Priceless As Gold!
by Stephen L Doherty
June 5th, 2022
“If not now … when?” -Primo Levi
Envision your boss coming up to you and announcing, “For the rest of your career – I am going to allow you to use one week, each month, on anything you deem worthy of your time and attention!” There isn’t a one of us who wouldn’t respond to that proclamation with joy, excitement, and a visual list of all the dreams, special projects, and life objectives we could accomplish with 25% of our working lives now dedicated to US!
The possibilities are endless and with almost 500 EXTRA hours annually to throw at them – what objective could survive the year? Write a book? Complete every project in the house? Read twenty new novels? Extra time at the gym? Take classes? Travel? The possibilities are endless! Alan Turing once said that, “Sometimes it’s the people no one can imagine anything of – who do the things no one can imagine!” None among us are absent the seeds of such greatness. Time is often the missing commodity for achieving it.
Suddenly, the alarm clock disrupts these happy thoughts with a hard dose of reality. Since few (if any) employers are inclined to extend to us this degree of generosity – the challenge then becomes uncovering and gifting to ourselves 40-extra hours a week.
Because I would posit that one of life’s great challenges is breaking the bondages of procrastination and not just finding time, but investing it wisely instead of just spending it foolishly on things that don’t matter. (Again, THAT list is long and illustrious and also unique to each one of us) Forty-hours. Sounds pretty awesome. An extra full-work-week a month to blow-up (fill-in-the-blank)
The question then becomes an exercise in the trivial and the obvious – “where will I find the extra 10-hours a week to begin my new “job” of pursuing the desirable, the attainable, the impossible, the inevitable, and the unimaginable?” In just ten years, this equates to the equivalent of going to a job and working 40-hours per week – for two straight years – merely to work on the things in your life that need accomplishing or completing.
Tell me – what COULDN’T be accomplished in that time frame? For me – the uncovering of these forty extra hours per month (roughly 2-hours per work day) is proving surprisingly easy. For me – the time thieves are plentiful (as with all of us) but the three that I’m trading for this additional work week – were pretty big (and easily identifiable) targets.
Facebook – Facebook has some tremendously useful aspects surrounding positive networking and acquiring and managing new friendships. It’s today’s public square where we (should) wave and show pics of our kids and swap recipes and pet photos and become aware of special events and activities.
What I have learned the hard way – is that political commentary on Facebook, at some point, becomes a time-suck equivalent to howling at the moon.We influence and persuade no one about anything and thus become culpable in Einstein’s harsh warning about “Doing the same thing and expecting different results.” Time Saved Daily: 45-Minutes
Television – I truly admire those rarest of individuals and families who don’t own a television set. Few things in life have the potential for a bigger time-suck than today’s 60-inch screens with surround sound! Snatching back 30-minutes a day from the aptly named “Boob Tube” should be a breeze. Time Saved Daily: 45-minutes.
Misc – I threw in miscellaneous here because each one of us has multiple areas of opportunity to recover these last 30-minutes. For me, the size, speed, and velocity at which internet surfing can absorb free time – is truly spectacular.
Carving out a half hour a day out of this often useless endeavor will be child’s play. For most of us – the simple task of occasionally unplugging our phones or computers will easily do the trick. Time Saved Daily: 30-minutes
Life is brief and milestones, memories, and accomplishments are what drive our happiness and satisfaction. Each of us has our own definition and interpretation of what a life “well lived” looks like – but on every level, those three are the primary drivers and at their core – time is the crucial variable.
Acquisition is meaningless without management. Find the necessary time and then manage it like the last $5 in your bank account – and hang a few more skins on the wall before the clock runs out.
“Life is too short to waste your precious time on things that are of no value to your existence.” – Abdulazeez Henry Musa