“It’s not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested.”– Seneca
As a professional speaker and coach, I am often asked about how to manage time and stay focused to produce great results in such a busy world of ours. The truth is, time cannot be managed, it’s only the activities that can be managed within time, not time itself.
One of my favourite philosophers is Lucius Annaeus Seneca who was a Roman statesman and stoic philosopher. I thought I should share some of his views on time management which I hugely benefited from. These are extracted from his book – On The Shortness of Life. Seneca, offers us an urgent reminder on the non-renewability of our most important resource: our time. So, with this in mind, here are a few most important insights for time management from the writings of Seneca;
- Treat time as a commodity.
People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time, they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy, time. While the amount of time we get is uncertain but one thing that is certain is, it is limited.
- Don’t invest your time preparing for life.
Live right now, do not delay happiness. The life in the future you’re working towards may never come. We are so busy worried about the future that we often let the present slip away, allowing time to rush past unobserved and unseized. And when we are old and on our death beds, we finally realize how short life is and left with regret of not making the most of it when we could. Yes, plan your future well but don’t let it steal the precious present.
- Live life for your own self.
You are just being tossed and turned by everything that’s coming at you, and in today’s world, there’s a lot that’s coming at you. We then fool ourselves by telling us that we don’t have enough time to try new pursuits. Being busy is always your choice. Being busy with things we don’t like is the greatest distraction from living. We routinely coast through our lives, day after day, showing up for our obligations but being absent from ourselves, mistaking the doing for the being.
- Make the most of your free time.
We all work hard to earn two things: money and free time. Now, what do you do with your free time? Think of your lunch break, do you use it for reading, writing, exercising, journaling, meditating or anything that could add value to your life? If you want to beat mediocrity and start living your life, then you need to start making the most of your free time.
I truly hope that this will add value to your life and even encourage you to get yourself a copy of this book for more insights that will help you unleash your power.
Your dreams have long been calling you, it’s time to pick up and answer the call!
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Veli Ndaba is a Professional and Motivational Speaker, Life-Coach and Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner, Author of two books (You Are Born to Win, Your Dream is Calling You and SWITCH ON!), Newspaper Columnist and Entrepreneur. To book him to help you and your team unleash your greatness, contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org , www.velindaba.co.za and 083 304 9773