Seth Godin has a killer post, Is effort a Myth.
He has me thinking about the economy…but not in terms of money…but rather the economy of time.
How we spend our time is as important as how we spend our money.
I like the practical advice he gives on just taking a 120 minutes, and re-thinking how you spend it.
You can see his thoughts below:
And that’s the key to the paradox of effort: While luck may be more appealing than effort, you don’t get to choose luck. Effort, on the other hand, is totally available, all the time.
This is a hard sell. Diet books that say, “eat less, exercise more,” may work, but they don’t sell many copies.
With that forewarning, here’s a bootstrapper’s/marketer’s/entrepreneur’s/fast-rising executive’s effort diet. Go through the list and decide whether or not it’s worth it. Or make up your own diet. Effort is a choice, at least make it on purpose:
1. Delete 120 minutes a day of ‘spare time’ from your life. This can include TV, reading the newspaper, commuting, wasting time in social networks and meetings. Up to you.
2. Spend the 120 minutes doing this instead:
* Exercise for thirty minutes.
* Read relevant non-fiction (trade magazines, journals, business books, blogs, etc.)
* Send three thank you notes.
* Learn new digital techniques (spreadsheet macros, Firefox shortcuts, productivity tools, graphic design, html coding)
* Blog for five minutes about something you learned.
* Give a speech once a month about something you don’t currently know a lot about.
3. Spend at least one weekend day doing absolutely nothing but being with people you love.
4. Only spend money, for one year, on things you absolutely need to get by. Save the rest, relentlessly.
If you somehow pulled this off, then six months from now, you would be the fittest, best rested, most intelligent, best funded and motivated person in your office or your field. You would know how to do things other people don’t, you’d have a wider network and you’d be more focused.
It’s entirely possible that this won’t be sufficient, and you will continue to need better luck. But it’s a lot more likely you’ll get lucky, I bet.
I was thinking about how much time I waste just surfing. And I don’t mean surfing in the ocean. But surfing on the web, the TV, through magazines that are pointless and candy/bubblegum for the brain (i.e. think sensational, gossip, celebrity, etc.)
Here are some ways that I would like to re-think, re-do my time.
- Check email only twice a day. In the afternoon (around lunch) and then before work is over (around 5 or 6).
- Remove, or lower my data package on my Blackberry so that I can’t be online as much. And turn off my email that comes to my phone.
- Reduce the amount of TV shows that I watch. I like a lot, so that will be tough. Replace that TV time with reading, relaxing, spending time with my wife. And by time, not the time we spend watching TV, but real interactional, connecting time.
- Spend more time with my family when I’m with my family. That means cut back on texting, Twittering, checking the web when I am with them. So really be present.
- Don’t spend my days off just running errands, especially the weekends. But truly take a Sabbath.
- Ultimately, use the time I get back to do two things: 1) use that time to do important, life giving, learning stuff; 2) use that time to be present with my family…not just physically present, but emotionally present.
Give me your thoughts. How would you re-think your time, and what would you do with it?