TED | 如何掌控你的自由时间












One of the women whose time log I studied goes out on a Wednesday night for something. She comes home to find that her water heater has broken, and there is now water all over her basement. If you've ever had anything like this happen to you, you know it is a hugely damaging, frightening, sopping mess.



So she's dealing with the immediate aftermath that night, next day she's got plumbers coming in, day after that, professional cleaning crew dealing with the ruined carpet. All this is being recorded on her time log. Winds up taking seven hours of her week. Seven hours. That's like finding an extra hour in the day.

于是那个晚上她立刻着手处理,第二天她找了一个水管工,第三天找了专业的清理人员 来处理损坏的地毯。所有这些都算在了她的时间表内。总共花了她一周中的七个小时。七个小时。这就等于一周七天每天都要挤出一个小时。


But I'm sure if you had asked her at the start of the week, "Could you find seven hours to train for a triathlon?" "Could you find seven hours to mentor seven worthy people?" I'm sure she would've said what most of us would've said, which is, "No -- can't you see how busy I am?" Yet when she had to find seven hours because there is water all over her basement, she found seven hours.

但是假如你在这一周刚开始时就问她,“你能在这周抽出七个小时来参加铁人三项吗?”,“你能在这周抽出七个小时指导七个有潜力的人吗?“ 我确定她会像大多数人一样, 说,”怎么可能,你看不出我有多忙吗?“ 但是她最后不得不抽出七个小时,因为她的地下室都被水淹了, 她挤出了这七个小时。


And what this shows us is that time is highly elastic. We cannot make more time, but time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.



And so the key to time management is treating our priorities as the equivalent of that broken water heater. To get at this, I like to use language from one of the busiest people I ever interviewed. By busy, I mean she was running a small business with 12 people on the payroll, she had six children in her spare time.



I was getting in touch with her to set up an interview on how she "had it all" -- that phrase. I remember it was a Thursday morning, and she was not available to speak with me. Of course, right?



But the reason she was unavailable to speak with me is that she was out for a hike, because it was a beautiful spring morning, and she wanted to go for a hike. So of course this makes me even more intrigued, and when I finally do catch up with her, she explains it like this. She says, "Listen Laura, everything I do, every minute I spend, is my choice."



And rather than say, "I don't have time to do x, y or z," she'd say, "I don't do x, y or z because it's not a priority." "I don't have time," often means "It's not a priority."

所以与其说 “我没有时间做这个,这个,或者那个。” 她会说:“我不做这些事情因为这些不是我的首要任务。”“我没有时间”的意思通常是 “那不是我的首要任务”。