Time is the only nonrenewable resource

I’m a productivity nerd.

I love David Allen’s Getting Things Done. A very uninteresting title for a very all-consuming productivity practice.

I’m a big fan of Darren Hardy and Michael Hyatt. They both spend 66% of their time focusing on how to help others build a productive and effective life.

I’ve tried a few different planners and a few different apps like Trello and Todoist and Wunderlist.

Over the years, I’ve learned – not just heard from all the folks listed above – but learned that time is the only non-renewable resource.

Time is the only thing that once it is spent, it is gone. Can’t get it back.

Money, sure. Relationships, not as easy, but you can slowly earn relationships back. Nearly everything else that is important to us can be used and replenished.

Time…. not so much.

You can’t get back yesterday. It’s gone. I’m starting to depress myself.

This COVID-19 pandemic has forced me to face this truth even harder. Never have I spent so much time around and near my family, but never have I been so aware of how I’m not always great at making the most of it.

I have to work and take care of normal chores, but what am I doing when I shut down the laptop at the end of the day? How am I engaging those three children who are holed up in their rooms or my wife as she goes about her day?

What am I building with my time?

How are people who are right now stuck in a hospital, scared, afraid, lonely wishing they’d spent many of their days? I don’t want to wait until that kind of a thing is a reality for me (because for most of us it will become one at some point, some day) before I give this more thought and effort.

Some things I’m trying to do….

  1. Spend my five within five (or six within six during this current time). Take a few minutes each day to try to connect with each person in my home. It doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a building block.
  2. Plan my evenings: We don’t plan well enough – generally. I’m working on scheduling a ‘date evening’ with my wife each week (shhhh… don’t tell her), even while we can’t go anywhere. I have some control of the evenings, so I want to make sure I plan dedicated time and don’t allow TV to just kind of slowly melt away each night.
  3. Put Bookends on Work: This is both to benefit my work and my family. If I have a bookend at work, a preferred start and stop time, then I will be more focused to accomplish what I need to versus allowing work to flow through into my evening. For home, I will have the hard stop, take a short 15 minute buffer time and then step into family time, usually with my phone, laptop, and iPad safely put away.

Those are just a few things to help make the most of irreplaceable time.

How about you? How are you protecting and investing your time?

Today marks the end of week 3 of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m blogging my way through it – a normal American surburban family, sheltered-in-place, directly unaffected, trying to keep our wits about us.

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