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What We Often Forget About Time and The Challenges of Managing It

The Difficulties of Managing Time

It’s been 3 years since my mother passed away–as this month will recognize the 3rd anniversary of her passing–it dawned on me that I’ve allowed the energy and motivation of that transformative time in my life to slip away from me. Three years later I’m now looking at what how far I’ve come from that moment and what I’ve accomplished and I’m concerned. I’m concerned that in some areas of my life I haven’t been using my time wisely. I’m concerned that I’m not taking advantage of my time the way I should, and I’m sure you may have some of the same concerns.

Time has come and gone and it’s now been 3 years since my moms unfortunate death. My Dad passed away 2 years before that in a similar unexpected fashion when he fell ill and died with 3 months of being admitted to a hospital, so to say that the last 5 years of my life have been crazy is an understatement. The last 5 years of my life have been the worst and the best years of my life in so many unbelievable ways. On one hand I’ve been completed devastated by all of the losses I’ve experienced, but then on the other hand so many blessings have arose from those losses. When I look at it, life does have it’s way of balancing things out and filling in the gaps in areas of your life when tragedy strikes.

(My mom Gail Cantave and I at my 33rd Birthday party)

As I look back, and when I think about that period, it signified a new beginning for me. It opened up the door for me to take all of that hurt and pain and do something constructive with my life. It allowed me an opportunity to build on my future and capitalize on all of the things that I’ve wanted to do for so many years. This was 2015, and the craziness of that year, all of the activity, the busyness of handling my mothers estate, the properties that needed to be managed, finances, dealing with family, I mean… it was overwhelming, stressful, and painful without a break or a respite in between. For an entire year the responsibility of handling business for my parents, myself, and my son feel solely on me with little help, with the exception of a few friends that were close to me. So much had to be done and everything as it pertained to my parents landed on my shoulders and my shoulders alone. Without the help of family I was forced to make decisions that were uncomfortable, stressful, and decisions that had an impact on so many other people around me, especially my mothers distant family and friends.

In a lot of ways part of my sub-conscious mind is still trying to get over the fact that 2015 is never coming back. Its come and gone very quickly throughout the busyness of day-to-day life since then, and its a very sad and sobering thought. The events of that year, and the events within that particular month of April caused a ripple effect of change that I didn’t see coming. It was unexpected. I was blindsided by my mom leaving me in the fashion that she did and I wasn’t ready for it at all.

I also wasn’t ready for what would come in the following months and years leading up to today. My mother was my last living parent so you can probably empathize with what felt like someone dropping you off in a dessert, alone, without any directions on how to get back to safety. That’s what that moment felt like.

When I think about how my time is spent and valued, I am a big advocate of being present and living in the moment. Every great experience, accomplishment, success, is created in this very moment. This is why people are always saying “go for it”, or, “take your shot!”. When you fail to capitalize on the opportunities that you have in this present moment it can have far reaching consequences into your future. Now is ALWAYS the time to act and while I encourage you to prepare, prepare, prepare, at some point you have to act. You have to pull the trigger.

On the flip side of the idea of being present, time evades us. We have to be mindful of the fact that time is moving forward each and every second. As time as went on since 2015 between my son and my grandmother, my work, my business, and the work I do with my not-for-profit, I realized that I don’t have the time to give as much attention to everything that deserves my attention. My grandmother complains that I don’t call enough, and my son always wants my time and attention especially on the weekends. Through all of this I still have to work like crazy in order to have a shot at creating a future where I will be able to be time free and financially independent. It’s unfortunate, but this is the reality, and a very real reality for most people. We are all overworked, stressed, and stretched. The alternative is sit back, lose, and do nothing, or get up, go out, fight, work, and wager on yourself that you can create a better life. We are all one-and-the-same. We either lack one of two things, if not both: Time and Money, and we all know time isn’t replaceable, but you need money and plenty of it in order to BUY BACK some of your time.

In an interview I watched recently, blogger and podcaster Tim Ferris said “I am always searching for ways to buy back time.” Tim is a very well known blogger and content creator that spends his time investigating ways to hack life’s toughest questions on what it takes to be successful. He interviews world class athletes, high performers in every field, and super successful entrepreneurs to find ways to do more, have more, and be more.

You can read more on the question that Tim asks himself to prevent wasting time

When I think about time in the lens of what Tim said, he realizes that in order for him to have more time to do the things he wants he needs to find ways to cut corners on things that soak up and waste his time. Another way to look at this is, how can I outsource more of what needs to be done in my life to buy back time? Or, how can I create a business that doesn’t require me to constantly trade my time for dollars? When it comes to managing time and looking at the ways time evades us, these are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself. Otherwise, you will always find that your time will be occupied with things you don’t necessarily want to do, but more so occupied with things that you have to do because you have no choice.

So What Should We Take Away From All of This?

  1. Time can’t be replaced – The sooner you act on fixing your problems, working on that business, working on your health, career, and whatever else you’re seeking in life the better.
  2. There is no better time than now to start – Start now, and start imperfectly.
  3. Time will pass and expire – With this in mind be as intentional as you can in planning your future. 5 years will come sooner than you realize.
  4. Make becoming time free the ONLY goal – If you like most people are trading your time for your survival, if at least if you’re going to do that, do it doing something you LOVE. Don’t trade away all of the hours of your life without giving yourself the chance to really experience life on your own terms. Find ways to become time-free and time-independent so that you can control the most precious commodity you will ever have, time.

 

To your success,

#CantaveTalk

 

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