Do you have enough time to do all the things that you really should be doing today? Or, like most people, do you find yourself labouring under a mountain of “to dos”, never getting through it and then find that you simply haven’t done some of the things that you really wanted to or should have done? Are you a slave to others’ demands at work? Are you trying to juggle job and family responsibilities and finding that you’re getting neither done properly? Are you one of these people who has to take home work at the weekend to “catch up”?

One of the biggest problems with the modern pace of life is that we don’t seem to have enough hours in the day to get everything done. One of the most frequent questions that I am asked, when I propose that people slow down, “smell the roses” and give themselves the space and time to be inspired is “are you seriously suggesting that I slow down when I don’t even have the time to do what I’m supposed to be doing at the moment?” Yes, I am – we all need to give ourselves extra time to do the important things and let the things that you should not be doing just pass us by. How much time are you wasting on stuff that should never be given your attention in the first place? How many emails do you read that you shouldn’t bother reading at all? How many emails do you receive that don’t require your attention – as you know, particularly in large organizations, the majority of emails you receive are either not worth reading or shouldn’t have been sent in the first place – how many emails in large companies are CCed to everyone in existence in what amounts to compulsive ass-covering! And how many of us get a kick out of feeling important because of the number of emails that we have to deal with?

Many years ago, in the days before mobile ‘phones or emails, a good friend, the Executive Chairman of a well-known company, went through a difficult divorce which left him, one Friday afternoon following the final court hearing, with sole custody of two children aged 9 and 11 years. That Sunday evening he decided that his children were his first priority. He called his fellow Board members and told them that he wouldn’t be in on Monday – for three months! Three months later, he arrived back to an office piled high with paper (remember, this is pre-email), left the office again, returned with a roll of trash bags and dumped every single thing. Of all the paper in that room, only one issue came back to bite! The moral of the story – he spent most of his time on things that did not require his attention.

Not only do we allow others waste our time, we’re experts at wasting our own time. How much time do you spend on negative gossip – the sort where you revel in others’ bad news or misfortune? I will readily admit that chit-chat is useful – we often learn important things at the water cooler that we’d otherwise never find out. But negative gossip is a waste of your time and energy. How much time do you waste wallowing in the bad news on the inside pages of the newspaper – who murdered, assaulted or raped whom? Not only is this a waste of your time, it actually confirms to you that your normal “not-too-bad” life is OK! How much time do you waste surfing the ‘net or joining groups on Facebook like “I’s sick of people cheering every time I go out on my balcony”?! How much time do you waste channel-hopping at night? How much time do you waste thinking negative thoughts, worrying, imagining the worst scenarios? How much time do you waste bitching about work colleagues, manoeuvring or jockeying for position in your organisation instead of doing what you’re paid to do?

Cut out the crap and you’ll find that you’ve got lots of time to do the important things – with some left over for a little reflection, meditation, self improvement and, most importantly, to do some of the things that really turn you on. How will you know what’s crap and what isn’t? Well, a clear and present mind is as sharp as a razor’s edge – it knows the difference between something worth doing and something that you should simply let pass. Indeed, a clear and present mind is the one sure way of ensuring that, not only do you cut out the crap, but that, while you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, you’re fully doing it.

In other words, you should fully do one thing at a time. The female of the species often says to me “but what about multi-tasking” (perhaps, as modern neuro-psychology progresses, we’ll find out that this gendered ability is more myth than fact – but that’s another day’s work)? Well, when you’re multi-tasking you might be doing three things in one minute. That means, perhaps, one thing each twenty seconds – that means that, for those twenty seconds, you fully attend to what you’re doing.

Life is made up of moments – each moment a unique opportunity to fully do what you’re doing, to fully focus on that moment and to disregard the things and people that have a habit of diverting us from the opportunity of the moment. The opportunity? To live life to the full, be fully present, be more effective, more productive and more turned on, moment to moment. When you do that, not only will you get all the important things done, you might just find that there are even more important things that the universe can do for you.

Author's Bio: 

Willie Horton, an Irish ex-accountant and ex-banker who has been working as a success coach to business leaders and sports people since 1996, has been living his dream in the French Alps since 2002. Each week his weekly Free Self-Help Video Seminar is received by thousands of people around the world. His acclaimed Self Help Online Workshop is being followed by people on four continents - they say that it's life-changing. More info: