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Give the Gift of Time

Monday December 4, 2017 comments

It’s the end of the year and many people are starting to scramble at the realization that the holidays are practically here and they have no idea what gifts to get for their friends, family, colleagues and clients.  Here’s an idea for a new holiday tradition. 

This year, give the gift of time.  I know this sounds like a strange, but stick with me for a minute.  For the holidays we all try to give a gift that has meaning and is precious so that it can be valued.  What is more valuable than our time?

 

“Time is your most important resource. You can do so much in ten minutes. Ten minutes; once gone is gone for good.”

Ingvar Kamprad

 

Think about it this way:  Time is possibly one of the most finite resources we have in our daily lives.  Run out of coffee?  Go to the grocery store and get some more.  Run out of paper or pens?  Go to the supply closet and restock.  Run out of time?  Well there, you are stuck.  There is no way to replenish the 24 hours of our days.  Giving yourself (or others) the gift of time is a precious gesture of appreciation and not to be taken lightly.

Practical Steps

First, determine who gives you the gift of their time.  Look around at your friends, your family, and your vendors/clients.  Do these people give any of their valuable time to help you, support you, refer you or just listen to you? These are the folks who deserve the scarcest and most authentic resource you have to give: your time.

 Here are some suggestions to get you started:

 

  • Write them a personal note telling them how much you appreciate their precious gift of time and how valuable it is to your life and work.
  • Give them a call and ask them what if there is an area where they could use support this month.
  • Schedule a time to just come into their office or home and once there offer to help in whatever way they need.
  • Support them at their next event, workshop or speaking engagement.
  • Take time to feature them in your marketing or social media efforts.
  • Schedule time just to go out and have fun: happy hour, dinner or something equally fun.

Looking Inward

Today, we overvalue being busy and we undervalue taking care of ourselves. Time management is usually focused on creating a checklist so that you can get everything done by a perceived deadline.  But rarely do you see a checklist that includes “free time” or self-care. 

You have to learn to give yourself time to just breathe and reflect and relax.  Everyone should also schedule in time for growth, personal development and opportunity. If you don’t you will find that your work will suffer and you will struggle with being stuck more frequently.  Create an end of the year checklist to wrap up all of the projects you have on your plate, and then allow yourself to start the new year fresh with a new perspective on making time for yourself.

Reflection

End this calendar year with some reflection.  Set aside time to think about your year and how you can improve your time management to make more time for what is truly important—yourself, your health, your friends, your family and your supporters.  This is a New Year resolution that will help to enrich your life while building stronger connections with the people around you.