Chapter 24: Mastering Your Time and Life
* Your target:
Learn how to use your time to your advantage
instead of letting time control the level
your satisfaction and stress.
If ever you feel stressed,
The most likely reason is just
because you feel like you don’t have enough time
to do the things you want at the quality you demand of yourself.
“Do what you can, with what you have,
where you are.”— Theodore Roosevelt
For example, you may feel this frustration
because you focus only on the demands of the moment:
In this state of stress from overload,
your performance degrades very quickly.
The solution to this problem is simple:
control the time frame you’re focusing on.
If you are stressed right now,
focus on the future and on successfully completing
or solving the task in front of you.
This new focus of focus will instantly change your mood
and give you the resources you need
to deal with your current difficulties.
Stress is often the feeling of being “stuck” within a certain time frame.
For example, a person always thinks about his future in pessimistic ways.
You can help this person direct their focus
to what they can control in the present moment.
Or there are people who,
when faced with a challenge,
often focus only on their past failures.
Because they live in the past,
their tension increases.
If they know how to transition into the present,
or anticipate the future,
they can change their emotional state right away.
So our emotions are strongly influenced
by the time frame in which we are active in the present.
We often forget that time is a product of the mind,
it is entirely relativistic,
and that our experience of time
is almost entirely the result of our concentration of mind.
For example, how do you know if the time is long or short?
It totally depends on the situation, doesn’t it?
Standing in line for more than 10 minutes can be considered as a century long,
while talking with your lover for an hour,
how does it pass so quickly!
A day in prison is longer than a thousand years of freedom outside.
Our beliefs also reflect our conception of time.
For some people, regardless of the circumstances,
20 minutes feels like a lifetime.
For others, a new century is called a long time.
That’s why these types of people walk differently, talk differently,
see different goals and if they had to share the same time frame,
imagine how stressed they would be!
“All things are difficult before they are easy.”— Thomas Fuller
In today’s exercise, we’ll summarize and apply three “time-saving” tips.
First step: Time Reverse Power
Once you’ve mastered the ability
to change time frames by shifting focus points,
you’re ready to move on
to the second great power of time management,
the ability to reverse time so that a minutes seem like an hour,
or an hour seems like a minute.
Do you realize that when your mind is so engrossed in something,
you lose track of time?
Why? Because you are no longer focused on time.
You don’t count the time anymore.
You are focused on something interesting and so time goes by very quickly.
Remember you have to be in control.
Control your focus and consciously choose how to measure your time.
If you regularly check your watch,
time seems to be crawling like a snail.
Here too, your temporal experience is controlled by the focus of your attention.
How do you define how you spend your time?
Are you wasting time, wasting time,
or killing time?
It is often said that “killing time is not killing but suicide”.
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. ”— Stephen Hawking
Second step: Doing Important Things
One distinction, perhaps the most important,
is that of discerning the urgency
and importance of controlling your decisions regarding your use of time
and thus with regard to satisfaction.
What do I want to say?
Let me ask you this question:
Have you ever worked to your death,
completing all the “to-dos” on your list,
but at the end of the day you still feel unsatisfied?
The reason is that you’ve done all the things that are urgent
and require your attention in the meantime,
but you forget to do what’s important,
what will have a big impact in the long run.
Conversely, have you ever had days
where you only get a few things done,
but at the end of the day feel like the day was worth it?
Those were the days when you focused on the important things
instead of on the urgent things that demanded your attention.
Urgency seems to rule our lives.
The phone rings while we are busy with something important,
but we “have to” pick up the phone.
What if we lose our chance?
This is a prime example of leaving the important for the urgent.
Or we buy a book that we
We think it will have a huge impact on our lives,
but we hesitate to read it
because we have to spend time reading the mail,
or running in the street,
or watching the news on TV.
The only way to truly master your time is
to organize your daily schedule
so that most of your time can be spent doing the important things
rather than the urgent ones.
“Success is the sum of small efforts,
repeated day in and day out.”— Robert Collier
Third step: Save Time
The most effective way to save time is to learn from the experiences of others.
We will never truly master our time if our primary strategy of learning
and navigating the world is based on trial and error groping.
Learning from the experiences of successful people can
save us many years of hard work.
That’s why I read books voraciously,
regularly attend courses and listen to tapes.
I have always considered these experiences as a necessity,
not as ancillary,
and they have provided me with many years of experience and success since.
I recommend learning from other people’s experiences
as often as possible and using what you’ve learned.
“We always have enough time;
We just need to use the time right.” -Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe