Untapped #1: Making the most of your “in-between” time
Louisa is a regular at Headstart and can’t help but live out this term’s tagline: making the most of... just look at her attack on the sushi at Headstart - obstructions beware! Other than sushi, she makes the most of her annual leave with travel, her work time with some cool side courses including one on robotics and seems like one of the best people to summarise UNTAPPED #1: making the most of your in-between time.
In our final term of Headstart titled UNTAPPED, we’re exploring how to make the most of different opportunities in front of us. To kick off the term we were invited to think about the “in-between” time in our calendars.
Night in a tweet: Seeing our “in-between” times as a gracious gift empowers us to make the most of it
We all have “in-between” times - whether it is the inevitable commute to work, or being in-between work projects or even just waiting for someone running behind schedule. Although “in-between” time can come in all shapes and sizes, it became apparent that our “in-between” times add up. I could personally relate with one of our young workers, Jason Tam, who shared that his commute time to work alone, can add up to 8-10 hours a week. That’s more than an average night’s sleep or a working day!
My “in-between” time
Have you ever felt guilty for browsing social media or playing games during your entire commute to work? Or felt guilty for sitting around at work with a little too much free capacity whilst you wait for your next project? I know I have. But the all-time classic “in-between” time in my work day, is the awkward thirty-minute slots sandwiched between two meetings in my calendar. I don’t really have enough time to get stuck into ‘real’ work but it is also too much time for a coffee break.
We can often feel like these “in-between” times are wasted if we are not doing something ‘productive’. So how do we make the most of our “in-between” times? Is there a right and wrong use of this time? Efficient or inefficient way to use this time?
Mark shared with us three tips which can help us to untap into our own “in-between” times and make the most of them:
1. The right push: not guilt but grace
Instead of allowing guilt of inefficiency or unproductiveness to be the motivation behind our behaviour, we can view the “in-between” times of our day as a gracious gift we can enjoy preciously.
Guilt only fuels the short term and eventually wears you down as you are never as efficient, as productive or “good enough” as you ought to be. You always fall short. Grace on the other hand allows us to see the “in-between” time as a gift to be enjoyed. Precious and special and unique.
2. The right pattern: not law but wisdom
Exercising wisdom in stewarding our time allows us to truly make the most of each “in-between” opportunity. On the contrary, being legalistic about how we should spend our time, minimises the possibilities we consider. Laws encourage bare compliance. Wisdom opens up possibilities.
3. The right process: not threatened but responsibility
Embracing the responsibility of our own “in-between” times and continuing to reassess whether we are making the most of our time prevents us from feeling threatened by how others’ spend their time.
What I left thinking about?
I was encouraged to hear about how Jason learnt to make the most of his commute time. He found that these “in-between” times were a great opportunity for him to start the day by reading the Bible and also to relax by playing games after a long day. Once a week, Jason also purposefully chooses to work from home, saving the usual commute time to work, when it allows him to maximises his schedule for other commitments.
Is there an “in-between” time could you spend differently and make more of? Personally, I’m challenged to re-think how I can make the most of those awkward thirty-minute slots sandwiched between two meetings in my calendar, I referred to earlier. Thirty minutes can be plenty of time to take a breather and pray for someone or send a gratitude email or get to know my desk buddies that little bit more.