Time, And Being More Efficient

Time, And Being More Efficient


I often work with business people and most of them want to use their time more efficiently. That being said, most of them fail to use their time as well as they might. Some aren’t even aware they could be better at it. A few, on occasion, just really don’t care. But I tell them they should care. I remind them that much of life’s value is mostly—or maybe even completely—a result of how well we use those precious, limited numbers of breaths we are given at birth. Take it from a guy with a pacemaker… your breaths are limited in number.

“A man who dares waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”

—Charles Darwin

I often work with business

people and most of them

want to use their time more efficiently.

Let me describe what I mean. Just as an experiment, imagine there were two copies of a person; clones, say someone with a presumably low-pressure job… an accounts payable clerk, maybe?

Clone 1 does the very least they could get away with, and spends the rest of their time focusing on personal things: watching Netflix, posting on Facebook, teaching themselves the guitar, and so on.

Clone 2 does the very most they could at work, and always asking themselves if they are working as efficiently as possible. In their job, they made sure that everyone got paid promptly and rarely had to pass work on to others. After work, people are amazed at how much time they had for volunteering for their favorite causes, time to be a helpful friend, and an exciting romantic partner. This person even makes time to be prepared for their role as a volunteer actor in their community theatre plays, bringing joy and enlightenment to audiences.

Clone 2 is able to accomplish all this because of caring enough to always ask two important questions:

  • Is this task a good use of my breaths?
  • Am I undertaking the task as efficiently as I might?

Clone 2’s answers to the first question—is this worth doing?—prevented a waste of breaths on watching TV, playing terrible golf, trekking long distances to distant relatives’ occasions, or listening endlessly to her complaining coworker.

Clone 2’s answers to the second question—am I doing it efficiently?—led them to perform tasks to the level of perfectionism critical for each individual task. They asked for help when they needed help, and wherever possible, traded tasks that they didn’t have the correct talent or skills to perform efficiently with those they did. See how it can go?

Don’t be shy or proud;

it is your life and it is up

to you to make it better. It won’t fix itself.

If you find yourself feeling it’s not worth the effort to be efficient, perhaps consider; is that because:

  • You really don’t believe your life’s value is mainly in how productive your breaths are. Think again; you get only so many and you don’t know the number.
  • Because you lose track of time. If that is the case, at least for a few days, maybe a week, track how you spend your time. Have a timer ring every 15 minutes and write on a pad what you were doing the previous 15 minutes. Periodically, review your log and ask yourself whether you’re proud of yourself. Were your tasks important to achieving your goals? What should have you been doing? What could you have done better or traded with someone for something at which you excel?
  • Because you don’t have the knack of being efficient.  Work with a coach, or ask an efficient person you know to discuss how you spend your time and get advice on specific tasks you think might be accomplished more efficiently. Don’t be shy or proud; it is your life and it is up to you to make it better. It won’t fix itself.

I’ve had the pleasure of having been the personal coach for some very successful and contented people as well as for some real strugglers. From my chair, apart from being intelligent and well-adjusted, perhaps the most central distinguishing difference between successful and contented and who those aren’t, is that successful, contented people tend to be more efficient than the less successful ones.

Which will you be?


Frank Hopkins is a life coach in Baton Rouge who is certified as a Professional Coach (CPC) by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Frank has helped numerous people to go through emotional change in a way that is positively transformative.