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24 hours in a day….it's how you spend it that defines YOU

24 hours in a day….it's how you spend it that defines YOU

In 2015 two of my goals were to Relax More and Give Back.  A big part of me being able to achieve those two goals were to face up to the following facts:

  1. There are only 24 hours in a day
  2. I have no more or less time than anyone else on the planet (world leaders... scientists... business leaders..)
  3. I can’t do it all…and…if I try to…I won’t do it all well
  4. How I prioritize my time defines me
  5. You can get more done if you just plan and ask for help

This was harder for me to face up to than you can possibly imagine.  Having said that, I feel that I was able to take more time off…relax….let things wash over me and give back because I embraced all five facts above.

There are numerous examples in the last year where I believe that I unconsciously ran down the list above and made certain choices that ultimately led to me feeling pretty darn good about staying true to my two goals. 

Here are a few of my Lessons Learned:

  1. Taking things one thing at a time…allowing yourself to prioritize, asking for help and letting go of what you can’t control….really easy to say…really hard to do…but if you do…even the unthinkable can melt away. 
  2. Consistency and tradition are important.  They don’t necessarily pay off right away but eventually the time you spent on them and the thought you put into them produce their own rewards. Prioritizing the time to make them happen given all the other things that you could be doing are what memories are made of.
  3. Prioritizing the team and engaging them to assist you not only lightens the load for the leader but it also makes it a lot more fun. I genuinely believe that making time for team building (even though you don’t think you have the time) makes for stronger engagement and higher productivity in the end.  We all only have 24 hours in the day….it is how you spend it that defines you.
  4. Plan ahead as much as you can but don’t be afraid to adjust as the environment or circumstances change. You have to look above the tree line and continue to assess if what you have planned is getting you…the team…the organization where it needs to be.

Recently, I saw a short video that was posted by Tony Schwartz and the Energy Project with the caption attached “How would you really enjoy spending your life?”  It is by Alan Watts "What if Money Were No Object".  It was the perfect example that how we chose to spend our time is OURS to make and each of us only has the same 24 hours to work with….it is what we do with it…in pursuit of happiness that is precious….don’t waste it!

It all plays into living the life we were meant to live. No one else can tell you what that is…how to get it….or how to maintain it. The best we can do is make choices that move us in that direction but not waiting for some mythical magical time to achieve it. We need to find a way to appreciate the small wins each and every day. For example….our family sits around the dinner table each night and the same question is posed…”what was the best thing that happened to YOU today?” Sometimes the best thing is just that moment that we are together and other times it is bigger. We also take time to say…in moments when we really feel grateful and appreciative….”THIS is the life I was meant to live”. This also applies to my professional life and I pose the same question around the table when we are out to dinner with clients, colleagues, partners or friends - "What's the best thing that happened to YOU today?". Try it – I guarantee you will learn something about someone you did not know before and the feeling of gratefulness that it inspires in others will have long lasting effects.

We all only have 24 hours in the day….it is how you spend it that defines YOU.

Leadership questions of the week for YOU: “What do you think of the five facts above?  Are there any you would add?  Any you would take away?”  “What is your favorite example above and lessons learned?”  “What is your most recent example of “24 hours in a day” and thoughts around how you prioritize your time?”  “Do you believe that managing your 24 hours each day leads to relaxing more and happiness?”  “Can you name a mentor or person in your life that embodied this best that you learned from?”  “What are your thoughts from the video?”

Thanks for reading and remember…..YOU make a difference!

Please continue the conversation by liking…commenting or sharing this article. You can also follow me on twitter @marciedwhite


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