The quest for time should be equal to our quest for life. In reality they are one and the same, with each deserving the same reverence and respect. Our time should be viewed for what it really is, a finite resource. We cannot create more of it; we cannot live it over; and we cannot save it for another day. It happens and then it is gone. It is the ultimate equalizer for all of mankind, with kings and paupers being allotted an equal amount, to either use wisely or to waste.
Our difficulty with time mastery is due to its internal paradoxes. We live as if there are infinite tomorrows, then mourn the fact there is never enough time to do all the things we need to do today. We set aside time for ourselves; then squander it relentlessly. We plead for more of it; then procrastinate until there is no time left. Time seems to race when we are enjoying ourselves and then tediously plods along when we must do something we dislike. As children, we sense it moving slowly, then as adults complain at how quickly it passes with each new birthday.
The quest for time in our lives remains one of our greatest challenges. We never seem to know how to get a grip on this thing called time, even though it has been around since day one. With generations of experience behind us, we should be time management experts by now. We have learned how to relate to it by measuring it with clocks and calendars. We read time management books, go to seminars and buy time organizers to plot out our daily priorities. We know about time from seasons, from bodily functions and from scientific inquiry. We know from physics that time curves through space and we know how fast light travels in one calendar year. We even have clichés and rules to guide our use of time, such as a stitch in time saves nine, time stands still for no man, time is of the essence and there is no time like the present.
Yet with all of our insights and with all of our rules, we are still dissatisfied about our use of time. Our inability to manage time in our lives is not through our lack of knowledge nor in the manner of how it affects our lives. Our poor time utilization is simply due to our inability to equate our needs with our time requirements. Our failure in time management often stems from our doing too much, from taking too little or too much time to do it, and even from doing things at the wrong time. But most importantly, we are not doing the things that matter the most to us. Essentially, our time clock is not synchronized with our Purpose, our Values and our Mission. Once it is, we will find that we have plenty of time.