Assuming you invest approximately eight hours a day sleeping, how then will you spend the other 16 hours daily, 112 hours weekly, 480 hours monthly, and 5840 hours annually? What portion of those hours will you invest, and invest optimally, in personal interactions 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? This connection comes from discussion, further touch and intimacy, and 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 other skills and knowledge do you desire? The answers to these questions should help guide your efforts in your career, hobbies, and life adventures. Consistent with our guidance, engage with others that can help expand your career (e.g., a mentor or successful colleagues), 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 levels of personal energy you experience each day. How much time and energy 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 less exact than desired, but the exercise can be instructive.
- Prioritize your allotment of time and energy
This exercise is less about the exact hours spent and more about optimizing the quality and effort invested in daily human interactions. Plan to feed the valuable relationships and divest of the detrimental ones. As part of this effort, review the guidance shared in Living Better’s Key #1, Plan to have a great year, and reflect on how best to spend time and energy focused on the important other people in your life.