Jealously guard time to tap winning mindset

Monday August 22 2022

The number one change we should focus on is the management of our time. The value we place on our time is the value that time will give back to us. PHOTO | REUTERS


A company is as good as its people. In fact, companies do not change. It is the people who change. Similarly, nations do not change, but people do.

Consider a poor and struggling African nation and a developed nation like the US. If it were possible to interchange everyone in the two nations, you will within a few short years, find a likelihood of those that left the African nation looking for visas to return to the homeland they left. Why? Nations do not change, but the people do. For our nations to change, there must first be a change of mindset.

We cannot move into our dreams with the thinking that got us to where we are. One of the things that we need to change first is our use of time. Africans have too many things that take up time without adding value to society.

Take weddings and funerals especially in West Africa and particularly in Nigeria. The man-hours spent preparing for and actually executing these events are valuable and can never be recovered.

Africans are used to sitting endlessly for governors or other big shots to arrive for meetings. I once pointed this out to a leader and he told me curtly that leaders are never late rather, it is the people that often come too early. The meeting starts when the leaders arrive.

In a subtle way, the message is that seniority gives you the licence to disrespect time. It gives you the liberty to be late for meetings that you scheduled.


A function of lifestyle

It gives you the liberty to disrespect the fact that other people are busy and that when they could have been producing and adding value to the economy, they were just sitting down doing nothing as they waited for the boss. Imagine the number of young people today who look forward to being promoted so that they can disrespect people’s time by showing up whenever they are ready.

This is because our position in life is a function of the way we use our lives. It is a function of lifestyle. Any vision that does not make a demand for you to change something in your lifestyle is not likely to take you far. Simply changing our attitude where time is concerned will take us far as a people. The more value you put into your time, the more value you will receive for your time.

How valuable is your hour? If the balance of activity in your life is tilted more in favour of activity that does not add value to you, then it will reflect in the value of your hour. What is the net impact of your presence or your involvement in something? Some people are just present while for others their very presence is what makes the difference.

You are best suited to determine the value of your time. How much will you pay to spend time with someone like you?

I once had one on one sessions with two people from the same company. When asked what the year was like, one person said it was her best year ever and had accomplished so much while the other was full of complaints and that it was a period of stagnation.

No one, no organisation and no situation has the power to make you stagnate without your consent. We are living beings and our lives are governed by our minds. If you are in a place where the mind cannot find expression then what are you doing there? Wherever the mind goes, the body follows.

Whatever we excuse, we cannot overcome. As long as we find excuses for stagnation and we find people to blame, the cycle of stagnation may continue for years to come. Stagnation is not and has never been and will never be a sentence. It is always a choice.

Perhaps the number one change we should focus on is the management of our time. The value we place on our time is the value that time will give back to us.

Wale Akinyemi is the chief transformation officer, PowerTalks. E-mail [email protected]