“You can use your bits of time for bits of joy.” – Laura Vanderkam
First of all, Happy New Year from Take Roots! We accomplished a lot last year and we’re certainly looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings. The New Year is the perfect time to start fresh; the possibilities seem endless and it’s a wonderful opportunity to self-reflect. We all know that life isn’t going to automatically restart when the calendar changes to January 1, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s the perfect time to reflect on the previous year.
This week, a video of Laura Vanderkam’s TED Talk about time management made its way to us here at Take Roots and we thought the timing (no pun intended) couldn’t be better to evaluate how we spend our time. Have a look.
Let’s break down some of the information Laura talks about in the video:
Out of 168 hours in the week, how many hours do you work? Let’s say a standard work week, 40 hours. And how many hours do you sleep? Let’s again go with a standard 8 hours per night, which adds up to 56 hours. So, between work & sleep that’s 96 hours, which leaves you 72 hours left in the week to accomplish anything else you need to get done.
72 hours is a LOT of time! Now, go a little deeper.
You may have young children that require you to shuttle them back and forth to activities throughout the week (10 hours). You may volunteer with a community organization (8 hours). You may be training for an upcoming race (10 hours). That still leaves you with 44 hours in the week to do other things.
44 hours is still a LOT of time!
Some people may not feel this way but simple math confirms—yep—it’s true. It’s so easy to get caught up with the hustle-and-bustle of this crazy thing called life, that the words “I don’t have time” start to sound like they’re on repeat. But, take a look at those numbers again—everyone has time. Lots of it, in fact. Now that the evidence is right in front of you, the BIG question is, what will you do with that time?
The danger in assuming we don’t have time is that we won’t set any goals and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy of sorts. So, now that the numbers are in front of you, how can you work towards your personal and professional goals? One thing we have all learned is that it can be easy to set professional goals; get that big promotion, make x amount of money, sign x new clients, etc.
This is probably because these goals are clear-cut and make sense in terms of career growth. We can easily ask ourselves—what is the next step in my career? Move from manager to senior manager, make more money, grow my business. Great! Maybe these will bring you happiness, maybe they won’t (that’s another discussion for another day) but we can’t forget about our personal lives. For many of us, our personal lives tend to fall by the wayside and some may suggest it’s due to “lack of time”. But, don’t we deserve more self-respect than that? So many of us have that “one thing” we’ve wanted to do forever but we’ve just never made a priority. It could be we’ve always wanted to run a 5k. It could be we’ve been thinking about taking an art class since high school but we’ve never even looked into it, much less signed up. Or, it could be that our relationships have been suffering because we don’t think an hour for a cup of coffee is doable.
“Time is highly elastic. We cannot make more time but time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.” – Laura Vanderkam
This isn’t to say we don’t all have commitments—of course we do! If you’re a single parent or taking care of ailing parents, an hour for coffee can seem impossible. But, don’t forget, you ARE worth it. As Laura says in the video, “I don’t have time = it’s not a priority.” So, what do you want to make a priority this year? Start by thinking about what you want to have accomplished by this time next year. (Don’t forget to include personal goals with your professional ones.) Write your goals down. Re-read them throughout the year. If you feel comfortable, share them with someone you trust. Ask him/her if he/she would be your accountability partner. You’d be surprised how much more you can accomplish when you know someone is going to ask you how you’re doing against your goals.
It can be difficult to set achievable goals, which is why we are huge believers in setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.
If your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound, you’ll be more likely to succeed.
However, if your goals are too broad, they will often seem impossible to accomplish; and if they seem impossible, you’ll be far less likely to follow-through throughout the year. This isn’t because you’re weak or don’t have the ability to follow-through; it’s because you’re only seeing the big picture when, in reality, goals are a series of small steps that lead to a desired end result.
We’re more than happy to help you accomplish your professional goals this year! Contact us to kick your year off with Take Roots.