I'm late! I'm late! How often do you hear this in society today, especially where travelling is concerned? Why are we so stressed about time in the modern world? It seems that the more one focuses on time, the less time one has!
Everywhere I go at the moment, I’m constantly bumping into people who don’t have time; their words and not mine! No time to meet, no time to relax, no time to take time, with crazy claims like we are running out of time. How is this possible when many psychologists believe that time is actually a mind created illusion?
So let’s solve this time riddle once and for all in practical Perpetual Traveller terms. The first thing to understand is that man-invented time and it’s not something that naturally exists, except in the illusionary world of our minds. In fact most people on planet earth today perceive time in Newtonian Physics terms. Sir Isaac suggested that time is like a river flowing uniformly forward. Where we are on the river right now is the present; where we are heading is the future and what we have left behind is the past. If you are nodding to this explanation, then we have a problem Houston, because this is a description of time, which is a 200+ years old out of date concept and proved definitively wrong by Einstein’s theory of special relativity, whereby time is looped! Now this is a rabbit hole that I do not want to get further into, but if you want more information read the book “In search of time” by Dan Falk (Nobel prize winner of Physics), who in my view has made the best contribution to explaining the complex history of time in layman’s terms. The only point you need to take out of this is that we perceive time wrongly and it’s merely a psychological self-induced perspective.
Solving the issue of business and travel time management is not a matter of ABC systems, or being extremely efficient. In today’s world, regardless of how efficient you are (by the way too much efficiency always leads to stress), you will never be able to accomplish all of your objectives, assuming you have a moderately active life. Reason being is that we are living in the age of information overload and all of our time saving devices actually generate more tasks to complete in a self-perpetuating cycle.
The secret to managing the challenge that time seems to generate is to widen ones focus and attention onto the bigger picture and to understand in parallel the real importance of priorities. The Godfather of prioritization linked to time management is the “Pareto Principle”. Pareto was an Italian economist who studied real life in synergy with the economy and through thousands of research papers he discovered a fundamental rule, which states:
· There are a significant few activities from which we gain most value and results
· There are a trivial many activities from which we gain very little value or results
· The “significant few” take up 20% of our activities and time
· The “trivial many” take up 80% of our activities and time
Rigorously applying this principle to business and travel makes us think very carefully about what activities truly matter! It’s therefore important to identify the significant 20% of our activities or topics that make all the difference to our lives and to place emphasis on them to bring about the greatest life changing results.
Here are some simple examples for guidance:
1. 20% of all products and services generate 80% of the sales
It does not take a Rocket Scientist therefore to know what products and services to focus on!
2. 20% of our daily travel activities bring us 80% of our happiness
Identify what these activities are and pay more time and attention to them, while in balance paying less focus on the activities, which make little difference to the joy of life.
3. 20% of our friends give us 80% of our social happiness
Take care of your good friends, as the synergistic emotional feeling is collaborative.
4. 80% of our financial results comes from just 20% of our working activities
Focus on the most productive 20% of your working activities; spend the time to get it right!
5. 80% of our daily stress comes from 20% of life’s potential triggers
Eliminate, avoid, deflect, evade or manage these triggers.
To conclude, I urge all business and pleasure Perpetual Travellers out there reading this humble article to reconsider what really matters most to your life and to devote more time to it. In parallel, try to spend less time on the activities, habits, customs and social conformities that bring you little value, because cramming too much unnecessary clutter into life simply dilutes the essence of the experience here on planet earth.