Tot Facienda Parum Factum
“So much to do, so little done”
Last words uttered by Cecil John Rhodes, British businessman, mining magnate and founder of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe and Zambia) on his deathbed.
This was the motto of my high school and whenever I remember these words, I recall my teachers, trying vainly to drum it into my mind that I was to find more time to study.
Good or bad, the words had little or no effect on a young man who found dreaming of far greater excitement and comfort.
It was many, many years later, as a businessman, who could never find enough time in my day to complete the ever growing ‘to-do’ list, that I seriously began to address this issue of, ‘finding time’.
Giving it some careful thought and analyzing the words, ‘find time’, I eventually realized that time in my life and the lives of all of us really, is static. Whilst time appears to move, in reality, it doesn’t.
There are sixty seconds in a minute, sixty minutes in an hour, and twenty four hours in day, so it goes on. If then I start looking for time, where would I go to find it? It is blatantly obvious that time stares me in the face; there right in front of me – day and night, month after month and year after year, I certainly don’t have to ‘look’ for it!
But, don’t be fooled, whilst time is a static in the sense of being an unchangeable fact, the reality is that the effects of time are not static. A simple example is that, from morning to night there is a progressive change in light, to the point where it becomes dark. On a longer time period like a few years, the mirror will tell you that there have been some changes in your physical appearance as well (you have got to be my age to appreciate this one).
Time results in social changes among people; fashions, aging, habits, speech…..the list is without end and growing.
Quite without being a rocket scientist and considering the above, I arrived at the conclusion that; time can’t be ‘found’.
How, then could I resolve the issue of my to-do list and other pressing matters?
Then it came to me like a thunder clap out of a crystal clear sky. Time has to be MADE! Of course, that’s it; how come I never thought of this before?
“So little done, so much to do”
I asked myself, ‘Who decides about what must be done, in the brief span of my life”?
Some things are decided for me, others I decide and create for myself. Eating and drinking are essentials that are decided for me – what I eat and drink are what I decide.
If I’m driven by the thoughts that I have to try and accomplish my to-do’s by such-and-such a time, then I am a slave to the above saying of Mr. Rhodes, or the words of my teachers, who were wise in their instruction, but their wisdom may not necessarily have been advantageous to the outcome of my dreams.
Tax company says, pay your taxes on a certain date, or else. It’s then wise to do what they say, but maybe not advantageous to my cash flow position as of the required date. So the solution is simple, MAKE TIME to go to the tax company and negotiate a win, win.
Looking at the to-do list clearly, I need to make up my mind as to how much of the stuff on that list is really necessary. Would a change in lifestyle not be a better solution to doing away with a goodly portion of the list?
Right there and then I had a strategy meeting with myself. Taking a legal pad I began to mind map where I thought I wanted to be in a year’s time. Then I worked backwards down the awkward octopus tentacles of my mind map, creating stop off points along the way. Just for good measure I took some color pencils, to make the whole plan a little more interesting (I more easily deal with pictures and colors than with words).
From here I set goals – small ones. They have to be small, because, if I don’t see myself accomplishing, I give up and go back to dreaming – the nicer choice for me. In addition I (was) a procrastinator of note!
Daily I write my goal accomplishments and good things that happen that day in a diary type journal; only accomplishments and good things, no mention when I don’t accomplish, or there are no good things – that’s negative and absolutely nothing negative goes into this journal – no sir!
Each Friday I note the most significant, achievement and good thing as a summary. Every six months there is a selection of the six most significant achievements/good happenings and these are listed.
Well, the year is halfway through; things are looking good and guess what? I am learning how to choose what is important to put on my to-do list, I am making time to do those important things and one last thing…. my bank balance is improving!
Maybe, you’d like to try it?