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It’s really about how YOU are going to make time and take advantage of the time that you do have. The problem is not a shortage of time; it’s the usage of time. It’s not really time management; it’s choice and priority management.

Life Reflection Timeline

Let’s take a broad perspective here for a moment and look at your entire life. Consider this: Let’s say I could give you the gift of living until age 100. Wouldn’t that be great? Of course, you’d be financially independent, you’d not lose your memory, and your health would be good. Draw a horizontal line and label the ends 0 and 100. This line will represent your life. If you could live to age 10, where would you be right now with regard to your current age? Mark that segment off with a vertical line and label that “History.” That time is gone, and you can no longer change what has already passed. You can only affect what is left.

Out of the remaining line segment, you must then take off how much time you will be asleep. The average American sleeps 6-8 hours per night. Depending upon how much you sleep, mark off a segment of time for that (about 1/3 of the time left). Label that “Sleep.”

The remaining line segment represents the time that you’re both alive and awake. Out of that, how much are you going to work? (The rest of it—just kidding.) About half of what’s left. People are still staying busy and finding things to keep them occupied into retirement age, even if they’re doing different kinds of work. Label that “Work.”

Label the little line segment that’s left “Me.” This activity is not meant to depress you, but rather to impress upon you how very little time we actually have left. Time is precious and fleeting. The remaining time after work and sleep does not even count the time you are going to be in line at the store, driving, putting on your makeup, showering, and all those other menial activities. These are not life-changing types of activities. You have to get in all of the things that really matter to you in that little chunk of time.

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