Let’s say you start working as an adult at 19 and continue until you retire at 65. In this example, you would have accomplished the following:
• 46 years of work
• 2,300 weeks (based upon 50 weeks a year)
• 11,500 days (based upon five days a week)
• 92,000 hours (based upon eight hours a day)
• 5,520,000 minutes
Now, let’s break it down per day:
Eight hours a day, or 480 minutes
I know many of you reading this may say things like, “I never take a vacation,” “I work 12 hours a day” and “I work seven days a week.” I understand some people work more and some people work less. However, my point is that this is just as an average for a starting point.
Now, can we all agree that nobody is truly productive all of the 11,500 days or all of the eight hours a day or all of the 480 minutes a day? My question to you is, how many minutes of each 60-minute hour are you truly productive? Be brutally honest. Are you productive 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent of the time? I think if we all were to be analyzed scientifically we would be shocked how low our total production is.
I am not trying to tell anyone how to live his or her life. I am not telling you to work more or work less. I am not trying to convince you of what is right or wrong or what the correct values are for you personally.
What I am saying is that if you say you want to make more money or have more success or do better in your career, then it will take a deeper commitment with different actions than you are currently doing. If you make a New Year’s Eve resolution for more and you do not change your current habits, the only thing that changes is the calendar.
If, in your definition of success, it means to have better results and to make more money, then it is a fact that you will have to be more productive. You will have to also get more bang-for-buck for each action you take.
The bottom line is that you have to get busier doing the right things at the right time. Spending hours on the job is not enough. Working hard is working a lot of hours. Working smart is getting results in whatever hours you work.
Success is a based upon a series of habitual actions that are, by themselves, often small. “Big doors swing on small hinges.” Too many people are looking for the magic pill or the magic person or the magic moment. All magic is created with a lot of less-than-magical actions.
You must quantify to qualify. Quantify what you are doing to qualify the results and actions that create those results. Take an hour and truly break down what you have done and accomplished. Take a half day, take a full day, take a week, take a month and honestly monitor what you are doing.
People who waste the most time seem to be the most unsuccessful, the unhappiest and the most bitter — and earn the least money. I cannot think of a harder way to work or live. The question of how much time you have is simple. The answer of how you want to live in that time is a lot more difficult.