Time is a tricky denominator. Some weeks can feel incredibly busy and productive, while others drag and you don’t seem to make much progress at all. Making the most of your time relies upon staying focused, purposeful and productive, yet with the inevitable distractions and curve balls life throws in front of you, this can be easier said than done. Read on to find out how identifying your sense of purpose plays a very powerful role in keeping you on track towards getting meaningful value out of your time, and crafting a life you love.
Time is a great leveller. Whoever you are, wherever you are, rich or poor, old or young, we all get the same number of hours each week (168, to be precise). This never changes, it’s a constant, providing the framework around which we build our busy lives. So how is it that some people just manage to cram so much in, as if they have been given the gift of time and wedge in some extra hours somewhere along the line, whilst others seem to struggle to keep their head above water?
The Pie Chart Of Life
When you’re working out what to do with your time, it’s unlikely that you sit down and divide your hours neatly into different categories or activities that are tracked and recorded to the minute (after all, you haven’t got time for that!). Mostly, we tend to divide our lives into rough chunks – sleep, work, family time, going out, eating, exercise etc. The precise amount of time you spend on those activities can vary week to week and it’s not always entirely in your control. There are many demands on your time that are unavoidable and, at times, unpredictable.
Let’s say for example, you work in a standard office job 9.00 to 5.30, Monday to Friday. That’s 40 hours of your week gone, almost 25% of your weekly time – and this could be a far greater percentage of your time if you are working long hours, factoring in a lengthy commute or combining work with studying. Let’s imagine you also sleep for the recommended 8 hours a night (if this is you, hat’s off – this is an achievement in itself). That’s another 56 hours gone, a whole third of your weekly hours. According to a survey by cleaning company Jeyes, the average person in the UK spends a further 3 hours per day, or 21 hours per week on household chores, including cleaning, laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, gardening and walking the dog. If you add in the necessary time for personal primping and preening, getting from A to B, fitness, home admin (banks, bills, insurance and the likes) and everything else, you see your window of ‘free/me’ time dwindling fast.
Live To Work, Or Work To Live?
The reality for most of us is that at least a quarter of our adult lives will be taken up by some form of work, meaning that it’s pretty important to follow a fulfilling and life enhancing professional pathway if you really want to enjoy your life. Yes, there are other benefits of work other than personal fulfilment – money being the most obvious, and it’s true that having more disposable income can lift your quality of life. But it’s a huge trade-off to spend so much of your precious time on earth doing something you don’t like, if you are only doing it for the money. After all, you can never get time back once it’s gone (another leveller).
When you hear elderly people looking back at their lives, rarely do you hear them exclaim that they wish they’d slogged away in that job they hated just a little longer to make that extra buck. Generally, they wish that they had more time with friends and loved ones or regret not trying something new when they had the chance. The benefit of hindsight is, of course, the ability to look back and see what really did make you happy, rather than living in the moment and doing what you think will make you happy. At the end of your life you have a very different perspective and an ability to clearly identify the happiest, most fulfilling activities in your life, yet sadly not the time (and probably not the energy) to invest greatly in those areas.
Do What You Love & Love What You Do
The key to finding fulfillment in your life is to identify your true purpose, what makes you tick, what resonates with you as an individual. This will be different for everyone but once you know what it is, you can choose a career and lifestyle that dovetail into your value system, leading to a life of fulfillment in epic proportions. The turning point on the journey to fulfillment is learning what you want, identifying what’s important to you and then rationalising how to make that a big part of your life by using that big chunk of career time wisely.
FindMyWhy: Identify Your Personal Purpose
With FindMyWhy, we’ve created a free personal purpose project that will help you to identify your core purpose, your key motivators and drivers, helping you to discover what’s really important for you and what you should make time for in order to lead a more fulfilling life. We will help you to discover and confidently articulate your unique strengths and abilities so that you can plan your career around your natural aptitudes and devote your time to the things you love doing.
Created by our expert team of psychologists, FindMyWhy will drill down to the core ‘you’ via an online test, producing complementary bespoke reports outlining your unique qualities as an individual and helping you to channel your focus and purpose accordingly. FindMyWhy will provide you with meaningful insight into who you are, producing informed and relevant guidance that is tailored to you in an informative and accessible way. It will give you the confidence to allow your unique skills and abilities to truly shine through, providing you with greater understanding of your own personality, drivers and values and how you are perceived by those around you so that you can reflect, learn and grow from the experience. Isn’t it time to take back control over your life? Use FindMyWhy to find your true purpose and create the life you love.