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The Clock Verses the Compass - Connecting with the ‘things’ that Matter Most


If you are like me, you are intimately familiar with the items in this picture!

They represent that constant element that we all wish we had more of.


If only we could ‘save’ and store it in some sort of ‘Time Bank?’ On those really busy days (in my life it is generally the days that end with a ‘y’ ) we would be able to go to this ‘Time Bank’ and make a withdrawal to top up the day with some more time so we could get more done.


Sadly, this fantasy has never, and will never, exist. When somebody says ‘have you got a minute’, the reality is, we have a lot of them: 60mins/hr, 24 hrs in a day, 7 days in a week, 52 weeks of the year. We have 524,160 minutes every year of our lives.


The challenge that haunts most people is in what they are doing with those 1,440mins per day. Time is the ever-replenishing bucket. Our lives however, no matter how healthy a life we live, will eventually run out at some point.

We can’t recover any time we squandered yesterday and didn’t use wisely, nor are we assured that we will be here tomorrow to take advantage of those 1,440mins. All we have is what is right in front of us today.


But what do most people do? Spend a large proportion of those 1,440mins per day running around in crisis mode, responding to the urgencies of life, thinking if they perhaps run faster, that will help?


The other item I want to discuss is the less familiar compass.

The purpose of a compass is to indicate the direction in which you are travelling. By identifying where north is, the compass can accurately show a person the direction they are heading. (Nowadays, with enhancements to technology, most people have a digital version of this in the palm of their hand on a phone or in their vehicle, but the concept is still the same)


The point I want to make here is that it is significantly more important to check the compass when you are undertaking a journey first, before worrying about the clock. It is pointless making good time, when you are heading in the wrong direction!


How many people do you know who spend their time each week, continually rushing around, working hard, and getting caught up in so many problems, that these ‘urgencies’ eventually become the ‘Important’ things in their lives?


This lifestyle takes people in a direction that is off course to the things and people that are truly important to them. And the excuse people give is generally…. “I don’t have time!”

In the travel analogy, if someone was regularly off course, checking in with the compass would help get them back on track in the direction they were intending on. This is just as true in life.


Opus One has a tool just for this purpose, the Compass Tab. This tab gives users the opportunity to identify ‘What’ and ‘Who’ are the important things and people in their life by identifying the roles a person plays. Once these have been identified, Opus One gives the option to clarify why they are of significant importance and to make connections with their governing values.


The next steps, I believe, are possibly some of the most significant benefits of the entire Opus One app.


Once a week, in quiet planning time, use the Compass tab to reflect on these roles and ask yourself the question, “What is the ONE thing I can do in THIS role THIS week that would have the most positive impact on that role?


Adding the answer to this question as a ‘Task’ to the role then gives the user the opportunity to assign that task to a time slot in their calendar. No matter how busy each day or week will inevitable get, at some point, each one of those roles are getting attention.

These roles are a person’s compass points, they are the direction in which people truly wish to be travelling and connecting with. Taking time each week to follow this simple process means that regardless of how fast we travel, no matter how much other ‘Traffic’ there may be each week, at least they are heading in the right direction.

Always consider the compass before the clock.


Glenn Hankinson

Executive Success Coach

5th Habit Solutions

For more in-depth, personalised training in the methodologies of productivity and application using Opus One, go to 5th Habit Solutions.

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