By Pr Isaiah White
One day you wake up, get ready and go to school and before you know it, the day passes, then a week, a month, a year, a decade, and soon, your lifetime.
But what did you do with all that time? Or more importantly, what did not you do with all that time?
Every person lives in this world within time. Ten years ago, you were not the same as you are today; in your appearance, knowledge, experiences; everything around you changes with the passage of time.
Time will not turn back or reverse and you cannot buy it.
It is the continuous sequence of events that take place in apparently irreversible succession from the past, through the present, to the future.
It does not matter what you do (not at night), a day will come and no matter what we do (not in a day), night will come.
Time is a master
Everything and everyone except God is subject to time. We serve time as a master, and productivity, efficiency and success depend on it.
Whether you mind keeping time or not, your time ethics will affect what you do and your personality.
People and organisations will gauge how responsible you are based on your relationship with time.
Time is everything in our world. To some, it is a god that ordains and disdains operations.
As professionals, it is not a new topic and it is not that we do not understand how important the time problem is, it is because a few of us understand what it does to us.
Whether we heed to time or not, it determines our output and who we are.
Time is a determinant and a definer, and these are two ethics. The amount of time we have should define and determine our priorities.
Once our priorities are determined, we tend to focus on tasks that matter, as we suspend those appealing but irrelevant tasks on our table.
When time determines your tasks and you abide, it defines you as a focused individual.
Our view of time
People who have a poor view of time cannot even begin to work with it.
Those who look at it in terms of quantified seconds, minutes and hours determine what they will do at a given time.
However, professionals who consider time itself to be the determinant of what they will do, are bold enough to eliminate some tasks.
They do not decide what to do when, but rather ‘when’ (time) determines what should be done.
A simple example is the school bell. In my early school times, my teachers (not all though) used to stop everything they were doing once the bell rang.
That bell time was a determinant of what was or ought to be done.
Time could only define how professional or responsible we are depending on what we did next.
The general understanding of time is that we all have 24 hours in a day, but the practical reality, however, is that 24 hours have us in a day.
Your to-do list in a day makes no sense without a day or when that day expires.
With this attitude towards time, it becomes a determinant (an in-charge) of what we do, when and how.
When we religiously obey time, it defines us as proper time managers, by the productivity in place at the end of each task.
“For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2).
The scripture teaches us that to deal ethically with time, is to let it determine and define activities, instead of attaching time to the activities.
Proper time management is in knowing which time is for what and not which activity can be done just because there is time.
The basic line is that it does not matter how much time management skills one acquires, as long as time is not the determinant of what you do, it will define you as a poor time manager.
In every fight where man is against time, man is the default loser.
The ethics of time dictate that one should not say that ‘at such and such a time, I will do this’ but rather ask; ‘what time is it and what is it for?’ These two are different.