Have you ever noticed that when it comes to time, people tend to play some funny tricks on themselves?
Maybe you’ve done it too. You put off something you have to do — a task, a project, an errand — not because you’re physically unable to do it, but because, for whatever reason, you just don’t feel like doing it right then.
What you’re really doing in a situation like that is valuing the present “you” over the future “you”. You’re saying that your thoughts, feelings, and desires in that moment are more valuable and count for more than those you’ll have an hour, a day, or a month down the road.
In other words, you’re bargaining with time. And in a bargain like that, you’re almost guaranteed to come out on the losing end.
How many times have you chosen your present self over your future self, only to find, once you’re finally forced to tackle the thing you put off, that it has multiplied in size, difficulty, or cost?
The minor car problem, ignored, balloons into a major disaster. The resume you should have been tweaking all along is hopelessly outdated when an out-of-the-blue, can-you-email-it-to-me-right-now job opportunity comes your way. The 10 pounds that would have been pretty easy to shed turn into 50 that seem impossible to get rid of.
I’ve spent my life studying success and the people who have achieved it. And I can tell you that not a single one of them tried to bargain with time.
Successful people have a tremendous amount of RESPECT for time. They know that there’s gold to be mined from every moment of the day. They know that most people waste time, so the few who don’t always have a phenomenal advantage in life.
Most importantly, they know that a small investment of time each day — whether it’s spent in thought or action — can pay out huge dividends down the road. And because they value the person on the receiving end of the equation just as much as they value their current self, they don’t hesitate to make that investment.
Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Lost time is never found again.” Don’t lose time — especially to your own self. Instead, respect it, control it, and make it work for you.
In fact, you can start right now.