I6HL Huffaker1Have you ever figured out what your time is worth?  Have you ever pondered what you could accomplish if you had all the time you wanted?  

You determine the value of your time by how you spend it, and you have use of all the time there is.  Time is like water in a flowing river and you are like a canoe.  You can stand on the bank and watch the water flow by, or you can launch your canoe and flow with the water to all the places it can take you.  If you don’t get in the water, the water continues to flow.  You lose the opportunity to flow with the water and to travel where the water takes you.  Time continues whether you use it for gain or waste it.  If you use your time for gain, then it can be calculated to have significant value.  If you just let time pass by, you lose the value you might have gained.  The choice is yours; time doesn’t care, and it just continues to pass by.  

Every moment of your time falls into one of four categories.  These categories are defined using the words important and urgent.  Important means that something must be done, and urgent means now or immediately!  Category one is “important & urgent”.  Category two is “important & not urgent”.  Category three is “not important & urgent”.  Category four is “not important & not urgent”.  Most people think in terms of doing important things and they also interpret important things as urgent.  This being said, most people spend their lives in category one, “important & urgent”.  Everything they do must be done and done now.  They don’t have time to do anything else because they only have time to do the now things.

I used to be a “now” kind of guy.  I was always so busy doing the now or “urgent” things that I missed out on doing the “important” things in my life.  There were times I missed my son’s baseball games because I was doing urgent stuff.  I went a whole year and never rode my mountain bike because I was doing urgent things.  I spent a busy year doing urgent things and missed spending time with my family at our mountain cabin.  I didn’t spend time with my two daughters doing father things because I was working on urgent projects at the office.  My wife and I didn’t get away for romantic weekends because I was dealing with the urgencies of running a business.  No one ever spent more time living in category one than me.  

Then, one day I figured it out.  I didn’t want to live in category one any longer.  I wanted to have a life filled with all life can offer, and I wanted to have time to do the important things in life without all of the pressure of doing the urgent things.  This is what I discovered.  You can have it all, if you are smart enough to live and work in category two.  Everything you do in category two is just as important as category one.  So you are still doing important things, however, you are doing those things before they become urgent.  So if they aren’t urgent, you can choose when to do them.  They don’t have to be done now.  You can spend time with family because what was once urgent has been taken care of before it became urgent.  If you are working on a project that is important, but not urgent, and an unforeseen situation is now urgent, you can put the project you were working on aside, tend to the urgent situation, and then return to the important, but not urgent project.

You really do have a choice of which category you will spend your time.  I have discovered ten important truths related to these four categories of time.  Let me share them with you:

  1. Working in category one is no fun.  The stress and pressure is not healthy, and it will shorten your life and turn your hair gray or your head bald.

  2. Most things you spend your time doing in category one could be done in category two with a little planning and scheduling.  If you are working in category two and an urgent situation arises, you have time to resolve it, and then move right back into category two.

  3. You will find peace and happiness living and working in category two.  Category two is the only place you will be able to accomplish those things that are really important to you and your family.

  4. Salespeople who work in category one are never as financially successful as those who work in category two.

  5. Salespeople who work in category one never have time to prospect, ask for referrals or work on networking to find the best new sales opportunities.

  6. Salespeople who work in category one suffer from “category two envy.”  They wish they could be like those salespeople who are successful in their careers and enjoy their personal lives.

  7. Effective daily time management and planning is the key to living and working in category two.  If you don’t plan and schedule your time every day you will never experience the success and joy waiting for you in category two.

  8. Category two is the only place where you can know the value of your time and maximize your accomplishments.

  9. You don’t want to spend your life living in category one, only to discover at the end of your life, that category two is where you really wished you had been.

  10. When you effectively plan and schedule your time and experience for the first time the euphoria living and working in category two, you will understand what I have been trying to explain!