The Currency Of Time For Work Balance

by Donovan Grant on March 14, 2011

The Currency Of Time For Work Balance

By Donovan Grant

“We all sorely complain of the shortness of time, and yet have much more than we know what to do with. Our lives are either spent in doing nothing at all, or in doing nothing to the purpose, or in doing nothing that we ought to do. We are always complaining that our days are few, and acting as though there would be no end of them.”
Seneca

Ever had one of those days? When there's more 'to do' on your list than hours in the day? Don't worry, I know what it's like. Anyone who has made investment in themself understands the role making time work for you has in life’s journey. Sadly, however, many ‘organised’ people have become victims of their own busy-ness.

Remember this- time is a valuable and finite resource, so use it wisely! It will be no surprise to you that we all have 1440 minutes per day. So if the average person sleeps for 420 of those minutes, what are you doing with the remaining 1020?

What value are you putting on your time?

When you go shopping to buy a new shirt at some point before you buy it you will make a value evaluation. Say the shirt is priced at £40, you’ll say to yourself “is this shirt worth £40?” You look at the colour, the design, the material quality and most of all “do I look good in this?” If it ticks all the boxes, then you may go ahead and make the purchase.

So how do you tell if something is worth your time? Let’s look at it this way; when you lose it or more importantly when you spend it, you can never get it back! Once it gone, it’s gone. Forever. So when you talk about precious assets, I would like to offer the suggestion that your time should be right up there on your assets column along with jewellery, money, house and cars.

What can we do, now that we know this? Well one thing for sure is that our question changes from “are we spending our hours wisely today?” to “how are you investing your time today?”

It is precious

Investment of your time needs to be thought out as much as you do with your money. If you invest it well, then you will make gains and end up in profit. If you spend it without due care then your results will reflect this.

Is it more important than money?

Well you can lose your job, your house, your car and your money and it is possible that you can get it all back. It’s possible that you may even end up with more than you had before your losses if you have some really good investments. On the other hand, once time is gone that’s it!

Have you ever thought of learning a new skill or hobby? Something that will help you to move forward in life and your career however, you never got started; because you didn’t have the capacity. This is true for many of us.

I remember speaking to a client last October. Dave was bored, unmotivated and trapped in his current role and he decided to start managing his own career and make something happen. He knew that he deserved better. Just making the decision had lifted his spirits and then Dave said “I will make a start on it in the new year because I’m too busy for now!” I was shocked. He was too busy to start correcting very thing that was causing him so much stress in his life. Now, five months later and Dave has still not got started.

How many times a week do you say expressions like these?

“I haven’t got enough time”

“I wish I had more time”

“I’m too busy”

You need to become aware of the language that you use and you may be surprised how much spare time you really have.

Let’s try this exercise to assess your usage:

Choose one day this week (like tomorrow) and literally write down everything that you do from when you get up until when you go to bed. You may want to do it in 30 minute chunks (or if you are really up for it 15 minute chunks) and just write a quick one line note to say what you did. One the following day, review your journal and see how you balance your time between major and minor things.

If you do this exercise properly, you will be amazed at how much balance you can gain back in your life.

What is one major thing that you need to make space for this week?

I believe in you and I am grateful to you for allowing us to serve you each and everyday!

Feel free to add a comment below to share your view on what the curreny of time means to you.

I believe in you and I am grateful to you for allowing us to serve you each and everyday!

Donovan Grant is a "Honest and True Step By Step Work-life balance and Career Coach. His systems help the average career changer as well as high flier get extra-ordinary results quickly. www.donovangrant.com.

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  • marla

    Great post Donovan, going to try writing down everything tomorro. Did it once and barely lasted a day, will try harder this time!

  • Hi Donovan, you definitely put a spotlight on time and how it’s being invested. I like the term investment so much better than spending. Just that word alone makes time more serious and important. Amazing how we take it for granted and not consciously realizing when it’s gone, it’s gone. I’ll definitely try that exercise.

  • Time is so valuable. Thanks for sharing great info. Thanks for believing in me as you wrote.

  • Michele M Tremblay

    Thanks for suggestion Donovan. I will give it a try…A bit afraid of the results.

  • I’m afraid to even consider the amount of Time I’ve lost in my 50-years so far, but I’m going to make an honest effort to make every minute count today and onward! Thank you, Donovan, for a timely reminder!

  • Go for it Marla! I’m sure you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.

  • Thanks Tiffany, yes we all need to keep investing. Let me know how you get on with the exercise.

  • Hey Carol. thanks for popping by. You are definitely an inspiration to many!

  • Hey Michele, I’m sure your results will be just dandy!

  • Susan, we all need to keep reminding each other. Let me know how you get on with today’s minute counting!

  • Donovan, another great post. Managing this “time” thing has always been a challenge for me. I have alot I want to accomplish this year without losing myself in the process. Managing my time has been a priority for me this year, but I still have miles to go. Thanks for the suggestions in the article!

  • Sue

    Donovan, I like the idea of writing down EVERYTHING you do in a day….very similar to writing down everything you EAT when trying to lose weight….When we put it down on paper, we can really see what we are actually doing….Thanks for opening up my eyes and giving me ideas to get more balanced in my life!

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