31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 16 – Time Wasters


Temple

One challenge on your Leadership Gauntlet will affect you personally, as well as those whom you serve. They are time wasters.

Time is a treasure and a resource. There are 24 hours in each day and 168 hours in a week. How you use the time given to you is your choice. How you manage your time will contribute or take away from your ability to be successful. We are individuals who craft time to our benefit or detriment. We are time crafters and consumers of time consumers. We vary in the total distribution of this amazing gift over our lifetime, but each day, our allotment is the same.

The way we manage time can influence the amount we have, but there are factors that are beyond our control. However, if you take a class in time management, they will discuss time wasters. These are elements that absorb the time you have for meaningful activities and shift them to meaningless tasks. Time wasters are as empty calories. You consume them, but they have no intrinsic value. They are people or activities that distract you from doing something that has a higher priority. A time waster for one person may not be for another. They can be individualized.

Identify the time wasters in your life; the things that divert or take your time from more import tasks and minimize and eliminate them. Alan Larkin, the noted Time Management expert says the following about time. “Time is life. It is both irreversible and irreplaceable, to waste your time is to waste your life, but to master time is to master your life and to then make the most of it.”

The Temple of Wasted Time

Where is the pomp and circumstance,

Of cymbals and choirs and chimes;

As the minutes and the hours dance

To the Temple of Wasted Time?

Who will record these great events;

Ubiquitous as mortal crime,

As people from each continent

Pay homage to the Wasted Time?

Through rituals of sacrifice

Complacent and unorganized,

We pay commission and the price;

Efficiency is compromised.

We covet goals, yet wed to chance

With families in disarray,

We laugh at systems to enhance

The quantity of work and play.

The hours we procrastinate

Is taking money from the purse.

The bottomless collection plate

Should be immortalized in verse.

Who will disclose the compass zone;

Where mental pilgrimages start;

A temple not of steel or stone

Nor chambers of a person’s heart?

A monument, fictitious shrine

To glorify misuse of time.

As our health and work declines

We should despise abuse of time.

And yet, we spurn the accolades

Of opportunities lost and burned,

Through sanctioned daily masquerades;

And schedules that were overturned.

And so, we waste this prime resource

Throwing priorities away.

We celebrate this chosen course

With a book on the unplanned day.

Where is the pomp and circumstance,

Of cymbals and choirs and chimes;

As the minutes and the hours dance

To the Temple of Wasted Time?

Copyright © 2001 Orlando Ceaser

Reprinted with permission from Teach the Children to Dance

Personal Reflections

  1. What are your most important priorities?

  2. Who and what are your greatest distractions from getting things done?

  3. How will you notify them that you are busy?

  4. What habits do you have that are working against you?

  5. Who and what are sending you to the Temple of Wasted Time?

  6. How will you reschedule your day to focus on your priorities?

  7. What is the time of day when you are the most fruitful?

  8. You may contemplate the cost of time wasters as they relate to relationships, resources and results at home and at work.

  9. List your top 10 Time Wasters and post them for all to see. (be careful posting names)

  10. Managing time wasters may call for you to be more disciplined and diplomatic.

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