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The Power Of An Hour And ‘The Thing’

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time

has not discovered the value of life.”

– Charles Darwin

If you’re a regular reader of these mails you’ll know that I ruptured my Achilles’ tendon at the start of June and required surgery.

Amongst other things, this resulted in not being able to drive for 2 months. As you’d expect, it was very disruptive to my plans and the way I work and live.

But it wasn’t without its benefits.

Top of the list is how it made me look at my business and life differently. I will write again about the lessons I’ve learned during the ‘Achilles Summer’ but I’d like to focus on one element here – time.

Because of my reduced mobility, I found myself doing more 1 to 1s than normal with people, at my office and by video, over the summer. One of the recurring themes with all of those people has been a desire to re-invent themselves or indeed their organisations. In many cases they wanted to add something new to their business, or start a new project/venture.

But the number one obstacle cited in all cases was time. Or a lack of it.

“I just don’t have the time” is what people will tell you.

But that’s actually not true.

It’s often not until you’re forced by unseen and uncontrollable circumstances (by injury, illness or other usually ‘negative’ events) that you realise there are different ways of working.

And time really isn’t the issue.

It’s more about changing perspective – taking a different mindset. Which for most is hard unless it’s forced upon you.

Take the power of an hour for example.

One hour a day, if used consistently over a working year, adds up to 30 days. That’s a lot of extra time. And at the moment, that hour is probably being used up by low value things like emails, unimportant meetings, travel, social media, phone calls etc.

What would you do with an extra 30 days a year?

Take time out to reset?

Spend time on strategically important areas for your role?

Write that book?

Learn that new skill?

Spend valuable time with your loved one?

Get fit and healthy?

Start that new idea for potential new sales?

Everyone is busy these days. And our days are genuinely full. But are they full of what matters most? Are they allowing space for the ‘new’?

So you know that ‘thing’ you’re not getting to because you keep telling yourself you’re too busy?

Here’s an experiment:

Pretend that there’s a gun to your head, every day for the next 12 months.

And to keep safe, all you have to do is use 1 hour a day for that ‘thing’ you’re too busy to do. But if you don’t use the hour for this ‘thing’, the gun goes off.

If you take the experiment seriously, you should see something different about time…

Best,

Shane

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