“Time Well Spent”

Last year at this stage (well, early September but who’s counting?) I wrote a blog about why we blog.  I extended the question into thinking about why we do anything, challenging my readers (ha!) to evaluate the motives behind their actions.  The ever wise John Harris (friend and Spiritual Board member) commented on the blog and said congratulations to the 2011 team for investing their time in Chennai Challenge – “time well spent!”.
So I wanted to talk about 2 things.  Firstly a bit more about how our team invested their time this year, and secondly about time and how we spend it in general.

Once again I have been privileged to see the time people invest turning into something else.  Something tangible and real.  As a leadership team we often discuss the training that we offer to team members.  Some people are surprised at the fact that we start our training 7 months before we travel to India, and have 2 weekend meetings plus 2 evening meetings.  At first glance it can seem like a bit of a commitment.  The trouble is that when planning our training we still struggle to fit everything in.  In order for the team to get as much as possible out of the project we think it is really important to make sure they are prepared for all aspects of the experience; the culture, the work with children, the language, the food, the team work, the planning, the fundraising, the distribution of the finances raised and much more.  Without investing time in looking at these areas before we go everything would be done on the hoof and the team would not be ready and able to enjoy the project as we hope they do.  When you get to India you suddenly realise the importance of these meetings and the time invested throughout the year.  When you realise the benefit then the time invested in the project for training suddenly doesn’t seem like much.

John’s comment on my blog last year was about how we spend our time.  Where do we invest it?  Time, unlike money, is limited the same for everyone.  Everyone gets 24 hours in a day.  Apart from work what do you invest your time in.  I often feel like it’s impossible to fit everything in.  I want to invest time in my relationships, with my family, my friends, my partner – even if that’s just time to relax and be in each other’s company.  I obviously also invest time in Chennai Challenge.  Trying to improve our training, being at Trustee’s meetings, Project Leader’s meetings, Team meetings, fundraisers etc…  As well as sitting in front of a computer tearing my hair out whilst trying to make sense of finances!  Then there’s Church – I want to try to invest more time in my church family at the moment.  I don’t have much money to give and I want to make sure I volunteer my time to the church, maybe welcoming, maybe working with children or young people.  As an actor it’s obviously important to invest time in honing my craft, in investigating avenues of possibility and writing letters and emails to people who might give me a job, and also in going to the theatre.

Wow…that seems like a lot, and I haven’t even included the 30-40 hours I try to work for money per week.  Is there enough time in the day? It makes me think about what my priorities should be and whether I need to readjust and budget my time as I do my money.  Perhaps this will mean I am more effective with the use of my time.

Well, I have ended up giving myself more to think about than I thought.  I guess I haven’t come to any conclusions but your thoughts would be more than welcome in the comments below. Thanks for reading and I shall follow this theme up in a future blog.  When I have more time!

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