Time in a Bottle, the Jim Croce song covered by Nana Mouskouri among many others, seems to sum up how most of us feel about time:
“There never seems to be enough time to do/The things you want once you find them.”
The song may have been written almost 45 years ago but its sentiments are as true now as they were the best part of a half-century ago – if anything, more so.
With more of us working longer hours, across time zones, with technology that is no respecter of sleep patterns, like email and Skype and a 24/7 culture and news agenda, if anything time seems tighter than ever. The old notion of dividing each 24 hours equally into eight-hour slabs of work, rest and play seems almost risible.
Worse, we sometimes seem to wear our busy-ness, our stress levels, as badges of pride. The message is that if you’re not frazzled at work, with a list of things to do longer than your arm, you can’t be very important.
But does it have to be that way? After all, if you live until 70 you’ll have been alive for well over 613,600 hours. Survive a decade longer and get over 700,250. Shouldn’t that be enough for most of us to realise our most important hopes and dreams?
Yet we find ourselves replying to work emails after Newsnight, surviving on an ever dwindling supply of sleep and putting on shoes while trying to brush teeth and read the briefing papers for that morning’s meeting. There’s never enough time to spend with those we are closest to, write that novel or learn Spanish. And, however hard you try, your email Inbox always seems like something out of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Clearly, we all need to prioritise. That personal email that never got a reply? If it had offers of a free ticket to something you really wanted to go to, you’d not only reply like a shot, you’d find the time to rock up to the event, too.
Here are a few quick pointers:
- The to-do list: Have everything on a single sheet of paper with everything ranked according to importance, or urgency, and write a new list daily.
- Regular reviews: Delegate things which someone else could do better. If something never seems to get done, ask yourself why.
- Have realistic deadlines for tasks and set specific slots for ongoing activities like marketing, admin and filing or accounting, which otherwise never seem to get done.
- The multi-tasking myth: Concentrate on the job in hand: multi-tasking never
- Always doing the quick, easy tasks first? You may tick off things from your list more speedily. But is that at the expense of more important and challenging jobs that will take longer?
- Reward yourself with breaks or by sandwiching the quick, easy jobs between the longer, trickier ones.
That said, modern life places unique demands on our time for all of us, and, sometimes, it really does help to let someone else take the strain.
At Liberty312, we can do just that. We can’t claim to give you time in a bottle, nor, you’ll be glad to hear, will we sing the song. But we can take routine admin, project and resource management and more off your hands.
That would free you up to concentrate your attention on your core work, on project completion or maybe even thinking about what you’d do if you really could save time in a bottle.
Talk to us today to learn more.