I'm part of a movement, a big movement, of people wanting you to do more with your time. One thing is clear, though: You and I don't have the same amount of time. In fact, no one does.

One of most popular productivity memes right now is, "Everyone has the same 24 hours as Beyonce". It is both true and false. Here's why.

Resources. Resources. Resources.

Working-class folks don't have an entire troop of nannies, assistants, cleaning people, trainers, and assorted other miscellaneous support staff who keep our lives running while freeing up large chunks in our schedule that we can then use for social activities and other luxuries.

You probably do not have the same 24 hours as Beyonce, or Elon Musk, or Oprah, or Jeff Bezos, because you probably do not have the same amount of support. Dempsey's piece focuses on financial, but it is really across the board:

  • Ego support: Having literally millions of people rooting you on can give you momentum to be even more productive, simply because others believe you are.
  • Health support: Need a counselor, a minor surgery or a yoga retreat? You have the means to do what others may consider a luxury.
  • Team support: Come up with a new passion and you have an army of people ready to carry it through. They could be paid, because you have money, or they could be acolytes, because you have clout.

What I, and perhaps Dempsey, is talking about is weight. There is a mental, physical and emotional weight we carry when we are facing an undiagnosed health issue we have a hard time finding the money or time to explore, when we feel guilty for taking a break we sorely need because of undelegatable responsibilities, and when we feel unable to reach our potential based on our seemingly too limited resources.

What you can do about it

It's going to take a while for you to become Beyonce. I don't want to become Beyonce, because I'm pretty fond of myself. Instead, you should focus on what you have on hand and build your 24 hours based on that:

Find your personal wealth: Create more time by leveraging the power you have, like social wealth or the wealth of independence. As I wrote recently, money only provides one dimension of power.

Double down on it: Develop that wealth muscle as strongly as you can and the time you do have will be more productive. In her new book Off the Clock, time management expert Laura Vanderkam calls this "time dividends".

Make peace with it: Respect the resources you have and don't have. As I share in The Ultimate Bite-Sized Entrepreneur, it's dangerous to wait to follow your dreams until you have more resources, as that time rarely, if ever happens.

And don't worry about how Beyonce is spending her next 24 hours. I'm guessing she's too focused to worry about yours.

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Published on: Aug 24, 2018