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
- 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?