8 Perspectives Of Time That Can Help You Do What Matters Most

Given that Thanksgiving 2015 is now in the rearview mirror and Christmas straight ahead, my experience tells me the rest of 2015 is going to go by in the blink of an eye. Is it the same for you?

This time of year is always a reflective one for me. I think it is for most people.  Once again, I’m reminded once again of the brevity of life. It just seems to keep going by faster every year.  It’s all perspective of course; a day is still a day, a minute a minute and a second a second.  None of these units of time ever goes any faster or slower, it just seems that way.

So how can we have a perspective of time that helps do what matters with the time we have?  Perhaps putting it in the context of meaning can help. I found the list below compiled by Michael Altshuler extremely helpful for my own perspective, perhaps you will as well:

  1. To realize the value of 1 year, ask a student who had failed a grade
  2. To realize the value of 1 month, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby
  3. To realize the value of 1 week, ask an editor of a weekly magazine
  4. To realize the value of 1 day, ask a daily wage laborer who has kids to feed
  5. To realize the value of 1 hour, ask the lovers who are waiting to see each other
  6. To realize the value of 1 minute, ask a person who has missed a flight
  7. To realize the value of 1 second, ask the person who has avoided an accident
  8. To realize the value of 1 millisecond, ask the person who has won a silver medal at the Olympics

Wow….how do those land with you?! A few of them were extremely personal and gave me a quite the jolt.

Way too many people always say they don’t have enough time, and unfortunately I’m too often one of those people. The reality is that all of us have all the time there is to have. Our problem is that our perspective of time doesn’t always motivate us to prioritize and spend it well. After all, you can’t fully appreciate what you don’t appreciate to begin with.

The question now is where to go with this so that it actually makes a difference in what we do with our time? Awareness brought on by proper perspective often makes fertile ground for proper decision making and action. Asking ourselves a few relevant questions like the ones below, each elucidated by a quote, can motivate us to act in a way that truly reflects how much we say we value our time.

  • What does time mean to me personally? “Killing time isn’t murder, it’s suicide.” ~Harvey Mackay
  • Just how valuable is my time? “You can always get more money, but you can never get anymore time.” ~Jim Rohn
  • Where should I spend my time? “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” ~Stephen Covey
  • How should I spend my time? “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” ~John Wooden
  • What can I do about my time?  “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” ~Michael Altshuler

While we can’t control or manage time, we DO control our priorities and where we focus our energy.  With a proper perspective on time, how do you need to direct those two things within your control so you can do what matters most with what’s left in 2015?

What other perspectives of time have helped you appreciate it’s value and what to do with? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear about it.