catch up on what happened in the world, overnight.
- Put your phone on airplane mode – plug yourself out of the noise and focus in on what work you need to do. When it’s time to rest or take a break, you can catch up on all that happened in the world during your 2 hours of focused living ;)
- Instead of making phone calls, send a text message, or an email. It will be much more direct and save you and the recipient tons of time. If it’s a relationship you want to build or if you need to make calls for your business etc, go ahead and speak to them directly, just don’t make calls for everything and with everyone.
- Remember that this disconnect from your phone is to allow you to connect in real life with those friends and family members you value the most.
3. What if you can’t afford to get off social media?
- Social media can be a great tool or it can be one of the greatest time wasters of your life. In order to utilize it properly, you have to know exactly why you came on and exactly why you cannot afford to stay on beyond that. I am still learning on this point, but I refuse to give my most precious resource (time) to living in a virtual space.
- If you work with Social Media but find yourself getting lost on Facebook, here’s a Google Chrome Extension that has boosted my productivity and “get off Facebook” time by 8,000% lol – Kill News Feed. It literally stops you from seeing everyone else’s posts so that you can get on, engage with the exact people/groups you want to, then get off and live life. Guys, this free download SAVED. MY. LIFE! lolol
4. Daily/Weekly Schedule
Even if you are filling in your days with “nothing” like Homer, (those would be your Sabbath rest days *wink wink*), you need a written plan of action for your days and weeks.
- Your daily schedule can change in different seasons, and you may not follow it perfectly. But if you submit yourself to a schedule that is targeted at your life’s greater purpose at all times, you will hit the mark MUCH more than you would without it.
BONUS TIP 5 – This one is for my friends who have the lovely app called “Whatsapp”.
Though I can’t answer Isi’s question here about who on earth introduced the Broadcast function to Nigerian parent’s [I almost cried from laughter at her post btw], I can say this –
You are by no means obligated to read through every story that is sent to you, watch each video or click on each link.
- There are some messages you get that will enhance your day, but a majority of them are simply clutter and information overload for your mind.
- Now, I periodically send messages to a group of friends on Whatsapp and I recently sent a video of myself and my 11 month old daughter singing and playing the djembe. While I was really glad about all the people we gave a smile, I was also pleasantly surprised by this response I received –
- <<—- That screenshot has me cheering YES! all over again. Because despite my great intentions, if it is a distraction from something productive that you are doing, it’s better to pay me no mind and check it out when you can.
- Sometimes you may have to block those who send consistent spam if you ask them to take you off their broadcast list and they don’t bother.
- Lastly, no, you are not CNN. Don’t be the one sending daily news updates and forwarded messages from 10 years ago. It may be tempting, but just, say, no.
Fight to regain your seconds.
Fight to become a master of time.
Remember, the seconds will become minutes, the minutes will become hours, the hours, days and years will eventually produce the outcome or fruit of your life.
If you are trying to use your time to get tangible results in New Year’s goals or resolutions, check out this blog to make sure you’re doing them right. Also, get on our email list so that you do not miss our next blog, the 4 Most Valuable Things You Should Be Doing With Your Time.
If you would like to speak to me regarding my “Get Out Of Debt” or Life Coaching services, schedule your Purpose call today or email me at toyin@toyindada dot com – one word :)
Share with me! What stood out to you from this blog? What takes up the MOST of your time every week (apart from sleep)? Is it in line with your overall life’s vision? What is your biggest time waster? How can you deal with it?