The last few years, I’ve been working extremely hard to grow as a person and a leader. As I’ve been reading and studying, I’ve noticed that there didn’t seem like there’s enough time in the day. I felt exhausted trying to add the extra study time into my life.
Recently, it’s dawned on me that adding anything without subtracting something is counter-productive. One thing I cannot add is TIME. Everyone receives the same 24 hours each day. What you do with it is vital to becoming significant. I’ve always had a gift of discernment, judging who or what is productive. Which business activity is critical for success and which is really just a waste of time; causing a company to just spin it’s wheels without going anywhere.
So it makes sense to evaluate your own life to see which activity is really moving the pegs and which is just causing you to spin your wheels. What are you doing that’s making a real difference and what are you doing that’s turning you into a zombie? Robin Sharma puts it this way, “Average people love leisure, and world class people love learning.” Think of the most successful people you know personally or have read about. Do they go to their daytime job from 7am-5pm and come home and sit in front of the television until bedtime? NO! That creates TV ZOMBIES.
I tracked my time I use to spend watching television and it was shocking. Let me give you a breakdown of what I found:
4 hours a day during the week + 6 hours a day on the weekends = 32 hours a week.
32 hours a week x 52 weeks = 1664 hours a year. THAT’S ALMOST 2 ½ MONTHS WATCHING TV. What could I have done with that time? How much could I have accomplished?
Now, I’m not saying that I’ve stopped watching ALL television. I still watch some educational shows and have a couple guilty pleasure shows. But I record them and watch them when I get a free moment, so I can skip the commercials.
Here is a quick list of some of the other things that I felt important to trade off to get what I really want out of life:
• Radio – now I use my car time as a rolling university of educational and encouraging CDs
• The news – There are too many providers competing for your attention with the most depressing stories they can get their hands on
• Tournament weekend softball – This was a total culture change but my personal relationships are more important.
• Barbecuing – my waist line is grateful
• Gym time –trying to look like someone on the cover of Men’s Health takes a lot of time and energy
• Golf – I still love to play but don’t as much as I could. I decided 2-3 times per week was too big of a sacrifice.
• Idle gossip – This will never get you anywhere with anyone. I was involved in drama that was draining all my energy. Besides, if someone will do it WITH you, they will do it TO you.
You have to give up, in order to grow up – John Maxwell.
What are you willing to trade-off or sacrifice in order to become a better leader?