Your time on the chopping block

If you are in agreement with Malcom Gladwell, you’ve accepted that you will need 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to get really good at something.

A buddy of mine brought the 10,000 hour rule to the forefront of my mind at an ever punctual time, the New Year, the only part of the year where we collectively agree that it’s time to look inward, self-inflect, and take an honest look at what we’re doing in our lives.

My resolution was simple, be more intentional.  I realized that I was doing so many things, that I wasn’t doing any of them well… taking on projects that didn’t add value to my life, spreading myself too thin, “multi-tasking”, etc.  I decided to try a new strategy on how and where to focus my energy.  Week one has not gone well.

After one week of attempting my new strategy, I’ve determined I still don’t know where the heck my time is going, so I decided to do the math.

According to Gallup, the average American gets 6.8 hours of sleep per night(we’ll round to 7), that means that in a 24 hour day, 17 hours are spent awake.  Now couple that with the average workday clocking it at around 9 hours per day, and you’re left with only 8 hours per day for your enjoyment.

That outlook is bleak, at this pace, you’ll need 1,250 days to achieve perfection… almost 3.5 years.

I’ll be the first to say that Gladwell’s concept is naive, and I’m not looking to be world-class at everything I do, but nonetheless, it gives me pause.  Turns out, all the productivity in the world can’t overcome the unbendable constraint of time.  Alas, I am the Play-Doh in the mold of time, and must succumb to it’s will.

For me, it’s back to the drawing board with only 8 precious hours per day to allocate to those things which are most important to me.