If you had 2.4 extra hours today, what would you do with them?
Would you double down on a deadline? Catch up on a project? Do something special with your family? Fit in an extra work out? Write your Christmas list? Brainstorm with a creative colleague to develop or expand one of your ideas? Consider how you’d use a part time person in your business? Would you take a nap? Would you go shopping? Your choices are unlimited.
What would you do with an extra 2.4 hours today?
Too many people say, “I don’t have time” or “I’m too busy.” Frantic not to miss something, There’s always more that needs done. Too often, we act out of obligation, rather than doing what’s most meaningful to us.
If you had an extra 2.4 hours every single day, how would it make a difference in the quality of your life?
This is more than a rhetorical question. This question helps focus attention on areas with greater meaning and organize activities to increase enjoyment and reduce stress.
Yes, this is a bold claim.
Jane owned a photography business, and she did it all. She did the marketing, created new products, delivered services and administered the details of her business. Harried and overworked, she considered hiring someone to help with marketing and administrative activities, but she always talked herself out of it. She felt her income needed to be more consistent. She wasn’t confident she’d hire the right person, and she didn’t know how to train or support them. She loved the idea of being a business owner, but she was always behind, most weekends and evenings.
I coached her to account for the time she invested in the various activities of running her business. She outlined procedures and jotted ideas for a part time position. Soon she had what she needed to post her ad and hired a woman to work 10 hours a week. Soon Jane’s books were current, client communication was up to date and Jane began to relax. She was more creative, consistent and confident. Jane had more fun and referrals picked up.
This transformation wasn’t easy. Jane carved out extra time in an overloaded schedule. She needed to learn new skills and move through her doubts. She worried that her plan wouldn’t work and she’d be more behind than ever. She was nervous about training her new hire. But she moved through each of these obstacles.
Next, she established a firm stop time at the end of her work day. She took care of small projects around the house that had accumulated. Soon she signed up for an aerobics class. Jane has more energy, works fewer weekends, and she and her husband regularly schedule date nights.
In less than 6 months, Jane “found” way more than an extra 2.4 hours a day for activities she enjoys. Jane’s story reveals both the reasons we don’t make changes and how we can. Stress goes down and confidence goes up.
Jane took 3 simple steps to find an extra 2.4 hours a day and reclaim her weekends. You can reclaim time for what you love as well. First, DECIDE the change you’d like to make, fall in love with it and describe it in detail. Second, DESIGN a structure to support your journey. And finally, DELIVER. Jump in without knowing HOW you’ll accomplish every little thing and take action.
Too many people wait until New Year’s Eve to design the changes they’ll make in the New Year, but not you. NOW is the time to DECIDE, DESIGN and set 2017 in motion, so you’ll look back on the new year as the turning point that DELIVERED greater freedom and joy – and yes, less stress. Life got easier.