What are you doing right now?
There is only one time that you can have an affect on!
Good question, right? Notice that the question has to do with the present, the moment, the “now”. What are you doing right now? So much of the time we live in the past “I used to do this or that”, “I used to be this or that” or we live in the future, “Someday I would like to have this or that”, “Someday I would like to be this or that”. But you see there is a great problem with living in the past or in the future. You can’t really do anything about it. The only thing we can affect is the present, the now.
So, the question is a most important one, “what are you doing now?” Anything else doesn’t matter.
What are you doing with your “nows”? A principle that was beat into me as a child and later I learned to love was the idea that you need to use your time, every minute of it. One of the ways that you become a man, a provider, a leader is to use your time wisely. Don’t waste it.
What jobs/skills/studies/projects…. do you have on your “to do” list? Is it as simple as cleaning out a room or washing and waxing the car or sweeping off the deck, cleaning the gutters or just getting that hair cut? See, these jobs are simple, take little time and can be done anytime. There are other jobs that might be more involved. Something like building the garden shed, cleaning out the garage, fixing the dishwasher. These can be larger jobs taking from a few hours to days to complete. This type of job can be done at almost any time but it will take a bit of time to get done. There are other jobs that need to be done in one time frame, changing the oil, fixing the water heater, fixing the plumbing….. these are jobs that need to be started and finished at once or you will have greater problems. You can’t start changing the oil and then leave it for a few days, you probably need the car. Then there are other jobs that require someone else. This could be moving something heavy, getting your bank accounts in order, dealing with the government, Motor Vehicle Administration, passports or other agency. You can only do these jobs during business hours on certain days of the week.
So, we have identified various types of jobs. 1. Jobs that can be done anytime, in small snippets of time that can be left half-done and returned to later on. 2. Jobs that can be done any time but require more time to complete. These jobs could be accomplished at once or could be done half-way and then added to later on. 3. Jobs that have to be completed once begun. These jobs need to have the type of attention that will keep you working until they are done. 4. Jobs that require certain time frames and help from another human being.
If you are going to be a productive man, one the gets things done and stands on his own with others depending on him, you need to structure your day and your time so that you accomplish all of the jobs you have to do in a timely manner. Lets say you get home at 6:30 and you have to go to a meeting at 7:30. You figure you need about 15 minutes to get ready to go, so you have 45 minutes to accomplish something. Most people will just lose this time, waste it puttering around, watching a part of a TV show or just waste it doing nothing. The productive man will think through his list of jobs and know that he has 40 minutes of productive time to get something done. Well, what about that garage that needs to be swept out? That shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes, get right on it! Once that is done, look through your list and figure that you can look at the dishwasher and write down the model number so that you can order the parts later on. You write this down into your little note pad that you keep with you so that tomorrow you can look it up and figure out what you will need. So, that takes a few minutes, you are done in about 35 minutes and you accomplished 1 job and got started on another.
You might think that this is a bit of overkill but if you had wasted that time, you would be in the exact same place you were before with the same list of jobs. Now you can scratch one off of the list and feel good about getting something done. Go get ready for your meeting and feel good about being productive!
You see, if you structure your days with all of these jobs in mind you will be able to accomplish so much more than someone that waits for the perfect moment or space in their schedule to get something done.
This article is a good example of this very principle. I had some time, first waiting for my plane in Baltimore and then waiting in a doctor’s office. By using these minutes to get this article done, I have finished a task on my “to do” list and created, what I believe to be, a benefit for others.
So, what are you doing right now? Be a man and get busy!
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