What's an hour of your time worth? According to a mix of sources, looking at the average hourly wages, household income - for simplicity's sake, half of you make more than fifteen dollars an hour, half of you make less. That's not what this post is about, but regardless of the number, why not give yourself a raise?
Several years ago, I tracked how much "white space" I had in my hectic, typical week. The hours with no scheduled activity. The hours I waste. And even with three kids, a full time job, and other scheduled activities, I tried for 13 weeks to direct 15 hours of my "white space" to intentional activities. I ended up averaging 10.5 hours a week. I would bet you have 10 hours in your week you could shift to intentionally invest in yourself and your God-given purpose.
3 Things to Stop Doing:
Brainless TV. Watching the latest series, mindless news or sports updates (that was me).
Keeping up with the social media Jones's. We just don't get that much return out of "liking" the proper amount of Instagram or Facebook pictures.
- Having a fixed mindset with negative self-talk. "I could never...I'm just not disciplined...I'm not talented...I'll always be this way..." It's just not true and we lie to ourselves.
Ten hours a week invested in you. An employer may say that's worth $7,800 a year; 520 hours. I'd argue it's worth much, much more....
7 Things to Start Doing
(These are "Drivers" for your own life, things that will give you better lag results in the future.)
Read Practical Books, Blogs, or Magazines. Lean into your strengths and interests. Study leadership, improve soft skills, and sharpen your toolbox. You could read 25 books in a year!
Exercise Three Times a Week. Burning those 50,000 plus calories equates to approximately 15 pounds lost.
Quiet Meditation, Prayer and Journaling. I'd recommend reading the New Testament. A mere one or two hours a week can get this done in a year and you gain clarity again on the pleasing and perfect will God has for you.
Be a Student of You. Self awareness is critical to really understand how God has wired you. Take personality tests, reflect on the results, narrow in on your strengths, passions and what keeps you up at night. Schedule time to have a Life Plan done with a coach. Ask those closest to you what they see in you: your uniqueness, your talents. Is your life set on a course set for you or someone else? Be positive, but get real.
Start a Business and Double Your Pay. As a first step to actually launching your business, determine what you love doing and how to pay yourself double what you make today through whatever skill or service you want to provide. (If you make $15 an hour now, invest your time in how you're going to start a business making $30/hour in your 10 extra hours per week). Going through this process will help dictate what you start reading, learning what you don't know, and narrowing what drives you. Invest this next year in planning and preparing for launch and whether or not you decide to take that step, the actions and practice will pay dividends.
Network and Learn from Others. Intentionally invest and learn from others over coffee or lunch. Make a list of people you respect or are in a field of interest for you. Include co-workers and your boss. Be great at asking questions, getting perspective and input on some next steps you can take. Ask your boss if he sees some areas he might think would be helpful to study or books he might recommend.
- Take Classes. Regardless of your education level, find conferences or classes that will explore a new interest or strengthen some area of development. You may stumble into something you didn't realize you really love, or even confirm what you don't love to do. :)
In time, these activities can pay great dividends. Your results over time may be increased pay, health, results, knowledge, faith, or (most likely) all of the above. Look at your week? Can you start shifting an hour a week for the next 10 weeks? You're worth it.
Proverbs 23:12 - "Apply your heart to discipline and your ears to words of knowledge."