Are you too busy to innovate?



Life is becoming very demanding and most of us have a heavy schedule to combat every single day.

On top of our business schedule, we have personal commitments such as family (the most important commitment!). But, unfortunately, our time is limited.

Every single week, we have only have 168 hours.

If we simply assume that every healthy human being has to sleep seven hours a day, then we consume 49 hours of 168 hours in bed. In other words, roughly 30% of our time is gone without doing anything.

It is even more scary if we continue to add our other commitments such as a daily job. An ordinary full time employee spends 8 hours a day in the office, whereas this figure can easily go to up to 12 hours a day for more demanding jobs such as banking!

I will take the average of those and that translates into another 50 hours. Another roughly 30% is gone!

Commuting to our jobs takes another vital part of our time.

According to a research, the average commute time per day in Jakarta is 42.1 minutes, in Moscow 43.1 minutes, in London 41.2 minutes, in Milan 40 minutes and in Amsterdam 37.5 minutes.  Since you have return where you have come from, you have to multiply these figures by two.

It will take 70 minutes on average for a commute each day, which translates into 350 minutes. In other words, almost another 6 hours are gone per week while commuting. (I believe this figure is quite conservative since I know many people who spend a minimum of two hours in traffic in London and Istanbul.)

So, finally, we are left with only 63 hours of personal time out of 168 hours per week.

These 63 hours are very crucial. You have to decide how to use them. You can watch TV, spend the time with your family, read, go jogging, etc.

I believe how you personally choose to spend this valuable time is a main factor in how your future will look!

First of all, you have to switch off from your work during this time!

I know it is not easy.

This is especially the case if you are an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur is not a 10 hours a day job, as it is a lifestyle that requires regularly working during nights and weekends.

The challenge faced by  even our smartest and hardworking friends is that we all have a limited bandwidth. Once this bandwidth is used, it is not possible to be innovative or be efficient.

Even if we are getting a lot of chances in life, this full bandwidth prevents us from leaping a step forward. This is the main reason that switching off is important.

Reading (especially on different subjects), observing our surroundings, travelling and networking with people is the key to understanding and learning what we currently are not doing and to innovate. Otherwise, like the cartoon above, even if we are offered the wheel, we will refuse it at our own expense, nobody else’s!

Finally, being left with 37.5% of the total time is not too bad! It is the personal choices that make us different and we have the power to be innovative.


Is your mindset ready for that?


All the best from Singapore.

Sukru Haskan
Twitter: @sukru_haskan