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I don’t have the time…

You know how most people would prefer if their careers were a little more fulfilling; or they could spend more time with their family; or have more enjoyable experiences with their friends? Well, would it be ok if I shared with you a simple insight to help you get more of what you want?

Most of my articles, blog posts, skill sessions and talks may be considered Common Sense. However, there is an old saying that “the problem with Common Sense is that it isn’t that common.

What is the one thing that all of us have in common with the people that we admire for their achievements and success?

We did not have the same education, family and friends growing up or experiences of work, but we do all have one thing in common. There is the obvious biological aspects such as a heart, a brain, blood etc that we all need, but what I want to explore with you is the one thing that you and I have and is exactly the same as Richard Branson and Deborah Meadon.

So what is it?

The answer is 168.

168 is the number of hours in a week.

What differentiates the people that make a positive impact to those around them is how they spend those 168 hours. Remember you cannot “manage time”, you can only prioritise and spend it.

Let us spend a few of your precious minutes looking at and simplifying your week.

If we sleep 8 hours a day, work and commute 10 hours a day for 5 days and prepare and eat three meals a day what does that add up to?

Total : 168

Sleep : 56

Work : 50

Eat : 22 [7 days x 3 one hour meals + one extra hour]

Remaining : 40

40 hours a week left! We could get ourselves another full time job!

The challenge is that we fill a lot of that time with things that help us feel better in the short term. For example, the average person in the UK watches 28 hours of TV a week. Apparently this figure is reducing, but not because we are learning new skills and starting our own businesses to compensate for the massive short fall in pensions provision when we are older. I am afraid not. Apparently it is because we have replaced one very large screen attached to the wall with a smaller mobile screen and spending the time on social media.

I completely understand that we do not have 40 hours spare every week. Those of us with children are juggling all sorts of things and also there are those of us that are looking after elderly relatives, which will only increase as we live longer.

However, in the future let us not kid ourselves by saying we do not have the time. We all have 168 hours every week. The reality is more likely that we are not doing the important things that we know we should do because we have not prioritised properly; maybe we are scared of the unknown; perhaps we have a fear of failing; or we are unsure to uncover the true talents we have to share with the world.

So next time you hear yourself or someone say the following, then maybe think again.

“I don’t have the time!”

“Well actually, that is all we have!”

Matthew Broomhead

Permanent link to this article: https://www.matthewbroomhead.co.uk/i-dont-have-the-time/