Stealing Time, Squashing Procrastination


In the military, we were taught that being on time is late. Though I spent over 20 years ensuring I was anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes early for any appointment, I am probably the biggest procrastinator I know.

Life is all about juggling and prioritizing. It’s easy to get sidetracked and hard to get back on the path afterward. That said, I do my damndest to not only remain focused on the goal, but to also keep a step ahead.

One of my favorite classic novels is The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. Of course, though we imagined and predicted that by now we’d be flying around in cars, living on the moon, and going back and forth in time, there has yet to be a device that can transport us as such. So the best way to get ahead and beat the clock is to outsmart it.

Time is the one form of currency everyone from the dead-broke bum in the gutter to the filthy rich fat cat on the hill receive in equal doses. Time is also the one thing that can be spent, invested, or wasted. Money is similar. However, though someone can reclaim squandered or stolen money, lost time is gone forever.

Chess is a game best played several moves ahead. The player weighs out the consequences of each move and every piece sacrificed. By forecasting, one is allowed to consider probable outcomes.

So, minus a time machine or do-over device, how can you make the most of the fourth dimension? Freak it. Instead of just letting one minute happen to the next, predict and plan. Think like the man or woman who went from rags to riches by working hard: treat every day as if it was the last. Make the most of it. Realize that each new day is another chance to plan the next move, learn from past mistakes, and progress.

More than anything else, make the most of every waking moment. Discipline yourself to make strides while the other guy (whether figurative or actual) is sleeping or sloughing off. Making the right move at the right time will allow plenty of time to rest down the line.

But then, I’m just preaching to the choir…


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