“What lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.”
We all have the same 24 hours each day – no more, no less. If you think about it objectively, how we invest those 24 hours is mostly of our choosing. Some invest more time in sleep; or in exercise; in meal preparation and many seem to spend all their time at work. Others dash home from the office to enjoy vocations or hobbies. We all juggle and divide our time between moments in those 24 hours. I’m not a soccer Mom, but a softball Mom. So part of my time investment each week lies in connecting my kid with her sport. No matter the distraction or perfectly valid time use detour; I would wager that most of us believe we should spend most of our time on average work days investing in ‘work’. Makes sense huh? I also hope that most of that work time is invested in activities which bring us satisfaction and allow us to use our talents and creativity.
Those who are passionate about what they do find time to do that thing. But, upon closer inspection we may also discover that any number of things impinge on that time.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011) American Time Use Study we spent approximately 1/3 of our 24 hours on work or related activities. As you can imagine over a lifetime, this compounds into a huge investment. Logically, how you feel about what you do and how you value this ‘time’ investment dramatically influences your sense of wellbeing.
We all know someone who claims to ‘hate’ his/her job. Given the number of hours spent in work, I can’t imagine doing a job where I felt badly much of the time. But I do know, that even if there are tasks in my career that cause me stress; there are other aspects which I love, which inspires me and I know I’m contributing at a high level as I should and desire. When I am honestly interested in what I’m doing, engaged and in the flow of my work; time falls away and the world falls silent. Often too quickly, I find myself needing to move on to another less engaging task. Know this, those moments of flow are what sustains me – and I suggest – you too.
It is in those moments of flow; when our creative genius is fully engaged and focused, that time seems to stand still. It is in those opportunities I call ‘cathedrals of time;’ where the accomplishment in those blocks pays homage to our core genius and allows us to harness and worship that creative spark within. Protect those ‘cathedrals of time’ at all costs. It is when you are most productive. Block and protect your calendar: tattoo a note on the door, tie up the kids (not really but do something), silence the phone, indicate that a seminar on ‘death and dying will be offered’ by anyone who disturbs you in that protected window of time. Do whatever it takes to assure you have that lofty space to create, to innovate, to work your craft, to nurture your genius.
When you find you spend more time doing work you adore – you like your work more. Work, works better in your life and when that happens with the approximately 1/3 of the time we invest each week – you win all around.
Cathedrals of time. When is your next planned worship service?
Success does leave clues – live your true calling. At Work, At Play, Everyday