How You Can Find An Additional Hour Each Day

by Ron Haynes


Wouldn’t that be great? One more hour, 60 additional minutes each day, what would you do with it?

We have dozens of gizmos and gadgets that are supposed to help us make the most of our time. Think about all these modern conveniences and how much real time they save … or do they?

  • Microwave ovens
  • E-mail
  • Day planners and PDA’s
  • Faster modes of transportation
  • Overnight mail
  • High speed computers
  • Instant messaging
  • Already prepared meals
  • Cell phones

Yeah, that microwave revolutionized everything didn’t it? We just have oodles of time left over now, don’t we? Why, with all these “time saving devices,” are we still so pressed for time?

Side note: What we tend to forget is the cost associated with purchasing all these time saving devices! Henry David Thoreau noted in his classic book, Walden, that he could walk from Concord to Fitchburg, some 30 miles, in less time than it would take to work enough to earn the train fare – and he would enjoy the walk as an added bonus (Thoreau might tell us that “going” to Fitchburg was more important than “getting” to Fitchburg). Food for thought …

Where do you find this extra hour?

Assume you’ve contracted a medical condition that requires treatment for one hour each day. During that hour, you couldn’t do ANYthing but receive the treatment – no phone calls, no reading reports, no speaking to anyone. What would happen? Would you say, “Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to die because I don’t have time for that treatment! I’m just so busy, busy, busy!” Of course not!

You would learn to fit everything you had to do into 23 hours. You would get more efficient at what needed to be done. You’d delegate better, procrastinate less, concentrate more effectively, and become better at everything you do. You’d be motivated to do more with less, you’d say no to certain projects and better prioritize your life.

Our lives and our work expand to fill the time set aside

Just like a bigger home usually means more stuff in it, and more TV channels means there’s less to watch, and a bigger closet means there’s still nothing to wear, more time set aside to do something usually means we still just barely get it done on schedule.

It’s called Parkinson’s Law and it states that work expands to fill the time allotted for it. The key to finding your additional 60 minutes is to consciously and intentionally break Parkinson’s Law.

What will you do with your extra hour? Will you get your budget set up, or create a plan for your emergency fund? Will you learn Spanish or Mandarin Chinese? Maybe you could pull your credit report or read How A Second Grader Beats Wall Street! Maybe you could just listen to your spouse or children. Maybe you could learn to negotiate or network or re-write your resume.

The point is, you already HAVE that extra hour at your disposal. How will you use yours?

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.


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{ 3 comments }

Phi

If I worked on speeding up my activities, I’d be able to fit in an extra hour a day. But sometimes, I just like lounging.

Admin

“Lounging” or re-charging is a PRO-active exercise. We re-charge our cell phones and it’s considered prudent, but we get a sense of guilt when we re-charge ourselves. Doesn’t make sense does it?

UPrinting

This post is very reminiscent of a sermon I once heard. The priest said that people are so dedicated on their work that they would probably spend an additional hour of their life just doing more work, instead of spending it on other activities.
I agree with you that “recharging” gives a person a sense of guilt for some reason. But really, is it that wrong to stop and relax for a minute, when you can already drop dead because of too much work?

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