“Knowing what you want out of life, and who you want in it, means nothing if you can’t also say no to everything but those people and things. Until you cultivate the ability to say no to the things that fill your life but not your soul, you’ll never have the space to bring into it the things you desperately want to say yes to.” ~ Jonathan Fields, How To Live A Good Life
“Eventually, happiness was just a speck on the horizon, way off in the distance. The closer I got, the farther I had to go. Turns out that I’d been running as fast as I could in the wrong direction. Oops. The stuff wasn’t doing its job; it wasn’t making me happy. Depression set in when I no longer had time for a life outside of work, laboring eighty hours a week just to pay for the stuff that wasn’t making me happy. I didn’t have time for anything I wanted to do: no time to write, no time to read, no time to relax, no time for my closest relationships. I didn’t even have time to have a cup of coffee with a friend, to listen to his stories. I realized that I didn’t control my time, and thus I didn’t control my own life. It was a shocking realization.” ~ The Minimalists, Everything That Remains
“What you don’t do determines what you can do.” ~ Tim Ferriss, via James Clear’s Blog
Malcolm X’s Alma Mater – And How Choosing Between ‘Dead Time’ and ‘Alive Time’ Can Change Your Life.
Malcolm X was a criminal. He wasn’t Malcolm X at the time – they called him Detroit Red and he was a criminal opportunist who did a little bit of everything. He ran numbers. He sold drugs. He worked as a pimp. Then he moved up to armed robbery. He had his own burglary gang, which he ruled over with a combination of intimidation and boldness – exploiting the fact that he did not seem afraid to kill or die.
Then, finally, he was arrested trying to fence an expensive watch he’d stolen. He was carrying a gun at the time, though to his credit he made no move to fight the officers who had trapped him. In his apartment, they found jewelry, furs, an arsenal of guns, and all his burglary tools.
He got ten years. It was February 1946. He was barely twenty-one years old.
“There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But still we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy.” ~ Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness
“Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to used during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course? Each of us has such a bank, its name is time. Every morning, it credits you 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off at a lost, whatever of this you failed to invest to a good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no over draft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against ‘tomorrow.’ You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success. The clock is running. Make the most of today.” ~ Marc Levy
“You must be ruthless with your time. Learn to say no. Having the courage to say no to the little things in life will give you the power to say yes to the big things. Shut the door to your office when you need a few hours to work on that big case. Don’t pick up the phone every time it rings. It is there for your convenience, not the convenience of others. Ironically, people will respect you more when they see that you are a person who values his time. They will realize that your time is precious and they will value it.” ~ Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
“Busy, productive people are highly efficient with their time – they must be in order to survive. Being an excellent time manager doesn’t mean that you must become a workaholic. On the contrary, time mastery allows you more time to do the things you love to do, the things that are truly meaningful to you. Time mastery leads to life mastery. Guard time well. Remember, it’s a non-renewable resource.” ~ Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
“Well arranged time is the surest mark of a well arranged mind.” ~ Sir Isaac Pitman
Stop Being Busy and Start Being Productive. It’s the Meaningful Work – Not the Busywork – That Counts.
In a world of infinite information and endless distractions it’s incredibly easy to invest time in ways that aren’t productive or meaningful for our lives.
We get caught up checking our Facebooks for notifications, our Twitters for Tweets, our e-mails for more e-mails… We scroll through Tumblr and Pinterest for pictures and content on walls that never end… Heck! Every social media network now has walls of updates that never end!
If we wanted to, we could stay ‘busy‘ all day and get no meaningful work done.
Moreover, because busywork is more prominent now than ever before, we could also never be done with our work if we wanted.
Seth Godin elaborates: “Before, when your shift was done, you were finished. When the in-box was empty, when the forms were processed, you could stop. Now, of course, there’s always one more tweet to make, one more post to write, one more words with friends move to complete. There’s one more e-mail message you can write, one more lens you can construct, one more comment you can respond to. If you want to, you can be never finished.”
I’m afraid to admit that, before I worked up the willpower to open up this page and start writing this blog post, I spent around 25 minutes procrastinating and doing busywork myself…
I interacted with my Facebook timeline for 10 minutes, opened up my e-mail for a quick glance and acted busy for about 10 minutes there, then went back to Facebook for another 5 minute scroll, and finally opened up this post.
…What’s scary is that this is not uncommon for me and that I easily could have continued scrolling, delaying, and doing busywork for much longer, and would have likely stayed just as entertained throughout. Continue reading
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that” ~ Stephen King
When you have 1,001 things to do and not nearly enough time to do all of it – it’s very easy to lose your cool, your center, and (resultantly) your mind.
We see it everyday: people running around like chickens with their heads cut off, reacting to every thought that pops up in their mind and every demand that their inbox and cell phone urge while successfully stressing themselves out to the max throughout the process.
First and foremost understand this, your work will never be done.
Now, repeat after me: My work will never be done.
Once you accept this, having e-mails left in your inbox and more work that needs to be handled isn’t such a stressful thought.
Because here’s the deal: Continue reading