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Time - Do You Have Enough?
By Gina Gardiner
I am always struck how often we hear about the same theme in several different contexts. I have been amazed how often the theme of time has come up this week.
Gina Gardiner is one of the UK’s leading leadership development coaches. She is the author of ‘Kick Start Your Career’ and ‘How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion’
Several clients have chosen to focus their session on their lack of time and the negative impact this has on their lives this month - no surprise there you might say. Ask most people about their lives and they will tell you that they never have enough time.
Modern technology was supposed to free us all up for a life of leisure and yet so many people are rushing about chasing their tails. With all the labour saving gadgets and convenience foods, dishwashers, microwaves, computers and faster modes of transport we seem to have less time than ever to spend with loved ones, to learn and read and simply to reflect. One has to ask why?
I was on a course recently where I was really struck by one session with the theme of time. Ian Mc Dermot the course leader asked us to think about the way we use our time. We were reminded that each day has 24 hours, which gives us 168 hours in a week, 8736 hours in a year. In life time of 70 years we have 613200 hours to use. Sounds quite a lot doesn't it.
We were given a table of the number of hours in a life time of varying lengths. For example if you live to 100 you have 876,000 hours to spend. In fact the table went up to age 120 just so we wouldn't self limit!
Just think about the time you have - you can use it once and once only.
You might think that spend is a strange word to use but we all make choices about how we spend our time, for most of us these choices are made at an unconscious level and the result is not always as we would wish it to be. We also choose how to spend our money and expend our energy.
Now consider your life time and how you have chosen to spend your time so far. Have you truly made the most of your time? Do you want to go on using your time in the same way in the future?
You may find it useful to complete the chart -give a ball park figure rather than getting bogged down. I've put in some suggestions for headings but use the ones you find appropriate and add any of your own.
Create 4 columns .
Column 1 = ACTIVITY
2 = HOURS SPENT PER WEEK
3 = HOURS SPENT PER YEAR (x figure in 2 by 52)
4 = HOURS SPENT PER LIFE TIME ( assume 80 years for this exercise)
Some suggested activity headings: Work, Sleep, Commuting, Eating, Food shopping, Cooking, Personal care, laundry, Personal admin - phone calls letters, forms etc. Exercise, Family,Relationships, Fun, Learning, Watching TV, Helping Others
What do you notice? Was the result what you expected? Do you actively choose how you spend your time?
Does the way you spend your time make you happy? How would you like to spend your time in the future?
What needs to change if you are to spend your time doing the things you value most?
Look forward into the future to the end of your life. Look back over those years and consider how
you would like to be remembered? What legacy would you like to leave?
Managing time is about prioritizing and making choices. It often requires us to create boundaries or to learn to say no - to others and maybe to ourselves.
Even a small change can make a significant difference to the quality of your life - what change could you make today which would make a difference to the quality of your life over time?
The chart can be adapted to audit how you spend your working hours. Identify each of the activities
you do whilst at work. Consider which of them are helping you achieve your goals. Are you making
the most use of your time? Are you busy being busy or really productive? What would make the difference?
To find out more sign up for a free 7 part taster course at http://www.graduatesolutions.co.uk
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