What is the longest you have waited for someone before you start to get annoyed or even worried? Sure, you’ve followed all the experts’ advice – When you must wait, occupy your time with some reading, needlepoint, or crossword puzzles. However, when there is that one particular person who keeps you waiting all the time, how much reading, needlepoint, and crossword puzzles can you do? There is no emergency. She isn’t stuck in traffic. She’s just late. And, when she arrives, she nonchalantly says, “Hey girl.” No apologies, no excuses, just “Hey girl.” Inside you are boiling, but with a half-baked smile you reply, “Well, it’s about time!”
It is about time. It is always about time. Everything we do is connected to time. Can you imagine what our lives would be like if the earth’s rotation around the sun changed by a few hours every other day or every other week? Can you imagine the chaos airlines would experience if each pilot took off at will? Or, can you imagine what a disaster your dinner party would be if you decided a 20-minute recipe should cook another 20 minutes?
Now that we’ve put time in perspective, let’s consider why we treat this precious resource with such little respect. I’ve narrowed it down to two reasons – Our attitude and our choice of words (which of course affects our attitude).
Attitude: It has been said, life is 10% of what happens to us, and 90% is our attitude towards what happens to us. The same problem may affect two individuals. However, you will get two different reactions. It is no different with time. We each have the same 24 hours in a day – every day. Yet, some get things done. Others don’t. It has a lot to do with how time is viewed. Is time viewed as the enemy? There’s just never enough time. You can’t find the time. Time runs out. Time escapes you. If that is your view, then time is the enemy. On the other hand, however, time is a friend when it is viewed as an asset, your most important resource, and money in the bank.
Choice of words: Many experts refer to disorganization, people interrupting, the telephone, paper mail, email, and all things social media as time bandits, or time stealers. If they are time bandits and that is our thinking, that means our time was taken without our permission. We are the innocent victims. Here’s a news flash! There are no time bandits. Bandits usually take things without a person’s knowledge. However, we know when we’ve stayed on the phone too long. We know when we’ve stayed at the water cooler too long. We also know we did not plan our day properly so now that report is a day late. What might be a better choice of words? Time wasters. And, who is wasting the time? We are. When we change our choice of words, we in effect change our way of thinking.
What do you think about time?
And oh yeah, about that friend who keeps you waiting- let her know that you are giving her a grace period of no more than 15 minutes past the agreed time to meet, and if she hasn’t shown up, you’re leaving. “Bye, girl!”