it's more important to savor the moment.
a walking trail in Markham that winds its way leisurely around
a pond, through fields, wooded area, along a river and eventually
emerges in the quaint village of Unionville, Ontario. People
negotiate its many twists and turns either on foot or on bicycle
as they get their daily dose of exercise. A pleasant walk
indeed. On occasion, I have even spotted the odd deer peering
through the early morning mist.
at it may seem, I have also spotted shortcuts at every curve
- paths beaten through the grass and wild flowers by walkers
and cyclists who have been programmed by life to seek out
the shortest distance between two points. Has the world gone
completely mad? Why would someone whose sole purpose in the
morning was to exercise or enjoy the outdoors want to take
is precisely what they do. And I am tempted as well when I
see this swooping arc in the path ending at the foot of a
bridge a scant 50 yards straight ahead. Is the real purpose
of this path to take a person from point A to point B in the
shortest time possible? Forget the rippling stream and swaying
branches, the colorful flowers and fluttering birds. Ignore
the early morning mist and the animals scurrying for cover
in the bushes. Let's get to Unionville as fast as we can!
we negotiate life the same way. We try to get through it in
the least possible time. Who has time to smell the flowers?
Just trample them underfoot as we carve another shortcut through
life. Dictate into a pocket recorder as we drive through the
countryside. Scan magazines as your child skates his heart
out for your approval. Mentally rehearse that sales presentation
as you and your family eat breakfast in silence. Use your
wireless handheld computer to collect e-mail at the beach.
Make every vacation a working vacation, every social event
a networking opportunity and every flight a chance to work
the impact of eating breakfast during the commute to work
or using a cell phone as we weave through city traffic? A
safety hazard? Absolutely. A stressor. Of course. A time saver?
save time, stretch time nor salvage time. You can only use
time. If you use it for trivial, needless or superfluous things,
you are actually wasting it. We try to cheat life by cramming
more into each hour, but by doing so, we simply displace something
else or ruin what that hour already contains.
are a few things that can be done simultaneously while preserving
the integrity of each, such as listening to the radio while
taking a shower or reading a book while waiting for a delayed
flight to depart, but these are few and far between.
what appear to be time savers are actually life wasters in
disguise. In the name of personal productivity, organizational
efficiency or time strategies, we have been sold a bill of
goods by well-meaning time management consultants who are
paid handsomely to keep us on the fast track. Sometimes we
are moving in the opposite directions to the track. What is
the point in running up a down escalator?
conditioned throughout our lives to hurry, be efficient, and
not waste time. We are brainwashed by commercials that promote
fast foods, speedy delivery and instant success. We are deluged
with time saving appliances, super swift software and precision
watches that track time to the nth degree. We move faster,
talk faster, work faster and live faster. Children grow up
faster and grownups grow old faster. Time itself seems to
be picking up speed.
beautiful life, but who has time to notice? Life expectancy
has increased but its benefits have been nullified by our
distorted perception of time. We are living faster than the
speed of life. We are literally racing to our deaths. If you
are a participant in the rat race, get off the track. Let
the die-hards pass you on the way to the finish line.
of life is not to be the one to finish it first, but the one
to enjoy it the most. Don't live speedily; live abundantly.
is not doing more things in less time. It is doing more important
things in the time that we have. And who is to determine what
is important? You are. It's your time. It's your life. You
may want to live it a little slower and savor the moments.
You may even decide that it's more important to see those
fish gliding effortlessly between the rocks in that shallow
stream than to arrive in Unionville before the stores open.
Taylor, president of Harold Taylor Time Consultants Inc.
has been speaking, writing and conducting training programs
on the topic of effective time management for over 25 years.
He has written 15 books and 200 articles, developed over 50
time management products and presented over 2000 workshops,
all on the topic of time management.
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