The Power of an Hour

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/27/2007 | Social Issues

We live in a busy, hectic world. Often we hear comments about how life would be much easier if only there were a couple of extra hours to spare each day. Let me ask you though, what would you use those extra hours for? Do you really need them? Don't you think 24 hours every day is enough ... if we use them properly?

Let's break up these 24 hours into the 3 generally accepted categories:

8 hours sleep
8 hours work
8 hours 'free' time

When was the last time you actually slept 8 hours, or used 8 hours 'free' time with your family and friends, or made a start on that new book you bought or course you've been promising yourself for so long?

"There's just not enough time! I have to work all day and then when I get home I'm just so tired. I eat dinner with my family then I 'relax' in front of the TV." (Here you can easily catch up with those 8 hours!).

When was the last time you asked your partner, or children, how they are? I mean REALLY ask them and LISTEN to what they say. I recently read a rather disheartening statistic - western men, on average, use less than 17 minutes a day with their children.

Could the whole dilemma be nothing more than a question of priority? Let's borrow one of those hours from our day. One solitary hour. Now, what could we use these 60 minutes for (apart from watching yet another re-run of your favorite TV show)?

Let's try to put things in perspective. How many weeks each year do you go on vacation? How many hours every month do you use on personal development (physical AND mental)? How many minutes each day are you TOGETHER with your family? If you really want more time for yourself and the things you want in your life - think about this...

If you use an extra 30 minutes a day with your family, in one year from now you will have given them more quality time than you use in over one whole month of full-time work. Or, if you allow yourself just one hour every day to read, or study something you would like to learn more about - how much more knowledge do you think you will have gained about that subject after using the equivalent of over 2 month's full-time work studying over the next year?

No, we cannot make time, but we can certainly take it.

Each and every day is your responsibility to choose what you want to use your 24 hours for.

Some say time is money. Perhaps that may be true, but which is most important to you? The difference between time and money is simple; money comes, money goes whereas time disappears forever. With time we can always create more money, but where can we buy time?

Remember, 60 minutes a day, over a 12-month period, is the same amount of time as working 40 hours a week - without breaks - for 9 weeks!

Ask yourself again, is it really so difficult to take one hour a day for what you love most?