For a long time, I wondered why gyms don’t power our cities. The thought occurred to me again this morning as I walked between the long rows of people running and riding in place. The reason, of course, is that the numbers don’t work. Electricity, even today, is comparatively cheap, while the equipment necessary to convert and store energy generated from your average stationery bike is not.
Equally as important, the equipment to harness the energy of your average gym rat is incredibly inefficient. Estimates on the best equipment range from 65% to 70% energy conversion – meaning a loss of 30-35% of the energy generated.
It’s not a far stretch to see how this parallels our average workday.
Most people run in place five days a week and, if they’re lucky, manage to convert 70% of their effort into something meaningful.
Worse, most of us don’t even take the time to ensure that we are converting our energy to anything useful or meaningful at all.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that we generate nothing during the workday. The reports get out. The project moves forward. The meetings are held. But meaningful? On any given day? Maybe. Sometimes. If you’re lucky.
On some level, I think many (perhaps most) of us have accepted that. What is truly daunting, however, is what that means multiplied by a career … or a life.
If at 5:00 pm, I look back and find that I haven’t accomplished anything I believe to be truly meaningful since 9:00 am, how much time will I have wasted as the calendar pages turn and the seasons change?
I used to fantasize about returning home one day to find a man in a black and white striped shirt blowing a whistle and calling “time out.” Everything would stop. And I would have time to think.
It’s never happened.
I’m 51 years old and I have never returned home to someone calling time out. And my time to really think, in the midst of swim meets, boy scouts, homework and business seems to have dwindled to my commute and the shower.
On October 2nd, I’m hoping Jodi Hume will help me do better. She’s presenting at our firm’s Drink ‘n Think on Time Strategy.
If, as has often been said, time is our most precious resource, it makes sense to understand and develop a personal strategy on how to use it.