Tuesday, September 14, 2010
In terms of money, we aren't all equal - salaries are as varied as people themselves. Some are born filthy rich and others will barely have a meal. But when it comes to time, that's a resource that is a level playing field. We all, theoretically, have the same 168 hours in each week to do with as we choose. I used to argue that those of us who have to work for a living in the corporate grind are limited, because we automatically lose at least 40-50 hours in a work week, not even counting the frustrating commute.
After diving into Laura Vanderkan's book called 168 Hours, however, I'm not so sure about that. She explores time management in a unique way. Instead of trying to better manage the tasks we must do, she throws into question our very way of life itself. Are we making the best use of our lives? Is our career something we really LOVE doing, and if it isn't, even in these hard economic times, maybe we should reevaluate what we're investing our time and energy into creating. If it's not work we love, then the hours, no matter how compactly spent, won't be fulfilling.
She focuses on how we can instead turn our focus to maximize what we do and like to do most so that we create a time orientation that reflects our values and priorities. This allows us to do more - and not just more but do things differently, so we're energized by a new purpose and not just checking off a long list of mundane tasks. She has convinced me that not only can we accomplish everything we REALLY want to do (i.e. fulfilling work, quality parenting and marriages, fascinating hobbies) but we can take time to eat healthily, exercise, and fulfill ourselves in every way that is truly important.
This is NOT one of those "you can do everything and be a superwoman/superman" type of books. It's not pie-in-the-sky postive thinking drek.
If you'd like, you can visit Laura's blog and take a look at some of her ideas and exercises to see if you too might benefit by taking a new look at the 168 hours that are available to us all.