Time is a gift from God given to men in an unrepeatable way. It is the measurable period of time in which things happen. Everything you are today and everything you become tomorrow will be determined by the way you think and the way you use your time.
Jesus answered: Are there not twelve hours in the day?..¦John 11:9
Time is short, but time is also enough. To say there is no time is to admit your failure as a time manager. There is time, but it must be managed efficiently for maximum production.
Here are twenty time killers to avoid if you want to live a fruitful life.
1) INDECISION When decisions are delayed, time is wasted, efficiency is reduced, and achievement is thwarted. Delaying action or postponing action steals time and ruins life. According to 2Cor. 6:2, God works in the divine today. In other words, we can say that there is urgency with God. If you read Song of Songs 5:2-6, you will discover that due to indecision, the man wasted time and his beloved, his heart’s desire could no longer be found!
2) INDISCIPLINE If we don’t control ourselves, we may not wake up to do our homework. You may need to force yourself to do something even when you don’t feel like it. If we are not disciplined our time could be:
a) Controlled by dominant people
b) Swallowed by things that appeal to the flesh
c) Ruled by the tyranny of the immediate urgent
d) Used in unimportant conversations
e) Wasted in daydreaming
f) Used in doing things that we must delegate
3) NO PRAYER The devil is there to steal, kill and destroy. If his time is to be preserved, he must take the battle to the enemy’s gate in war. Besides, God is the giver of time, he could prompt you through his spirit so that you don’t waste it!
4) LACK OF PERSONAL ORGANIZATION Can you find what you want, when you want it?
• Is your desk messy?
• Is your entire office turned upside down that you can’t focus on what you’re doing at the same time?
• Do you have a good filing system?
The answers to all of these questions will tell you how organized you are and where some of your time goes.
5) MEETINGS Meetings, fraternity meetings, special roundtables can affect the time allocated to other tasks. Not all meetings should be attended; you can send representatives, all depending on your priorities.
6) FREQUENT INTERRUPTIONS Interruptions are part of everyday life, but when they become too frequent they can become an unwanted waste of time.
a) Visitors: When you pay full attention to all visitors and pretend that they are welcome at all times, they will stay long and waste your time. Visitors should be screened and given appointment times.
b) Telephone calls: just a phone call can break your momentum. The solution is to (i) use voicemail (ii) pick up the phone (iii) turn off the mobile phone (iv) give your mobile phone to someone else to answer.
7) LATE LEADERSHIP Feeling tired after a heavy lunch, high ambient temperatures can cause drowsiness, sluggishness and an inability to concentrate. All this will delay the action and waste precious hours.
8) LONG TIP Problems are not eliminated with a long advice. Tips longer than 30 minutes may no longer be effective. Leaders need to understand the power of following through on advice and the effectiveness of the counselor’s special assignments.
9) GOSSIP Gossip consumes time. You may know when it started, but you may never be able to control when it will end. It drains the brain, destroys your day, reduces your worth and wastes your hours.
10) INABILITY TO SAY NO A leader who wants to succeed should not be a man of himself. He needs to know how to say No. When you always say yes, you’ll agree to do what you can’t do and you can go places you shouldn’t go and waste valuable time.
11) INSUFFICIENT DELEGATION Time is wasted when it is spent on tasks that others can easily perform. It is better to put ten men to work than to do the work of ten men. Leaders who don’t delegate will suffocate and become paralyzed before going red.
12) BAD SYSTEM ORGANIZATION When there is no defined line of organizational structure, time can be wasted as there will be frequent meetings during which “who” is designated to do “what”.
13) SLOTH Lazy people must necessarily waste time in bed, in the house doing routine cleaning, etc. If you are too lazy to do what you should do on time, you will find yourself doing what you should have done yesterday, today.
14) LACK OF PLANNING When you don’t even know what you should be doing each time, you’re not just wasting your hours, you’re wasting your life. Every minute spent planning saves ten minutes in execution. Therefore, it is helpful to write a list of things that need to be done and rank them in order of importance.
15) CRISES Frequently occurring interpersonal crises will inevitably waste the leader’s time. He may need to sit down for hours to talk and resolve differences. Thus, time is wasted that could have been spent on other things.
16) ILLNESS Time spent at the sick bed is wasted time. Frequent illness is a terrible time eater. Therefore, proper precautions should be taken to avoid the disease as much as possible. Such precautions include
• effective prayers
• Adequate rest
• Regular exercises
• Use of prophylactics
• Correct use of the language
• Good nutrition
• Personal hygiene
17) LACK OF PRIORITIES When you try to do too many tasks at the same time, time is consumed and work is left undone. Therefore, there is a need for a realistic scale of priorities, so that first things can be done first. The things that matter most will never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.
18) TELEVISION SETS Television and movies can be helpful when it comes to relaxation and specific edification. But many people are stuck in life, wasting precious hours because of programs and plays that have nothing to add to their destinies. Hours that could be spent in active meditation, planning, and scheduling are consumed and wasted in front of the television. Meanwhile, most of the people who appear on TV because of their distinction are too busy to watch TV.
19) READING Readers are leaders. People who won’t read today may not be worth much tomorrow. However, some reading is just a waste of time. Reading newspapers at prime time or reading fictional writings can become a stubborn waste of time. Romance novels, entertainment magazines may not bring you anything but they destroy your time.
20) WORRY, FEAR AND PANIC Whenever there is a lot of difficulty and overwhelming problems, a lot of time can be wasted in unnecessary thoughts, anticipation, and panic. Meanwhile, most of the things people worry about never happen, as the time spent worrying is wasted.