Updated: Jan 7
George Bernard Shaw once said that “Youth is wasted on the young!”. It’s true, not because the youth don’t necessarily appreciate the abundance they have at a tender age, it’s because they don’t appreciate the time they have remaining to truly accomplish great things. We all like to think that we have ample amount of time to accomplish everything we wish in our lives. The reality is quite different. We often underestimate the amount of time, and effort, involved in truly accomplishing great goals – since we likely haven’t done it before.
We don’t really appreciate the time we have and many of us waste what little time we do have in the pursuit of meaningless pastimes, trivia, time wasters and low value activities. Not until later in life, usually as we approach middle age and our responsibilities and opportunity seem to increase in direct proportion to the decrease in time available. Renowned Canadian Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, Joe Segal, refers to this declining balance as ‘the runway of life’. Our life span is finite, and just like a runway, it will come to an end. There is no extension, or extra time, or second life to live. This is truly it!
So without doubt, one should always look to be wise with the limited time we have and avoid time consuming people and activities. That in itself will make an enormous difference in our lives and immediately free us up to achieve greater productivity and focus throughout our day. While, I still don’t believe that gives us sufficient time to accomplish our most important goals, time wasters should be eliminated from every possible aspect of our lives with a level of ruthlessness as if they are contagious diseases.
I believe the best way to generate more time is to use accelerators. Back to the runway of life analogy – while a jet fighter cannot increase the length of a runway necessary to achieve a safe takeoff, it can use afterburners to massively accelerate and takeoff in half the distance. And just like a jet we too can use accelerators to massively increase our capacity and achieve way more results in a shorter period of time.
Quality education is a form of accelerator, whether a top high school, university, night school or even the school of hard knocks, we can massively increase our capacity in a very short period of time and learn skills from those that have gone before us.
What are other accelerators that you can use, try these:
• Take the toughest job and assignment possible. This will force you outside your skill and comfort zone and move you to quickly sharpen your skills to be successful. It will likely bring you the attention of decision makers and a quick promotion than your colleagues. Finally, by taking on a big challenge and building new skills, you become more valuable and marketable, leading to higher income that you would of normally experienced.
• Leverage all resources available to yourself. We rarely take a detailed inventory off all resources available that can be leveraged, such as our network, special talents, unique relationships, materials items to be converted to cash, undeveloped skills. Only be detailing what we already have, rather than hoping for something we don’t have, can we then leverage those resources to accelerate ourselves forward.
• Use your imagination. Humans are creatures of habit and when faced with a problem we try to solve it the same way we have in the past. Get outside of the habit and use your imagination to look at an opportunity differently so you can solve it more quickly, and move beyond the problem. Try something new every day and push yourself to come up with creative solutions, rather the same old approach.
• Massively Change Your Environment: Several times in my career if I felt I needed a significant boost I massively changed my environment. This gave me a new perspective and new thinking, which the enabled me to much more quickly solve a problem or achieve greater heights of success. It can be as simple as adding some new people to your network, changing offices or even moving to a new city. A fresh new approach opens the mind to the possibilities, and lets you accelerate your accomplishments by letting go of past obstacles.
• Get Collaborators: With access to social media and an interconnected society, it is easy to find collaborators for about any cause you can imagine. If you are stuck or if you feel the pace of change is too slow, don’t try to do it all yourself. Reach out to a group of likeminded people who share your perspective, spread the work around and dramatically accelerate your efforts. Use your time wisely and accelerate massively.