If You Don't Have Time to Do It Right, When Will You Have Time to Do It Over?

From Ryan Seacrest to Ryan Seacrest there are 525,600 minutes, in a non-leap year. Of which, we are tasked to cherish 1,440 each day. During one of those minutes legendary college basketball coach John Wooden rhetorically quipped the title of this post.

Read it again for good measure.

We all have dreams and goals. (I hope.) We do not have forever to make them come true. (I’m sure.) If you think I’m guessing about that one, check the obituary section in today’s newspaper.

Do not waste time. This seems like elementary counsel but catalog your last 72 hours. How many times a day did you check… and refresh your e-mail inbox? How many times did you look at your smartphone?

I believe that if you center your efforts on something you enjoy or really want to do, you would never mismanage time in the first place. You would be doing it right and being productive, negating the need to do it over.


A documentary film my sons and I produced garnered some attention and I was asked to do a television interview on the local Morning Show.

In case you don’t know, when you are extended an invitation to such things, upon your acceptance they also sometimes provide you, or ask you to provide, a list of potential questions. I was informed that I would participate in a 5-7 minute live–as in, no do over–telecast and I prepared myself the night before the show. I delivered my potential answers into the bathroom mirror until I thought I was ready.

I’d like to tell you the Emmy award winning television journalist asked me at least one of those questions, but he did not. The time spent on the process, however, prepared me for the interview. I came across confident, likeable, and knowledgeable about our project and its subject matter. I had successfully spent the time to do it right. 


Our time is our most valuable asset; unlike the fist full of one dollar bills you made rain the other night, when the time is gone we can’t get it back. Whatever time it is right now while you are reading this will never come this way again. Ever. The same numbers will show up on the clock tomorrow at about this time, but the date will have changed rendering an exact duplication of right now impossible. In a very real sense, you do not have the time to do (the same) things over. So learn to do things the right way, even when no one is watching.

Without a healthy mind and body nothing I write before or after this matters. And our personal relationships, as a single entity, may very well be our second most valuable possession. Take the time to get both of these right.

If your parents are still living, escort them to a movie sometime. Ask them about your family history (you’ll treasure that one day). Buy them a new shirt and give them a few bucks, just because.

If you have a significant other, always let them know that they are, well, significant. Cook for them. Hold their hand in public. Let them know that although you can live without them, you don’t want to. Kiss them good night, every single night.

If you have children, throw the ball around with them. Read books to them. Comb their hair. Let them comb your hair. Wrestle with them and let them climb on your back. Attend every performance or every game they participate in. Call their cell phones. 

The demands of work, meetings, (and social media maintenance) will deplete the majority of your waking hours if you let them.  Efficient time management increases in importance as you add stuff to your life. Getting it right the first time increases the efficiency. Coach Wooden is no longer with us so I will answer his rhetorical question for him: you won’t.