Everyone Experiences Time Differently

We visited some good friends over the weekend. Despite the seven hours of driving, it was time well invested. It is energizing to hang out with people who know you, share similar interests and struggles, and cheer for you.

It also struck me how different we are. 

I grew up with role models who were constantly fixing things. So did my friend. I grew to love fixing things, but my friend did not. 

While hanging out, he innocently asked, “Do you know why my refrigerator leaks a little water?”  

I jumped at the chance to investigate. It took a couple of hours, but we found and solved the problem.

Thank you, YouTube refrigerator repair tutorial.

(Just an aside here: YouTube typically gets credit for these types of videos, but the content creator actually deserves the love.) 

It was fun for me. It was a dreaded task of homeownership for him. 

Two people had the same experience but had vastly different perspectives on what that time was like. 

Molly Fletcher, a regular Leadercast contributor, says that our time use falls into three categories.

  • Energizers: What brings you energy? (Color code: Red)
  • Drainers: What makes you exhausted? (Green)
  • Neutral: What simply exists? (Orange)

And what every person experiences as Red, Green or Orange is different. 

After reading The Energy Clock, here are a few things I have learned:

  • I enjoy things that others don’t.

    I enjoy fixing things around my house, long drives, yard work, working on spreadsheets, and solving operating problems.

  • Other people enjoy things that I don’t.

    They like lying on a beach, gardening, making two dozen sales connections daily, coding websites, and answering the phone.

     

  • It was hard for me to admit what I enjoyed.

    Many things on my list are things that others don’t enjoy. Therefore, I assumed that I didn’t enjoy those either. This was wrong and robbed me of my joy. (To be clear, this was on me, not them.)

     

  • I must ask my teammates more frequently, “When you are working at Leadercast, what use of your time brings you the most joy?”

    And then, I need to listen to their answers. Their answers will be different than my assumptions. 


So Tuesday’s Takeaway is that everyone experiences time differently, and one of the best ways to create a workplace that people love is to align their role with how they experience joy on company time.

And stop being so judgemental about what other people enjoy doing with their time. 

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Brian Rutherford

Brian Rutherford is the Chief Operating Officer for Leadercast. Brian has been telling stories professionally for twenty-five years. Stories that inspire people to see themselves and the world differently. Stories that challenge people to take meaningful action in the world.

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