In the words of the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay: “My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends – It gives a lovely light!”
Imagine if you became a success overnight. You wake up tomorrow and you are rich and successful. How would your life change? After you’ve bought the new car and the new house, the yacht and all the trappings, what’s next? How would you spend your days differently?
It would be nice to think you could spend your days sipping cocktails beside a pool filled with champagne on a private island, but is that a reality? Think about it. There will be demands on your time – lots of them. Your phone will ring non-stop and people will want to meet with you. People will be interested in your opinions.
They may seek your help with this project or that charity. Invitations will roll in for gala dinners, openings and premiers. You might be able to buy many expensive things; however, there will be demands on your time that you can no longer afford. You have become money-rich, but time-poor.
One of the factors of success is to practice the right habits that will serve you on your path to success. But they will also help you once you have achieved your goals when your time becomes increasingly scarce. You must plan your time as carefully as you managed your money when you didn’t have much. Better use of your time will make you more successful. If you’re not sure where to start, here is how successful people do it.
1. Wasted Time
You may have heard this quote from Henry Ford: “It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.” Somehow successful people find time and energy from somewhere to go that extra mile and rise above the rest. They might be working to succeed in their chosen career, or they might invest time and effort in a side hustle that will ultimately lead to success.
What are you doing while the achiever is busy forging ahead? Are you having a drink, shopping or perhaps watching television? But you’ve earned that rest after such a tough day, haven’t you? And yet, there’s the entrepreneur working away while you rest. One reason for this is that we measure ourselves by our own lights.
The weekend jogger can’t imagine covering 26 miles in a marathon. Yet, with time and effort, they will find themselves doing exactly that. So too, the demands of going that extra mile look daunting, but you’ll reap the rewards of your small efforts. Also, it slowly becomes easier. There is simply no space in their world-view for procrastination.
Rather than putting something off until tomorrow, successful people feel they should have done today’s tasks yesterday. They don’t procrastinate. They have a vision and goals, so they want to leave a legacy that future generations will appreciate. The achiever never loses this habit. When successful, they must manage their time even more carefully as the demands on their time increases.
For example, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wears a simple set of clothes every day to free his mind for more important decisions. If you feel daunted by the tasks that lie before you, just begin. Set small, incremental goals you can do straight away. Ignore the voice in your head with a million reasons why you shouldn’t. Take that first step.