A wish for 2017

As we welcome in the unit of time we call 2017, my hope for our society is we begin to re-evaluate our relationship with time.

With the same amount of time available to everyone of us on a daily, weekly & monthly basis, there is a huge range of productivity and effectiveness that people produce. Surveys published in the last few months have shown the average British worker produces only 80% of the average German worker.

Is this down to an attitude that values ‘doing the job’ above preparation, planning and investment? For example, how much of your working time do you spend ‘doing the job’ versus preparing to do the job? My friend Jon is a semi-pro musician (in addition to his consulting job) who has a gig coming up supporting a youth group performing the musical Oliver! He practises between an hour and two hours per day, on his own to be ready to perform at the necessary standard. That’s approximately 50:1 ratio of time.

What’s your ratio? I would guess for most organisations it would be around 1:50, and I would suggest there is a correlation between this figure and how good a job we can do.

We each have a finite amount of time, and I notice that we seem to be getting busier, whilst also either wasting time or having time stolen from us by social media, television and irrelevant meetings. We need to take control back from the time stealers and consciously invest to bring out the best in ourselves and our people.

Looking into the future, the advent of Artificial Intelligence offers the opportunity to free ourselves of many mundane jobs (and most jobs are a mix of interesting and mundane parts). We have the opportunity to design our jobs and our lives so that we get the maximum value, interest and enjoyment we can.

This year, let’s work together to free ourselves from slavery to time and become the masters of our time.