No. It’s not 40.
There are 168 hours. I bet that number is not familiar to most. Many of us, including myself, allocate a 40 hour block to work or to just draw our comfortable salaries, and we continue to think that way. However, one of the takeaways from a recent seminar, was that time is NOT money, time is EVERYTHING. We can usually get more money, but we can never get more time.
To me, that means the week should not be based on just what we accomplished during those 40 so-called business hours. It’s time to utilize any available hour to inch closer to a desired outcome. Before I got married and living alone, I was just a creature of habit. Every day, I’d manage my work and business meetings for 8-9 hours, then consistently exercise afterwards, chores, eat, watch tv, then sleep. Weekends were similar with the occasional trip to visit family and friends. Honestly, if you were to ask me about a particular month or specific time a few years ago, forget about it. I’ll remember an experience but can’t give you when it happened. Sadly, years became mostly a blur. No regrets but I can’t get those back.
Truthfully, I was not focused on the highest and best use of my time. I dillydallied during my free time, sometimes just waiting for the workweek to begin. I measured my time on the things I got done in the 40 hours from 9-5 M-F plus the few I spent volunteering, taking business classes, and visiting friends and family. I admit I continued to follow this same path, but now after moving to Charlotte, I somehow found more time in a week than I ever have before. How, you ask? It’s because now I have 168 hours, duh!
The 4-Hour Workweek author, Tim Ferriss, recently tweeted this which is useful at its core:
Note to self: To get to where you want to be, expand your productivity into every hour and don’t waste time on the things you don’t love. So do you fall into any of these traps?
Are you at work reading Buzzfeed online all day? – I used to read all the news outlets constantly, but now I delegate my Twitter feed to give me the daily musings I need to know from sources I trust.
Are you flipping through the TV channels at night? – I still love tv and movies, but we cut our cable so we can only flip through ABC, CBS, and Fox (not even NBC). We primarily download shows we want to watch and stop mid-series if they suck. Monitor what you are watching vs. what you really want to spend precious time viewing.
Are your friends just really drinking buddies? – I recently read an article, 7 Habits of Incredibly Happy People, and it suggested that closeness between friends must be continually earned and not treated as a given. Don’t delegate this piece of your life, and if you want to be a good friend then spend the time to strengthen those bonds. I’m still trying to be better at making new friends locally but still stay close with a few that are away.
You don’t have ANY plans this weekend? – Don’t forget you can be productive after Friday. Research what you’re interested in and sign up for events to participate, learn more or to meet new people. This weekend I’m going to stop by a free local home buying seminar and another The Power of Social Media Marketing while the wife is away. I found them on EventBrite.com.
This effing journey we are on, is not always trying to save money or ways to increase our monetary investments, but also how we invest our time. Time isn’t just money, it’s everything. And if you lose out on those things, is that who you want to become?
What are the things you focus on as the highest and best use of your time?