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SALT LAKE CITY — We all want to feel more productive in our lives. At the start of each day we renew our determination to accomplish our personal goals. However, the consistent pressures, distractions and interruptions of life often get in the way.
No matter our differences, we all have one thing in common; we are all allotted the same number of hours each day. Luckily, no matter how you spent your time yesterday, when you woke up this morning, your time was automatically replenished. You can also bet that when you wake up tomorrow morning, you will have another 24 hours to do with as you please.
Being that we are all equal in regards to the time we have, why are our lives so different? I have found that my time is like a currency, good only for purchasing my circumstances. How we choose to spend our time directly impacts our current situation in life.
There are a few tricks that have helped me purchase better circumstances with my time.
Learn to recognize the Time Thief
The Time Thief is the enemy of a productive life. He will fill up your schedule with meaningless activities that will leave you feeling unfulfilled. These activities can be easily recognized by what they produce: nothing. When I engage in activities that do not strengthen my relationships with family, advance my professional life or improve my body, mind or spirit, I know that I am being robbed.
The best experiments let you try something new while minimizing the inevitable risks associated with change.
–Stewart D. Friedman, Wharton School of Business
We can all win the war with the Time Thief. However, trying to nuke him may not be the best strategy. I have found that one of the best ways to win a battle is by engaging in a little bit of what I like to call trick-fudgery.
I will try not to alarm the Time Thief by forcing major changes in my life but will subtly trick him by employing small changes and calling them experiments.
In his article, "Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life," professor and founding director at the Wharton School of Business Stewart D. Friedman describes the importance of utilizing experiments in your life to facilitate change.
“Experiments shouldn’t be massive, all encompassing shifts in the way you live," Friedman said. "Highly ambitious designs usually fail because they’re too much to handle. The best experiments let you try something new while minimizing the inevitable risks associated with change.”
I find greater success experimenting daily or weekly rather than thinking in the long term. One of my experiments eliminated television and movies for an entire week. After successful completion of my experiment, I still enjoy a good episode now and then but have found much better ways to spend my time.
Live for today
Most mornings I experiment by writing down a few things that I would like to accomplish or experience during the day. Generally, I choose things that help me feel like I am doing something good with my life. The days I do this are often my most productive.
Life is short and we never know when we are going to be living our last 24 hours. My experiments have led me to believe that each day should be treated like a lifetime. When you wake up in the morning, you have your entire life ahead of you. You can learn, accomplish or experience anything. And you will know that you’ve had a great day (life) when you slip into dreamland with no regrets.
Dustin Wiggins is a local optimist and entrepreneur. He has a passion for learning and loves books that teach valuable life skills. He wants to help others find greater success and joy in life. Follow his blog at www.LessonsOfWisdom.com.