In times of crisis and overload, many people become less effective as a result of pressure. Rather than becoming more focussed and more effective at the very time we need it most, many of us get stuck and overwhelmed by seemingly multitudinous competing priorities – the result is often procrastination and inertia. Someone said to me the other day that they really hadn’t the time to focus on their great passion in life as it was taking them all their time and energy to keep the show on the road. It seems to me an absolute tragedy if you cannot find the time to indulge your passions.
As the weeks go on, made more colourful by the extraordinary behaviour of some of our politicians, which are extraordinary whatever one’s political views, and I see people who are in the midst of coaching, moving forward with their chosen route, I am reminded about the only resource we have at our fingertips.
The only thing we have to play with is time and our own inner resources. Working at home can be utter hell, particularly if there are distractions and a lack of physical space. In actual fact, this makes it even more important to use the little physical and mental space available to achieve chosen outcomes.
During a talk I was listening to the other day the speaker echoed what I say constantly in coaching sessions. There are 168 hours in the week, and if we take out the number required for sleeping and for working and contain them, there are still a lot more ‘to play with’. In coaching I love to be able to release someone’s time and motivation so that a coachee can spend it where they wish. Ironically, remote working, something many people are adapting to for the first time at the moment, can be a facilitator rather than an impediment to releasing time. We have 168 hours in the week and, once we ‘ve taken time off for sleeping and working, we have we have many hours left that we can choose how to fill. So, let’s take off 40 hours for work from the available 168, and then, let us take off another 56 hours for sleeping assuming we all have the luxury of 8 hours rest a night. That leaves us with 72 hours. So, where does the time go? Are you doing with it what you wish and can you, at least, get better utilisation and achievement from it? The key is deciding how you want to spend your time, and how that desire fits in with your life and career goals and motivations. In addition, remote working has removed the need for travel. The use of technology has removed the clutter of paper. The drive to save the planet has helped us to work electronically and minimise our actual physical footprint somewhat. Data protection, though often seen as a huge challenge, has given us the opportunity to scan documents and work paperless.
So, this is the perfect time to plan more effectively – to achieve what we each individually want to achieve in each aspect of life – or whether hedonism is all that is required. Of course, multitasking is a fantastic idea in principle, but as we can only hold one thought in our heads at a time, we have to draw on our available resources – our own internal skills and abilities, and the use of time is only effective when we plan.
72 hours of time not spent working or sleeping, is an awful lot of time and the most important journey we’re on is the one where we often don’t define our destination, our passions or goals and utilise effectively the resources that are available to us.
If you’d like to talk about how to release potential from your organisation and from individuals within it, then do please get in touch; there are many mechanisms that can be used for maximising effectiveness, efficiency and happiness – both for an individual, a team or a whole organisation.