A Lesson in Time
Growing up surrounded by clocks was a good reminder to count the hours as well as watch how we spend time. It is especially relevant for those in halftime as one of the important decisions in halftime is deciding how we want to spend our time. Have you answered the question of how much you want to work and what kind of work you want to spend the next twenty years doing?
One of my distinct memories was sleeping on a sofa-bed in my parent's living room. All night long, on the quarter, half and hour there would be multiple chimes going off. Ding, dong, dong. Multiple clocks, all with different pitches of chimes would ring. Each clock, though set for the exact same time, would ding at a fraction of a second off from the other timepieces in the room.
Stop the Time!
It was possible to stop the pendulums and thus, temporarily stop the time, but if we forgot, the chimes would continue every quarter hour, with the full count at the top of the hour. This meant at midnight, there were multiple groups of a dozen chimes all going off at the same time. There was no way to sleep unless we stopped the time!
It was my father’s hobby to restore clocks and he did it very well. Walking around my dad’s office was a lesson in time. The antique clocks, grandfather clocks, pendulum clocks, cuckoo clocks and others on every wall and shelf confirmed his love of a timepiece.
Dad had a small workbench in his office with a swing-arm magnifier to see even the smallest spring or screw that needed replaced, cleaned and repaired. He paid attention not only to the inside of the clocks but also to the shape of the case. All were sanded, buffed or coated with a natural finish to bring out the beauty of even the oldest wood. It was a good lesson in how a little loving care can bring out the beauty of an object.
How Do You Spend Your Time?
When outlining some options in my business, there are many ways I can spend my time, especially with multiple projects I seem to run at the same time. I have phased out taking on too many private clients and put emphasis in other places. Those areas include consulting, writing and programs to help others lift out of the quicksand many feel at halftime to establish a solid form and structure for success in their second half.
It is important for me to periodically carefully evaluate the use of my time. If I don’t plan my hours effectively, someone or something else will gobble them up quicker than water flows down a drain. I have put more importance on scheduling time to read, reflect and even take some time off. As a type-A project-centered entrepreneur, that is not always easy!
The Hours Count
Even an hour a week or month adds up if it’s not planned according to our purpose and mission. The hours and minutes will soon turn into days! Start evaluating your time with the steps below. These beginning steps are helpful at any stage, but especially at halftime, which starts at age 40 if you're wondering!
Four Ways to Evaluate your Time:
ONE: Define your main purpose and passion. Take some time for a little soul searching. Get help with this if needed.
Evaluate all the different parts of your work schedule. What do you enjoy most and what is most productive?
THREE: How can you enhance what you enjoy most and how much time will that take?
FOUR: Brainstorm ways you can use what you enjoy most to fulfill your purpose, then start scheduling it in your week.
Writing this article has been a good reminder for me to further evaluate my time. I hope it has done the same for you!