Listen in on virtually any conversation today, and eventually the subject of people being so busy they no longer have any time for themselves will come up. Unfortunately, most of the talkers and listeners honestly and sincerely believe that is true. However, according to Geoffrey Godbey, professor of leisure studies at Pennsylvania State University: "People constantly underestimate their free time and overestimate their work hours. They're in denial."
According to the experts, free time is actually on the rise. John Robinson, director of the Americans' Use of Time Project at the University of Maryland, says, "There's a big gap between perception and reality in time use." Studies show that during a 168-hour week, men work an average of 42 hours (seven fewer than in 1965) and women work about 31 hours (down from 39 hours 30 years ago).
What is happening to our time? The answer is clear: Robinson says that for every extra hour of free time Americans have gained since 1965, they spend an extra hour watching television.
Purely and simply, it's the lack of direction, not the lack of time, that creates the problem. People generally do what they really want to do. It's also my observation that what we do off the job plays a major role in how far we will go on the job.
For example, if one hour each day were taken from watching television and spent in acquiring a new skill, reading some inspirational information, getting involved in study groups, learning a foreign language, teaching a functionally illiterate how to read — anything that would make you know you're capable of doing worthwhile things — you would feel better about life and about yourself. This increases your effectiveness on the job and in dealing with life in general.
Message: Invest your time wisely, and I'll see you at the top!
"We all find time to do what we really want to do." — William Feather
To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
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