To evolve as a person, family and as a business. You must set aside dedicated time to reflect, educate and train for what you want to do next.
Change is hard. It doesn’t happen in an instant, but as an outcome of your combined efforts over time.
Time for You
Remember – you are all you have to give. One hour a day is not a lot considering how important your mental and physical wellbeing is.
It is just 4% of your time. And in a week, a month – a year. It becomes a significant aspect of your life. It will make a noticeable and measurable difference.
One hour a day, translated into 7 hour “work days” – it’s 52 days.
52 days is amble time to make a real sustained difference in your life. 2 full months, is an amount of time only very very few will be able to extract from a normal life with normal responsibilities. But spread out as a daily effort, a healthy habit – it is possible.
The main purpose is spending dedicated time on the most important aspect of your future – today, every day.
And many of the things we would like to change or improve in our lives, for ourselves and the world around us, are best done over a longer period.
Change is hard, it takes real effort – and is best done when it becomes part of our daily lives.
The one hour a day principle and habit works well for a family, team, tribe, division and company. Any individual and group of people will benefit from setting aside dedicated time for creating their future.
Slowing down – so we can speed up. Is equally important in all aspects of life and business.
What to do with a whole hour
not least 365 of them.
It can be one very dedicated effort on a single large subject. Or more likely a couple of different things, topics and experiences you dive into. So you don’t get tired of doing the same with your sparse free hour every day.
Your hobbies, regular sports and other activities can of course be part of your personal time. Social time outside of family and work is important for our mental health. it can be a relief from the ‘roles we play’ in everyday life.
It is equally important to invest in your current and future self. Your version of you, more than what your surroundings need and want from you. Maybe this time is a chance to explore or re-discover who that is.
Meditate. Learn yoga or Tai Chi. These inwards journeys, connecting your body and mind, are focused on finding balance, calm and focus. They will serve you for decades.
Read – just read. Loose yourself in Murakami, Sandman, Peter Hamilton, Tolkien, Harry Potter, old comics, manga… allow yourself to be taken by the hand, and travel in your mind. There’s such relief in fantasy.
Cook a healthy meal. Chances are you could eat healthier and you rarely sit down and enjoy a good simple meal. It doesn’t have to be French gourmet cooking. Just taking the time to plan a meal, go out and select the products and produce that will go into your body, preparing it and calmly enjoying it. By yourself or with friends, it brings your pulse down and it’s a nice way to treat yourself well.
Make something physical with your hands. Take to knitting, painting, drawing, woodwork or anything else that’ll get eyes and fingers away from keyboards and screens. In an increasingly digital world, seeing and feeling something physical – created by your own hands, it feels great. The process of making it becomes almost meditative, after a little learning curve. No wonder knitting is increasingly prescribed by therapist for men and women with stress.
Lifelong learning should be a significant component. It’s an important aspect of moving towards creating the world you want to live in – and your life in it.
But we tend to spend an outsized amount of time and effort on our current role and vertical. The very thing we are already spending 7-10 hours on every day.
This new effort could better be focused on everything that surrounds your role. Understanding the functions and roles of the people, departments and partners you work with – will have a significantly bigger impact on your success. Ensuring you’re a strong part of the value chain, requires you understand what you are part of.
Build and engage with your network. Talk with peers, leaders and coaches. Learning something new, is not only about what you can attain on your own. Listening to those who’ve gone before you, those in related fields of work – people with the same interests and hobbies. Will provide you with a framework and foundation for you to do it your way.
Learn a new language, and importantly new cultures. Maybe you have a branch in Sao Paolo and you’d like to converse in Portuguese with the people there. Or a growing Japanese market – and you’d like to understand the culture better.
Engage with the wider world. It will put your own life in perspective and introduce you to amazing people and cultures.
Hopefully you will spend 90% of your time on what comes next. Looking to your future self, securing your family and business for the long run.
Long term goals rarely happen without learning something new – knowledge or skills. And a consistent dedicated effort.
Spend 1 hour Every day learning, whether it is directly related to what you are doing now or what you want to do next – or just explore and be inspired.
Time of day
When should you do it?
Naturally. Sleep, meals, personal hygiene, school and work comes first. And only a few have workplaces or jobs providing the flexibility to filter in an hour of ‘me’ time. But those who do are, and will be, ahead.
Going to bed an hour before usual every day, and getting up earlier – is a great way to create time in your day. Quiet mornings are great for focusing before the day kicks in. Or for those of us who favour late evenings, when the day slows down, quiet late evenings are just as good.
For parents there is a chance after dinner and the children are in bed.
If you’re strapped for time, it can be part of your commute.
Courses and other external events will of course be scheduled by others. But regardless of your rhythm. Try and find a time of day that is regular, or a weekly pattern you’re likely to keep. If you try to find the time day by day, you’re less likely stick with it.
Do it always. Do it on holidays, do it on vacation, do it on business trips, do it always.
Set a reminder in your calendar – every day, it’s a good first step.
Set a marker each time. In your notebook or preferably on a more visible spot in your kitchen, hallway or workplace. In this way you’re reminded of how well you’ve been doing. Others can encourage you – and see that the agreement you made, to spend time on yourself is successful.
In the same way as you keep track of the other essential habits in life. Adequate sleep, plenty of water, time with family and friends, and regular exercise. Right ?
Keep a simple journal or list of what you have achieved. You’re likely to forget – or just not realise how much you can do with one hour, and how it accumulates into something much bigger for you.
It’s your best motivator for staying with it. Until one day, sooner than you’d expect. It’s a healthy habit you don’t want to be without.
One hour to the rescue
The one hour approach, can just as well help you change habits, where you are currently spending too much time. Watching TV, playing games, excessive cleaning. Fiddling with reports and presentations that were finished 4 hours ago.
By limiting other activities to 1 hour per day. You’re more inclined to make good decisions about how you want to spend that time. We happily spend a couple of hours “getting around to it” when we have half a day or an evening. But one hour is precious.
There’s a good chance you will get the same done in one hour as in three. When it’s one of your chores like cleaning or ironing or gardening – if those are your un-favoured activities.
Things we must do, are easier to expedite when we know its only 1 hour. And not something we have to drag ourselves through for half a day, with breaks in the middle to cope with doing something we dislike
The reward for our focus is more time to do all the things we like doing. Or spend 1 hour cleaning – and the other hour on playing with your children or sit in the garden… or create a small business.
By the way – guys… Women do this much better than men – in general. Hence they get more done with fewer hours in the office.
1 hour is too much
Maybe you are so busy or have so many demands on your time. That one hour is simply not possible. In which case you truly need an hour for yourself.
Or maybe you’re not convinced it’ll make a difference – yet.
Look at how you’re currently using your time. There’s a good chance you can limit some activities or focus them to one hour. And thereby create the free time you need.
Start with 30 minutes – but do it.
Make a deal with your partner or spouse to take alternate days – family life is demanding.
The main purpose of ‘one hour a day’ is to create more time for yourself. More time to create the life you intend to live.
You’ll slip up or be otherwise hindered in having your daily hour to yourself.
it’s ok. Life happens every day.
Get back to your healthy habit the next day, and you’ll find that hour some other time.
Photo by Skitterphoto
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán