Have you ever considered the time investment in some of the world’s greatest achievements?
· It took 26 months to build the Eiffel Tower.
· It took Da Vinci 4 years to paint the Mona Lisa.
· It took Michelangelo 4 years to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
· It took Leo Tolstoy over 6 years to write War and Peace.
· It took around 30 years to build the Great Pyramid.
And most of us get impatient if we wait in line at McDonald’s too long!
This list shows what can be accomplished when a time is invested wisely. Time is the one commodity each person gets in equal measure. As songwriter Chris Rice once wrote, “Every day is a bank account, and time is our currency. No one’s rich, nobody’s poor – we get 24 hours each.”
Yet so many of us don’t invest time wisely. We spend many of the hours we’re given each day on things that bring us no return. According to the website Digital Trends, Americans now spend an average of 4.7 hours a day looking at social media on their phones. Take a moment and re-read that, because it’s an amazing statistic.
4.7 HOURS!. A day! Staring at the phone! To see what other people are doing with their time. And sadly, most of them are burning up precious minutes on social media also.
I know what you’re thinking. No, I’m not against social media or smartphones or anything like that. However, I am very much in favor of anyone and everyone investing their time wisely. Seriously, we are now a culture that doesn’t appreciate time anymore. We don’t even understand time anymore. We expect everything to be accomplished to be done quickly. We’re used to instant results and fast feedback.
Our default setting is impatience. And while some things are fine when done fast, others suffer when we skimp on time. Things like…
RELATIONSHIPS – People require time – your spouse, your children, your co-workers, your friends. If you want to have healthy relationships with the people around you, you have to invest time with those people.
HEALTH – Trust me, once you get past a certain age, your health requires a lot of your time! Even if all you want is to live a reasonably healthy life, you still have to set aside time to exercise and eat well.
PERSONAL GROWTH – Your growth as a person isn’t automatic! In order to grow as a person, you have to put in the hours of reading, reflecting, and spending time with people who can help you be better.
FINANCES – Your finances need your time and attention, but one of the biggest needs is planning for your future. Your retirement isn’t going to just show up fully funded when you’re 65; if you want to retire comfortably, you have to start setting money aside when you’re younger.
Now, these aren’t new ideas to you. You’re smart enough to know that each one of these areas needs an investment of time on your part. But if I were to ask you right now to grade your time investment in each of them, I imagine at least one would receive a low grade. And if you’re like most people, you’re likely to have two or three areas that need shoring up.
Here’s the good news: you can very easily make improvements in the way you invest your time. All it takes in one simple habit.
You see, most people don’t understand the power of consistency. They use so much of their time poorly, and as such they feel a great pressure to maximize what little time they have left after using it all up. That pressure leads them to overdo it. And then to fail.
Whatever the area, the pressure to make the most of the time available often leads to bad results, which leads to people further neglecting to spend the time necessary to make things better, or correct the previous errors.
All of this can be avoided with the habit of consistency. Consistency in this case means you give a little bit of time to each area every day, and stick with it. Maybe to start with, you spend 5 minutes every morning listening to your spouse. You dedicate 15 minutes every evening to playing with your kids. You put $50 into a savings account every week. You exercise for 15 minutes a day.
It won’t feel like much at first, but it’s the discipline to stick with it that yields not only the tangible results of the investment, but the internal rewards as well. You learn to increase the time you give each area. You become more aware of how you’re wasting time. You get sharper, smarter, and more focused as a result.
When you live with consistency, you learn that the rewards you seek in life don’t come after you take one step; they come when you’ve taken a journey to a place you’ve never been. You may never paint the Sistine Chapel or build an ark, but with the habit of consistency, you’ll be able to live like legendary UCLA Coach John Wooden – making each day your masterpiece.
To Your Success…