What would you do if you had more time?

Most of us would have something on our mind if asked this question. Chances are, however, that depending on our profession, our answers will differ.

A manager may want to spend more time with a particular team member, an analyst might want to spend more time on some incomplete piece of analysis, an artist might need to work on a new project, a sportsperson might want to do more practice, and a CEO would probably say something like “Oh I wish I had more time, there are so many things to do I cannot even tell you!” Interestingly, its not only people who are into busy professions who wish they had more time — even an avid traveller enjoying life is almost certain to have a wish list of more places to see and more experiences to have if there was more time!

Some of us may not want to or need to work more — and we may or may not want to travel. But we probably still have other things on our list: eating out at a particular place, talking to an old friend, watching a movie, reading a book, spending more time with family, or anything that we have not been able to make enough time for.

What’s your answer — what would you do if you had more time? If you are like most people, you are probably thinking of what you would do if you suddenly got ‘extra time’ from somewhere. Now that, of course, would be great, and its not difficult to find an answer on how to spend such extra time. But I’m not talking about a ‘one-off’ instance. I want to ask this question at a deeper level — what if it was not a one-off, rather:

What if you had more time, everyday of your life?

What if you had enough time to take care of everything on your todo list and then you still had more time after that? Then what would you do? Take a break? Go on a holiday? Ok, done. And then what if you still had more time?

“That’s not possible .. my work will be taking up a lot of my time for the foreseeable future”, I can already hear you say. But lets just imagine for a second that it was possible … then what would you want to do?

If we think deep enough, almost all of us have some sort of a dream — something that we love to imagine ourselves doing, something that makes us feel really happy, but that something which we tend to put off in the pretext of not having enough time for it. And life continues. Yes — somehow, its just never the right time for it!

A couple of years ago, I decided to do something differently about how I was spending my time. Today I am living one of my dreams: that of traveling around the world, while living like a local in 12 different cities over 12 months. (No, I have not retired — work continues, but many things have now become possible that earlier were not.) Of course I was not able to create more time for myself than I had before! In fact I believe that even if that were possible, it would not be a solution — I’m quite sure that for most of us, even if we had 25 hours in a day, we would not know where 7 extra hours went by the end of the week. So this means that the only way to have more time is to manage what we already have. Obvious, isn’t it? But yet we so easily forget thats what its all about — managing our time. Can it really be that difficult? To my pleasant surprise, I discovered that its not!

We all have our dreams. Everyone’s may be very different — but whats the same for all of us is that having more time in hand will increase the odds of those dreams coming true. And coming true sooner rather than later!

What is your dream? What would you do if you had more time?

Sometimes just answering this question can provide the nudge that we need to go and actually make more time for ourselves.