time management

Everyone agrees: time is valuable. More valuable than all the money or stuff you wil ever own. Yet, a lot of it is wasted. Being an entrepreneur, husband and father I never have time enough. Just like you! It is time for me to start using it more wisely and stop using it on the wrong things. Below are the ten things I will start practicing from now on.

To be clear: I am not a big fan of ‘maximum productivity’. It doesn’t mean we have to use our time constantly for productive purposes. Relaxing, spending casual time with others, laziness and contemplation can be just as important and meaningful as being extremely productive.

The point is to be ‘master of your time’ and spend it on things that give you energy.

For inspiration, I looked at proverbs from the animal world.

These are the ten things I will practice to use my time more wisely. I will:

1. let it all slide off me like water off a duck’s back

From now on I will stop spending time worrying about criticism or what others might think. Worrying – about anything really – is human. But it sucks up energy and leads to nothing.

2. eat that frog

As Mark Twain once said “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” The frog is that one thing on your to-do list that you have no motivation to do. Eating the frog means to just do it. Right away, first thing. Otherwise the frog will eat you which means that you will end up procrastinating it the whole day. So from now on I will eat that frog first thing in the morning. Bon appetit!

3. not be that fish climbing a tree

There is a famous quote from Albert Einstein: “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” I will stay true to my nature and won’t try to do things that are way, way out of my comfort zone. Despite what many ‘positivity guru’s’ may tell me.

4. be happy with the one bird in the hand

From now on I will be more happy with a lesser – but certain – advantage than the possibility of a greater one that may come to nothing.

5. address the elephant in the room

I will try to address that important and obvious topic, which everyone present is aware of, but which isn’t discussed, as such discussion is considered to be uncomfortable. The elephant doesn’t only take up space. It also takes my valuable time.

6. go straight to my destination as the crow flies

I will travel in a direct line as much as possible, without any of the detours that may distract me. This does not only apply to roads! Just go straight for the result you’re after and avoid the ‘touristic route’.

7. not be that dog barking up the wrong tree

Starting today I will try not to make a mistake or a false assumption in something I am trying to achieve. That may mean I have to prepare better and really think things through before I act.

8. stop flogging a dead horse

In my line of work this is one of the things that I experience almost daily. From now on: I will not engage in fruitless effort, attempting to revive an interest which has died out.

9. avoid dealing with Paper tigers

I will not spend my time on a person who appears to have power but is in reality ineffectual. Recognize this? Put your energy in the people that can really make a difference.

10. be the early bird that catches the worm

Every opportunity I get: I will prepare well, put in effort and get that worm first!

Now get off your high horse and be a guinea pig! Do this experiment and be as busy as a bee and as happy as a clam!

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