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If Time Were No Object

A common meme lately, especially as advice to young people wondering what to do with their lives, is to ask “If money were no object, what would you be doing?” The answer is what one should be doing because it’s what they truly desire.

It’s a good question, and a great way to think about how you’re spending your life.

But, what if I ask myself a different question…

“If time were no object, what would I want to get done every week?”

How many things do I wish I could have down but didn’t? How many could I have done, if I’d just done them instead of worrying about if I had the time?

So, I jotted down the things I’d like to do on a weekly basis. Maybe more than a few times a week, but I figured a week was a good measure.

Here’s my list:

  • Go on a date with my wife
  • Build something in the workshop – furniture, stationery cases, or whatever
  • Network with people – stay in touch, write some letters
  • Draw/sketch/paint
  • Play with the kids
  • Grocery shopping
  • Write great content for the blog
  • Read – finish one book per week
  • Run (at least 3 times)
  • Write – on the various projects I have going
  • Practice guitar or tin whistle

So I put down estimates of how much time each one would reasonably require in a week. Then I totaled the time required for sleeping, work, overhead (eating, showering, etc.) and subtracted it all from the 168 hours in a week.

To my surprise, there was time left over.

So…how is it I’m not getting to all of the things I want to get done because I feel like I don’t have time, but I have enough time?

Clearly I’m spending time on things that aren’t on the list, and I need to manage my time better.

What would be on your list?

3 comments… add one
  • junius December 29, 2012, 9:45 pm

    I fritter time away like nobody’s business. So what I’d most like to do is put away my accursed and beloved Palantir (iPad), and get down to the serious business of creating something of artistic value out of my hoard of art supplies. Whenever I actually set out to do something invariably I find time IS an object. Strange how that works.

    • Steve January 1, 2013, 8:41 am

      Thanks for the comment!

      I find Steven Pressfield’s books a nice tonic for chronic time wasting. He does a good job explaining that the difference between a pro and an amateur is the pro does the work. Always.

      Who wants to think of themselves as an amateur?

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