Paper clips and Time are synonymous sometimes. Time flies away much like the mysterious nature of paper clips. Where do paper clips go? Lloyd’s Bank of London undertook a study to find out what happens to a typical batch of paper clips as they are released throughout the workforce. Out of their original batch of 100,000 paper clips they found that:
- 3,916 were used to unplug tobacco pipes;
- 5,308 were used to clean under fingernails;
- 5,423 were used to pick teeth or scratch ears;
- 7,200 were used as hooks for belts, suspenders, or bras;
- 14,163 were snapped, broken, or otherwise twisted during phone conversations;
- 19,143 became mock card game chips; and approximately
- 25,000 became lost, swept up off the floor or thrown away.
- 20,000 of the original batch of paper clips were actually used to clip papers together.
Kyle MacDonald and His Red Paper Clip
Have you heard of Kyle MacDonald and his Red Paper Clip?
Stuck in a dead-end job and strapped for money, Kyle MacDonald came up with an improbable plan: starting with one red paperclip, he would trade on the Internet until he exchanged it for a house.
First, he traded the red paperclip for a fish-shaped pen. Next, he traded the pen for a doorknob. He traded the doorknob for a Coleman stove. He traded the Coleman stove for an electric generator. He traded the electric generator for a Budweiser sign and a keg of beer, which he then traded for a snowmobile and so on. His goal was to turn it into a house. He did just that when he won a movie roll and somehow that turned into a house. Kyle MacDonald proved that paper clips are important. Using your time is important as well, little and big amounts are important. Time is like an ever moving locomotive that continues to move, nothing stops it, but we can get in front of it and enjoy the time we have.
You may be shocked to know how you spend your life. Wouldn’t it be encouraging if we spent all the 78 years (the national average of Americans life span) to being productive? Where does the time go?
- We spend about 25 years sleeping
- We work about 10.5 years (40hrs/week from 20-65 yrs old) (2 years are spent sitting in meetings)
- We spend about 17 years trying to lose weight or thinking about losing weight
- We watch about 9.1 years of TV (2 years watching commercials)
- Drive about 4.3 years, Cook about 2.5 years, Clean 1.1 years (in some homes)
- We will spend about 1.5 years in the bathroom (92 days on the toilet)
- We will spend 14 days kissing
- Men spend zero days shopping (they hunt), women spend 8 years shopping
Don’t forget we all have the same amount of time. When I share these facts with folks, a look of distress comes over their face. Guilt and despair are two feelings that can be avoided. Someone once told me that if I don’t plan my time, someone stronger than me will plan my time for me. I’m talking about Designing Purpose that works with your current schedule, your job, your hobbies, etc. We are not adding anything we are simply being wise with what we have. All of us have dreams and hopes; but hopes that are deferred and unmet make our hearts feel awful. It can all be avoided. We can live full lives. We can be busy but not feel busy. That is what Designing Purpose is all about. Time is not your enemy. The problem of busyness is not handled properly. We shouldn’t react to our schedules, we should be proactive and Design Purpose in our lives. We live our lives with a month in a view and week to week. If that is the case, let’s plan our lives before the month begins and evaluate week to week. The first step is deciding upon values that will guide your life through thick and thin. My next post will be about Designing Values that are real and not just declared.