Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What They Said: 24 Hours A Day Is Enough

Workin Hard
“We all have the same 24 hours in a day to devote to career and our personal lives.  How we spend that time defines who we are and ultimately our potential to meet the goals we set for ourselves. Sometimes too much of our time is spent heads down, concerned about the task in front of us. We forget the value of networking with our colleagues and others who share our profession.  Learning how someone else spends their 24 hours can help us re-think our priorities and make us a better person in the process.” – Robert Shultz

Wow.  That is not really what I had in mind when I started looking for some quote from somebody famous who said something like, “we all only have 24 hours a day.”  The rest of the quote is something about how DaVinci, Einstein, Edison, Franklin and all sorts of other really famous and productive people also only had 24 hours a day.

The idea behind the original quote I was looking for was that most people say things about not having enough time to accomplish everything when really, we all have the same amount of time.  Some people just use their time more wisely than others.  Some people are just more efficient.  Some people are just more brilliant and some just harder workers.

I get the general idea behind Mr. Shultz’s statement but I can’t say I necessarily agree.  I liked the first two lines as they appropriately phrased my original idea.  I considered only quoting the first two lines and ignoring the rest.  Then I remembered how much I hate it when people take quotes out of context to suit their own purposes.

Using only the first two lines would have created a different meaning than using the entire quote.  In context, this statement says that you should consider how you spend your 24 hours and then compare how others like you spend theirs.  This comparison can help you re-evaluate your priorities and perhaps make you a better person.

Although I like that he makes a point of saying to compare your time management with those who share your profession, or in essence, those with similar situations to yours, I don’t agree.  While such a comparison might be illuminating as to how or why others may be successful, it does you no good if you are not them.  Following someone else’s time management schedule and priorities may not be what works best for you.

That brings me to the point.  Taking notes on other’s use of their 24 hours a day may inspire you or point you in the right direction.  That’s fine, but you should, no matter your profession, follow your instincts.  Do what works best for you.  Spend your time in a way that makes you most comfortable and accomplishes the most items on your to-do list.

  • When it’s all said and done, you are the only person who has to be okay with how you spend your time.  As a writer, if spending more time researching information for your story ends up helping you write a better story, then do it.  If lounging around doing nothing helps you generate story lines, then by all means, lounge. 

  • Now, if you are the kind of person who needs guilt or jealousy to get motivated, that’s a different story. By all means, stew on the fact that you have just as much time as those famous productive people.  Compare your accomplishments to theirs and feel bad, feel really bad at your lack of achievement.  Mostly likely, you have not created some product that has revolutionized civilization or defined some theory which revolutionized science or mathematics, and probably haven’t created any artistic masterpieces.  So what are you waiting for, get on it, get moving, get motivated.  You’re a slacker.

  • This started out as one of those peppy, upbeat posts about using your time wisely and realizing just how much time you have each day.  That was the intention but then I realized as much of a procrastinator as I am, that would be awfully hypocritical of me.  I don’t have time for all of that peppiness anyway.

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