The one commodity that people state they don’t have enough of is time. Our lives are so full that we have this constant sense that we’re either always behind or that something important isn’t being done. This attitude puts us in a position where we are stressed and often focused on minutia that we feel, if handled, will put things back in their rightful order.
This isn’t a post about balance. This isn’t a post about workforce flexibility. This post is about choice.
We are all given the same amount of hours each day. Our lives have patterns that we have chosen that involve our work which consumes most of our time during the week. We rarely look at how those hours are used because we become set in certain methods that keep things relatively stable. This is alluring because we accomplish the things we enjoy completing more often than not if this pattern is maintained.
The challenge with this is that our patterns become our expectations and any deviation from this throws us for a loop. The other aspect of this repetitiveness is that it limits the number of people we regularly interact with and keeps us from having the chance to interact with the countless others who pass by us every single day.
So, a big question for us is WHO do you spend your time with? I think if you sat down and wrote down the number of people who get your time, it would be fairly small. That may be comfortable for you, but why choose to be limited? Why forsake the opportunity to meet and learn about others who, if given your time, could benefit from knowing you and you knowing them.
I have always been a person who is surrounded by people. This has been my choice and I can’t get enough of it. I don’t expect others to have this same perspective. I understand that we all have a certain capacity for the number of people in our lives. My contention is that you should see how full that capacity should be !!
I recently went to a fundraising dinner for the Boys & Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty which is the community where my family and I live. During the presentation, the Executive Director quoted a study that says that kids spend less than 4% of their time with adults these days. Think of that. It’s staggering to think that kids, who will one day be our future leaders and employees, have so little meaningful interactions with adults.
How can we expect them to be the next great generation, when we aren’t willing to spend time with them? This is just one example. There are so many ways to have a positive impact on those around you for the present and to be a legacy for the future. You need to choose if that is something you’re willing to do.
The story which gives us all the perspective of why how we spend our time matters is best told by Lauren Hill. Lauren is a freshman at Mt. St. Joseph University in Cincinnati and she has inoperable brain cancer. Her story has gained national attention because she had a goal of playing at least one college game. Today, she did that and she scored the first two points and the last two points of the game. She may not live until December of this year, but her goal was set and accomplished. When you hear her tell her story of her shortened life, she only focuses on reaching those around her.
This week slow down time. Take a look at how your spending it and who you’re spending it with. Make the time with those you’re with the fullest it can be and then see if you can take on even one more person. You’ll see that it’s the best way you could ever use of your time !!