The literal cynics will attempt to prove me wrong here. “There are 24 hours in a day” they will exclaim, crinkling their foreheads with patronising superiority. You see, these people are the 24 hour creatures. They believe in 9 to 5 mentality where all things outside of work revolve around everything else. They are “inside” the box thinkers and they are the first to bring you back to reality when you have an “outside” the box idea.
When I say I believe there are more than 24 hours in a day, I’m not referring to the clock on the wall. I’m referring to comparative existing. (That’s a phrase I just made up.) In other words how one person spends the time in their day, is completely different to how another person spends the seconds, minutes, hours of their day.
You only have to look back in history, pre advanced technology to understand my statement. In just over 50 years on this planet, William Shakespeare wrote around 38 plays, several poems, over 150 sonnets and did so within a 25 year time frame.
Albert Einstein who lived into his 70′s managed to prove the speed of light, assert the equivalence of mass and energy (E=mc2) and create the term “quantum physics” as well as win a Nobel Prize whilst raising a family.
But how do great people seem to have the ability to gain more hours in the day to achieve so much? Most entrepreneurs understand this concept of time better than most. Let’s first of all take time out of the equation. Let’s just think of a day as “sunrise” being the start and “sunrise” being the end.
If you were to just set your time by the rising of the sun, you would no doubt achieve so much more in your life time. For starters, you aren’t concerned with deadlines and restrictive meetings on the hour. 24 hour creatures can only fathom time. 7am, wake up, 8.30am roller door goes down, 9am start work, 12.30pm have lunch, 5pm knock off, 5.30pm roller door goes up, 6.45pm dinner is served etc etc.
By the way, I should point out it is okay to live like this. In fact the majority do. 80% of people in the Western world exist in this fashion. 20% of people are the exception. The question is – how many real hours do you have in a day? For instance, I see myself as a 28 hour guy. I reckon I can fit about 4 hours more into action than the average person. This is okay, but it’s not great. I go to bed at 11pm wake up at 5.30am, but that’s not where I gain the extra hours.
Productivity is extremely difficult to quantify. However we all know that if you were given a paint brush, paint and a wall, a professional painter would beat you hands down in speed and accuracy with the exact same situation. That painter’s productivity is miles ahead of ours. Whilst we would take approximately 3 hours to paint the wall properly, the professional painter has walked away after just 45 minutes. This painter has an extra 2 hours and 15 minutes in his day compared to you, yet he started at the same time.
In life, there are a lot of productivity challenges, but no more so than decision-making. Most people know what gut instinct means, but rarely do they apply it to their every day life. Instead we get bogged down in over analysing choices and therefore taking longer to make a decision that can so easily end up being the wrong one because of procrastination.
Malcolm Gladwell explains this ability in his book “Blink”. This is where even well paid managers lose valuable hours in their day. They walk away from their gut and rely on their research.
I have a mate named Galvin who compared with me as a 28 hour man, is more a 48 hour man. Galvin Scott-Davis (look him up) manages to squeeze so much into a day it would make you nauseous trying to keep up – and he doesn’t break a sweat. His first priority is his family. Three growing boys and his wonderful partner are never left wanting for his attention. He manages to spend time with them as well as run his own businesses (yes there are more than one) as well as write, act in, direct and produce his own creative work. He has written a short film that he starred in, directed and produced, resulting in international awards and recognition, he has published a graphic novel specifically for the i-pad generation (“Stricken” – product placement for my mate) and developed several award winning apps from his studio. He has a massive portfolio of important clients who only rave about his work as a web designer and developer (yes he does both) but more than this he has a non conformist, non 24-hour brain. He doesn’t work to a clock, he works to goals. To outcomes. To an unwritten set of soon to be – “achievements”. He doesn’t just exist, he lives. Galvin, who will probably be reading this from his Mac at 11.53pm whilst alt + tabbing between 15 other running programs, is a multi-tasker who still manages to raise his family and go to the movies.
The reason I use him as an example is because a) I know him as someone who fits the description of a non 24′er, b) you probably haven’t yet heard of his name in your lounge room proving that brilliant people exist amongst us and c) he deserves recognition for being the way he is.
So what would you do if you were granted 48 hours in the day to everyone else’s 24? Why not apply it right now? Make decisions from your gut more often. When you fall quicker, you learn quicker. Cut out wasted moments of insignificance and apply the new moments to something grand. Write a book. Give a speech. Inspire someone outside your circle of influence. Have some more fun. Don’t let anyone say you don’t have enough hours in the day, even if that person is yourself. You can do anything with your day – you just have to watch the sun rise.