168hrs in a week! Is it just me or does that number sound frighteningly small? I never measured my week in hours until recently. It was always 7days long or even 5days long, somehow in days a week seems unending.
The 24hrs of a day seem too few on the other hand. As a result of perceiving the week as long and the day short, I have seen a lot of time wasted. Because the day seems short we tend to schedule just a few things in those 24hrs. Time then gets to be wasted in between tasks and meetings or the meetings become unneccessarily long just so that they stretch to the next scheduled task, so the day flies by. I see people commiting their time “next week” to activities that don’t add value because the week is too long! Common phrase “I wil squeeze you into my schedule next week,” actually means, “I will see you next week and then I will squeeze in the important stuff.” It’s almost like, “thank you for giving me something to do, what would I do with the whole week?”
When I began viewing my week in hours, I got an “aha moment!” 168hrs is too little to waste meeting people you shouldn’t be meeting. If you sleep for 8hrs daily, a third of your week is already commited. Factor in time spent eating, showering, getting to and from work. Hey, consider time in the loo, the elevator or reading the papers, all from just 168hrs. Do as much as you possibly can today because you have very few hours left in the remainder of the week.
One of the tricks I have employed with those who report to me is twitter style reports. In 140characters they tell me what they are up to, what they need, what results and challenges to expect. I don’t have time to read fancy and long reports and they definately don’t have time to waste trying to impress me! I’m impressed by results not reports. Heck, we only have two thirds of 168hrs!!!