As the last Christmas trees are packed away and last of the holiday treats enjoyed before the serious January detox starts the 2016 Rat Race has officially begun. Early mornings, late nights, full diaries, double bookings, clashing schedules, traffic jams and an overflowing inbox. “Busy” seems to be the only response you get when you dare to ask anybody how they are and the words “I don’t have time” echo in the offices and homes of our country.
I heard something so true the other day that really made me think. Whenever you say you don’t have time, you really mean that you don’t have time for x or y specifically. For example: if a colleague says “O sorry I never responded to your email, I just did not have time” what he actually means is that he just did not have time FOR YOU. He had time all right, we all do, but he chose not to prioritise you. We all have time, an equal amount every day. It is what we choose to do with that time that makes the difference. I need to make decisions and carefully choose what I will prioritise for my given time.
Often times we get so trapped in the mentality of being busy that we feel quite out of control and we forget that each of us is the only person that can decide how to fill our days. Choosing the right priorities will actually free up time and energise us for the remainder of the day. Choosing to spend your time on worthy matters can maximize the impact of every second in your day and in looking back, the legacy that you will leave on earth.
What in your day is stealing your time and making you feel tired, more stressed and inhibiting you from living a life of impact? Only you can really answer this.
The Bright Stars Mentorship Programme asks mentors to spend one hour a week mentoring a vulnerable child. It is amazing how many of our mentors are some of the busiest people I have ever met. How do these mentors (most of them who are also students, professionals, busy parents and partners, active hobbyist and volunteers) find the time to visit a young person and focus on their needs and dreams for one hour a week? I think the secret it that they make the time. They prioritise somebody that they deem as valuable and honour their commitment. It is amazing how many mentors report how they feel that the giving of their time to these young people means a lot to them, how it enrich their lives and fills them with energy for the remaining 23 hours a day of the other 7 days a week.
I can run 10 kms in an hour (well I not so sure if I can still after the holidays), watch a TV series, check up on old school friends on Facebook, read interesting blogs or news, look for my dream home or shop for shoes online for an hour…or more. Or I can be part of the story of a child, a vulnerable young man or woman, perhaps abandoned and hurt many times before. I can listen to her for an hour, I can dream with her for an hour, I can share my skills for an hour, I can laugh and play for an hour, I can cry with her for an hour and change her life, and mine, for ever.
Give an hour away, are you sure you are really too busy?