Yesterday, we had arranged to meet with a friend of mine to strike a certain deal. That was supposed to be at 3.00pm. I was also attending a church retreat from 11.00am. He called at 2.45pm to announce that he was already at the venue. Guess what? I was miles upon miles away from the place, still enjoying the aura of the retreat. I tried to guzzle the traffic jam and other road distractions but got to the venue forty minutes late. His greeting was, “I can see you are a typical African, you can’t keep to time”. I stood there sheepishly, trying to drown his last word with “er…er, I’m really sorry”. It felt awful because he is a Muslim and I am a Christian yet he had won the bragging rights. I had let distractions creep in and steal my time with him.
Time can never be created, so the saying goes. It is true. But wait. Have you ever tried to fit wool into a sack? You will be amazed how much space the sack affords each time you press the wool hard. You will discover that the sack can actually carry more wool than you ever imagined. You will eventually say that you created some space until all the wool fitted. In reality, you didn’t create any space. You just squeezed the wool into the already existing space. This is the same case with time. We can always squeeze all our tasks and afford some spare time if we learned basic truths about creating time…..or should I say saving time. We can save time if we:
- Avoid time-wasters. Time wasters are things that eat into our time while we remain sub-conscious about them. These may be people, object, ideas and such other things. These include but are not limited to gossips, fantasies, day-dreaming, worries, disorganized desks and so on. These can be avoided if we choose to. Remember it’s about choice not about possibility. Certainly it is possible to avoid time-wasters but if a determined choice has not been made to do so, then it will never happen. If we avoid gossips, fantasizing, worrying and organize our desks and working environment, then we can save (I mean create time)
- Prioritize. Some of the text messages we receive can be read when we are taking our lunch or even when we get home after the day’s work. This means we should peruse through and leave them alone for later attention. Some calls can also be drowned with a polite “can I call you later, probably in the evening?” Those emails, messages and other things which are urgent and important should be considered first. Then comes those that are urgent but not important, which we can delegate if we have a delegatee. If we don’t have one, we can go through them quickly since they are likely to be short in nature and requiring short response. Things which are important but not urgent can be done in phases, bearing in mind the deadline. Last comes things which are not urgent and not important which should be ignored till when we want to attend to them at our own pleasure rather than pressure.
(To be continued)
– johnstone katuku