Assuming you invest eight hours a day in your top priority, sleep. How then will you optimally invest your other 16 hours daily, 112  hours weekly, 480 hours monthly, and 5840 hours annually in personal interaction with others? Consider how to do so as follows. 

  • Assess your individual needs for relationships

Everybody needs somebody. Carefully and honestly examine your personal needs. What do you need in the way of personal safety and security, individual subsistence gleaned from the give and take of commercial interaction, the comfort that comes from companionship, the connection that comes from discussion, and further from touch and intimacy, and/or the learning and inspirational example that comes from the words and actions provided by others?

  • Assess your individual wants in a relationship

What are your aptitudes? What are your interests? What further skills and knowledge do you desire? The answers to these questions should help guide your efforts in career, hobbies, and life adventures. Consistent with our guidance, engage with others that can help expand your career, (e.g., mentors or successful colleagues, etc.), guide further skill development (e.g., teacher or master craftsman), or partner up for all forms and types of new and unique life adventures (e.g., travel companion or inspirational influence) 

  • Determine your available time and energy 

How much of the daily, weekly, monthly and annual numbers shared above can you invest in others at home, at work, or out and about? Similarly, reflect on the varying level of personal energy you experience throughout each day. How much is available to invest in connecting with others?

This calculation is of course complicated by the injection of personal and professional responsibilities and obligations. The integration can be a little sloppy and the math a little less exact than desired, but the exercise can be instructive.

  • Prioritize your allotment of time and energy 

This is more about pouring energy into quality interaction and interpersonal goals and objectives than an exact allotment of hours. To illustrate our point, review the guidance shared in Living Better’s Key #1, Plan to have a great year, and plan to spend more time and energy focused on the important other people in your life.

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