The 4 Rules of Time

“The purpose of time management and getting more done in less time is to enable you to spend more face time with the people you care about and doing the things that give you the greatest amount of joy in life.” ~ Brian Tracy

From Brian Tracy, motivational speaker, author, and expert in human potential and achievement, we learn that there are 4 rules of time [Tracy]:

  1. Time is perishable.
  2. Time is indispensable.
  3. Time is irreplaceable.
  4. Time is essential for accomplishment.

Time is perishable.

You can’t “save” time, you can only decide how you use the time you have. Once a minute has passed, you cannot get it back. Hyrum Smith, who developed the Franklin planner, did not speak of “time management”, but rather of “event control”. You can’t “manage” time, but you can control (to an extent) the events you choose to spend time on. You cannot store up time to be used in the future, but you can choose how you use the present moment.

Time is indispensable.

Nothing can take it’s place. Everything we do, everything we accomplish — from eating breakfast, to crafting a sonnet, to earning a living, to building a relationship — is done in the context of time. Time, in this plane of existence, is life.

Here is where planning becomes helpful. Each of us has 24 hours in each day, 168 hours in each week. Using some of that time to plan how you will spend the remaining hours can help you leverage the time you have.

Time is irreplaceable.

Just as you cannot save time, you cannot replace time that has past. You cannot undo that which was done. You can only move forward.

The one area where this is especially vital is in our relationships. Nothing takes the place of time spent with those we love. Think efficiency with things or events, but effectiveness with people. As Tracy says, the way children spell “love” is T-I-M-E.

Forget “quality” time. When it comes to fostering our relationships with our loved ones, quantity time IS quality time.

Time is essential for accomplishment.

Every thing we do, every goal we accomplish, requires time. Set aside blocks of time in your schedule to use for the things that are important to you.

If you leave your life to chance, chances are your life will be spent on the urgency of the moment. For most of us, the important things are not the urgent ones. If you neglect the important to tend to the urgent, you may never get to the important parts.

The 4 Rules Recap

Remember the 4 Rules Of Time and put them to work for you.

Time is perishable. Use it wisely.
Time is indispensable. Use it mindfully.
Time is irreplaceable. Give it to those you love.
Time is essential for accomplishment. Choose carefully where you spend yours.

For improved productivity, play by the rules. That is embracing the Excelerated Life™!

Excelerated productivity™ — improving efficiency and effectiveness — is one step in creating your Excelerated Life™, a life of flourishing, of well-being, meaning, and purpose.

Read more about the Excelerated Life™.


Tracy, Brian. “Four Rules Of Time.” Brian Tracy International. Brian Tracy International,. Web. 21 August 2019.

rules of time

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