Would you like to get better at something? Like closing the gap between where you are and where you would like to be?

Once you have decided all it may take is a little tweaking.

The first thing I do with people expressing their desire to close the gap is to ask them two questions. Are they serious, and what they are doing with their discretionary time.

Some stop dead in their tracks while visible computing takes place in their minds. Others display a disdainful look which says – you don’t understand do you, I really don’t have time for that. And then there are those who will carry on regardless bemoaning their time-plight as the pertinent question enters one ear and exits the other, as swift as an arrow. It is as if Bob Dylan were singing for them … the answer my friend is blowing in the wind; the answer is blowing in the wind.

Averages say that our five-day working week is split into three 8 hour portions. Eight hours working, 8 hours sleeping, which leaves us with eight hours discretionary time. Forty hours a week … and then there is the weekend!

This is the time when we can thoughtfully pursue those things we may dream about, albeit fleetingly, and plan to bring them to fruition. But we don’t because we believe we are just too busy.

The use of our discretionary time must not be left to chance because we all have it, and we wouldn’t wish to dilute our freedom of choice gift, would we?

Time is a gift which is taken away from us when we don’t use it wisely. We become more pressurised as everything appears to increase in speed and intensity, along with our anxiety.

The first step should be to make the time as trying to find it doesn’t work. Consider the advice of a Zen Master who said that if your life is like a teacup flowing over, there is no room for anything new. You need to pour out, not take more in.

Please share how you work this precious gift in your life.

I am the author of Leading Self and Others (how to make a difference where you are with what you’ve got) and Teaming with ideas (life lessons in teams- from business, sport and parkrun). You can contact me here.