For a few years now I have been a little obsessed about using my time in meaningful ways. Ever since becoming a parent, my perception of the value of time has shifted dramatically where I now have very little tolerance for jobs, people, conference calls, meetings, and other activities that feel like a poor use of my time, energy, or strengths. And to be perfectly honest, the longer I am out of an in-house, permanent corporate role functioning as an entrepreneur, my tolerance is only waning further.
I have a client who talks about the “Fifty for Fifty,” and the idea has stuck with me. What he is referring to is working at your job for fifty hours per week (the now-normal in a salaried, professional job) for fifty weeks a year (assuming a basic two weeks off). That is 2,500 hours of your life every year. Let’s say that you work at one company for only five years. That equals 12,500 hours. Of your life. In only five years.
If you love your job, then this math looks pretty good. If you worked at anything for 2,500 hours per year, such as practicing the violin, you’d probably be pretty good at it. If you spent 2,500 hours with your loved ones, you would probably feel pretty loved and secure.
On the other hand, if you hate your current gig, then this math might incite a minor panic attack. That’s 2,500 hours pumping cortisol into your body. That can’t be helpful.
The difference between these two things, is simply perspective. You could work for a job that isn’t your life dream but the salary you earn from it funds your life dream and that feels good. You could work for a job that you love, but don’t realize that you are neglecting your health or family.
Your life is too short to keep saying yes to things you hate. You are robbing time from yourself, which I have come to learn personally is my most precious and rare resource. This may mean overhauling your work or life. Or it may mean just a change in perspective.
Either way, spend your time wisely, loves. All 2,500+ hours this year.
About the author:
Katie Rasoul is a keynote speaker, author, coach and Chief Awesome Officer for Team Awesome, a leadership coaching and culture consulting firm. She is a TEDx speaker alumna, author of the best-selling book, Hidden Brilliance: A High-Achieving Introvert’s Guide to Self-Discovery, Leadership and Playing Big, and co-host of The Life and Leadership Podcast.