By Bob Mueller

To paraphrase Ben Franklin: If you love your life, then don’t waste time, not even an hour, not even a minute. For time is the stuff that life is made of.

Several times a day I ask myself: “What’s the best use of my time right now?” It is so easy to get distracted or sidetracked by things that seem to need my attention, eat up my time and energy, and ultimately aren’t aligned with my goals and values. “What’s the best use of my time right now?” helps me stay on target and on purpose.

Some examples are:

  • If I’m attending a webinar or seminar that is boring, poorly presented, or has no helpful information, I’ll ask myself, “What’s the best use of my time right now?” If my answer is, “Not this webinar or seminar,” then I will discreetly slip out the back door or sign off and go do what is more important or urgent.
  • Whenever I find myself engaged in any activity that isn’t congruent with my goals or values, I stop what I’m doing, then take steps to move in a direction more aligned with what’s important to me.
  • When I’m at a social gathering that isn’t fun or interesting, I’ll quietly say good-night to the host and excuse myself with, “I have another commitment I must keep, but I’m glad I could stop by for a little while. Thank you for inviting me.” The host doesn’t need to know that the “other commitment” is to myself.

Don’t worry about what other people will think. You might be pleasantly surprised to discover that they will actually respect you more for using your time wisely.

Each day has 10 things that need done, but time enough to do only five. The challenge is to pick the most important five things and do them, let go of the other five, and sleep peacefully at night knowing you made the right choices.

Bob Mueller is the vice president of development at Hosparus

Do you have a problem with using your time wisely? What things eat up your time the most?