By: David Freund
Recently I have been having difficulty with time. I just never have enough of it. It seems that there is always way too much to do and simply not enough time. Michael Hyatt, former President and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing said, “Time is a zero-sum game. Similar to a tug-of-war, the length of the rope never changes.” Each one of us has a finite number of years, months, weeks, days, hours, and yes minutes. Your calendar is also a zero-sum game.
How many things do you add to your calendar or to-do-list without thinking? So many good things, each requiring only a short amount of time. Perhaps just an hour or two, then before you know it, your calendar and to-do-list are full. Worse yet, you do not even add them to your calendar; you just commit to doing them and deal with the ramifications later. When will you get the important things done? When will you have time to invest in your family or in your professional or personal growth. When will you be able to truly focus?
Steve Jobs put it best when he said, “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you have got to focus on. But that is not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. I am actually as proud of the things we have not done as I am the things we have.” As I reflected on that statement, it became clear to me that I needed to make better choices. If I am going to say yes to one thing I am actually saying no to something else. Since my time is finite, there will need to be trade-offs. Sometimes we need to say no to the good to make time for the best.
When you are faced with the many “good” things that others want you to agree to do, what will you choose to say yes to or no to?