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When Have You Gotten Rid of Enough? (Time-Takers)

If you work an 8-hr workday, you are talking about 480 mins or 28,800 secs. “at work”. For those who work a full-time position, it can be more than these totals. You’ve heard me say before, that you spend more time at work than with members of your own families or those in your social network. (Partly because many full-time employees work longer than 8 hr. days.)

How are you using this time?

  • Are you making smart decisions about what gets done and in what order?

  • Are you allowing other people to use or misuse any of these 28,800 secs? (Remember, secs add up fast. Don’t they? IKR)

  • If you eliminated any single task, is there any possibility that other tasks might mysteriously disappear?

  • Is it possible that investing time in training and delegating would give a return on the investment, ROI, in more “time for you” to do things you don’t have time to do right now?

  • When you look back on your day or week, are you working on things that are Urgent and Important?

  • Is it possible that a meaningful chunk of your time is spent on Urgent; but Not Important things?

  • How much of your time is going to Not Urgent; but Important tasks?

  • And, how much of your time is actually taken up by Not Urgent and Not Important “stuff” (one of my technical terms.)?

Each of you, individually, will take different messages from this newsletter. Many of us think “More is better.” This idea goes back to a 14th century Franciscan Monk, Occam. His observation was that given a simple solution as an option or a more complex solution option, the more complex option was chosen because the presumption is that the more complex the problem, the more complex solution must be the best choice. It became known as Occam’s Razor.

BUT, there is another consideration. (Isn’t there always another But?) When it comes to how you are using your time, what you are accomplishing, and how much isn’t getting done, I’d offer up another perspective. This one by a fella named Antoine de Saint-Exupery (French writer and poet).

I don’t know him well enough to use his nickname, Ant, but maybe Antoine offers this take:

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

So, which of the bullets above can you take away in your day?


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