Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Time Please

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Last week was a little more stressful than I'd have liked as Nic was admitted to hospital with a Kidney infection.  Three days later and after plenty of chasing around looking after the kids, I was given the nod that she was well enough to come home.  She's completely on the mend now but this did get me thinking about 'time' and how we go about spending it.
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Have you ever thought about how long you spend doing things that you don't want to be doing?  Or alternatively, how much you actually spend doing the things you want?  In my 'old job' I'd spend 11 hours a day doing an activity that I no longer enjoyed and one that was rarely recognised - the daily routine was something like this...
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6.15am - Wake up and get ready
7.15am - Leave for work
8.15am - Arrive at work
12.00pm - Lunch
1.00pm - Finish lunch
5.30pm - Finish work
6.15pm - Get home
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Sound familiar?  Day in day out a lot of us choose to follow the same routine.  That's great if you enjoy what you do, but what if you don't? 11 hours a day, 55 hours a week, 2860 hours a year?  Okay, knock off a few for annual holiday entitlement but that's a large chunk of your life spent doing something you don't want to do.
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Now I'm not saying, "follow me and become a sports gambler" but I am saying that it's good to think if there are other options if you're consistently feeling unfulfilled.  As Steve Jobs the late Apple CEO said in one of his most famous addresses, "You've got to find what you love.  Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven't found it yet, keep looking.  Don't settle."
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In my opinion, there's some very wise words being spoken there and to ensure that I'm managing my time effectively I've decided to track my working hours this year.  Every minute I spend gambling or researching I'm going to record to ensure I'm getting rewarded for the effort I'm putting in.
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To give you an example, here's how January has panned out so far with regards to hours I've worked (click to enlarge):
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So far, on average, I'm putting in just over 37 hours a week but the most striking thing for me is that I rarely have a 'day off'.  If Nic hadn't been in hospital would I have done nothing on the 16th and 17th?  I doubt it, as my mind gets restless very quickly and I'd have been itching to research new approaches, so with busier months to come it'll be interesting to keep an eye on things to make sure my life remains balanced.
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On another note, I'm also half way through the book 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' by Robert Kiyosaki.  It's not to everyone's taste but if you've ever wondered how the Rich get rich and stay that way then it may inspire you to try and follow.  I'm already scratching my head wondering how I can adopt some of the lessons into my lifestyle.
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