Time is the one resource that is finite for each person on this earth. Each minute has 60 seconds, each hour has 60 minutes, each day has 24 hours and each week has 168 hours. These are known quantities...no more...no less...
In physics, energy multiplied by the distance traveled divided by the time that it takes to move that distance is equal to "work"...
For most of us..."work" has a completely different meaning...
- Work can be that time we choose to sell to an employer for money in exchange for performing certain tasks
- Work can be that time we spend maintaining our households such as dusting, vacuuming, doing laundry, and painting the kitchen
- Work can be the time we spend maintaining our bodies
- Work can be that time we spend maintaining our relationships
Aside from the time we all spend working, we also need to spend time away from work playing, relaxing, pondering and creating...
Lastly we need to to refresh our bodies and minds by sleeping...
The Balancing Act
Since there are only a finite amount of time...168 hours per week...we create internal agreements with ourselves and external agreements with others in how to mete out our available time...
We create a weekly budget as to where our time resources will be spent...
Perhaps a typical week for an average American might look like
- 45 hours - at the office (remember the lunch hour)
- 5 hours - commuting to and from the office
- 5 hours - getting ready for work
- 10 hours - weekly household chores
- 10 hours - physical fitness
- 10 hours - preparing and eating meals
- 20 hours - watching TV / reading
- 55 hours - sleeping
- 8 hours - friends, family, church and community
Now of course everyone’s time is spent differently...some might only sleep 6 hours a day freeing up 14 hours per week...while others may never watch TV or read but instead they coach their daughter’s soccer team 20 hours a week.
Everyone is completely responsible for their own lives (unless of course, you happen to be my teenage son who believes that his mom and I have the responsibility for making his life perfect)...each of us make our own decisions and choose our own courses of action. We alone decide where to spend our available time.
Leaving It On The Field
Regardless of where you or I decide to spend our time...we should be doing what we intend to do...to the best of our ability. Multi-tasking is a misnomer. We can truly only focus on one thing at a time if we want to do that thing well..and there lies the key distinction.
If we’re at the office, we should be working...not shopping online, playing games on the Internet, talking with our friends, or reading about the latest Tiger Woods scandal. Conversely, if we’re at dinner with our significant other, we should not be taking work calls, checking our email from our phone every minute, or meeting clients at our son’s wrestling tournament to "go over a few things".
Our focus should be whatever it is we are doing at the time. Life is about living in the moment.
One could argue that it’s okay to read a book while working on the elliptical trainer at the gym. My counter argument might be that you’re able to read a book then you’re not working out that hard and can be working harder...maximizing the results and perhaps reducing the time you need to spend at the gym.
I’m not here to say that certain events cannot be combined such as doing the ironing while enjoying watching TV. This might make perfect sense. Both take little or no concentration and minimal effort to achieve quality results (unless perhaps you’re OCD about the creases in your pants).
But so often, I see where people seemingly waste their valuable time. They play solitaire on their computers at work but complain that they need to come into the office on a Saturday to finish the work that they did not complete during the week.
They stay up late watching TV, wake up at 4 am to go to the gym before work only to be chronically sick due to their lack of sleep.
They believe that they are participating in a family function, but are, in reality, miles away still at their desks at the office.
However we decide to budget our time, it should be consistent with the life that we hope to live. Our lives will be judged one day by what we did not do what we thought about doing...
Nike has it only half-right...Just Do It...but also Do It Right...
Thank you very much for all of your continued support of OptiFuse where we hope to focus our time on you.