The Great Equalizer

Time slows as I adjust my goggles, lean on my poles and survey creation from a mountaintop.

The awe flooding through me slows time even more as I peer through ice-speckled goggles: azure sky, snow ghosts, sunlight sparkling on fresh powder.

I’m late for a meeting, but I let the feeling wash over me before I cruise the freshly groomed run.

“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” —  Charles Brixton.

It’ is January:  a new year begins, and I am getting older.

It is a big, beautiful world out there and there are so many ski hills I want to ski (50, to be exact), flowers I want to pick, trail I want to meander, columns I want to write, business adventures I want to be part of.

There are people I want to influence me and people I want to influence.

Where will I find the time?

Business guru Anthony Robbins offered this perspective.

“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade.”

I need to start. I refresh myself with classic time-management concepts.

First, the danger of perfection: I often talk about the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 Rule that says we get 80% of our results from the first 20% of our effort.

To have 100% perfection, we would need to put in 80% more effort. Sometimes, perfect is not worth it. I will not be explaining this principle to my neurosurgeon or my pilot.

Former U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower described his decision-making process like this: “The urgent is never important and the important is never urgent.” 

This view led to the design of the Eisenhower Matrix urgent/important quadrant. It is a concise way of looking at different work strategies for the best use of time.

When looking at Quadrant 1, I ask myself “Is blood spurting?” If yes, then I do whatever “it” is. 

Quadrant 2 represents tasks leading to the accomplishment of your long-term goals. An example would be like getting your income tax filed – it is important, but you do have a few months to submit it. 

If you don’t, then it will move to Quadrant 1. On a personal level, going to the gym is important, but not urgent –
it is a decision.

An example of Quadrant 3, “urgent but not important,” is other people’s urgent needs. In this case, teaching them to “fish,” as in solving their own problems, will remove some of the challenges from this quadrant.

Some of your own urgent tasks can be delegated – such as getting your kids to shovel the sidewalk before the mail is delivered.

Quadrant 4 activities are distractions. Eliminate them. Distractions like such as Facebook, surfing the Internet, chatting longer than you should in the office kitchen can all be eliminated or at least, dramatically decreased. 

There are apps that monitor your screen time and that can help keep these pervasive habits in check.

Time is the great equalizer — we all have exactly the same amount of time in our day.

"Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time." — Jim Rohn.

Thinking about the matrix and my overwhelming desire to do so many things, I realize I can stack activities to increase the value and move them into another quadrant.

It is important for me to take each grandchild on an adventure before they graduate from high school. A few years ago, I was exhausted, but was debating whether I could afford the time. 

My oldest granddaughter was graduating from high school that year. That goal moved from important to important and urgent. We had a great one-week vacation together.

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." — Michael Altshuler

I’m piloting my time, my life.


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About the Author

As the former owner of Century 21 Assurance in Kelowna, Myrna uses her experience to build value in organizations.

Myrna’s passion as a leader is recognizing the strengths of her people and encouraging them to grow, even if it meant leaving her organization.

Her purpose is to reflect the greatness of others – in work, in play, in life.

Myrna has discovered that when organizations and individuals work with their strengths, amazing outcomes unfold.

Myrna is certified in behaviour and motivation analysis, emotional intelligence, as well as being a growth curve strategist and a certified value builder advisor.

The host of the soon-to-be-launched MLS Leadership Show, Myrna’s podcast will feature leaders in the real estate industry.

A wannabe athlete, Myrna has completed several half-marathons, deadlifted 215 pounds and has now put her mind to becoming proficient in muay Thai kickboxing. Contact Myrna at [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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