Multipurpose your Time

What are you doing while reading this blog?

Are you on your daily commute to or from work? Perhaps you?re in between meetings or waiting for an appointment.? You have minutes to spare and you?re making use of your time as best you can. I drafted this blog on the train while on my morning commute and this is what I observed of my fellow passengers?

  • Some were sleeping (it was 7am so perfectly understandable);
  • A handful were looking at their phones;
  • Another handful had earphones in listening to music or watching videos;
  • A small few were working on their laptops;
  • One man had a paper document he was reviewing;
  • The lady behind me was sewing a costume; and,
  • Everyone else appeared to be doing nothing!!

I noticed this because the man sitting beside me was fidgeting with the buckle on his bag, looking around and frequently checking the time. I couldn?t help but wonder why he chose to do ?nothing? with his time. Perhaps time is not yet an issue for him or perhaps time is a big issue, leading him to focus on the length of his commute.

For many leaders it?s almost impossible to find enough time to do ?all? the things you?d like to do in a day. So after improving your time management and prioritising your tasks there is another option, I call, ?multipurposing?. By intentionally multipurposing activities you can accomplish so much more than doing each activity individually.

So what is multipurposing? It?s fulfilling multiple objectives at the same time. For example, take a look at people who study and work full time – they might conduct research while commuting to and from work ? thus satisfying two objectives at the one time. For Richard Branson he does work he loves and therefore doesn?t need to conduct separate activities to feel balanced.

?By spending my time on topics I am interested in and passionate about, I find I rarely need to unwind, reboot and refocus; instead I feel energised by my work.?
Richard Branson

So if you?re pressed for time, here are a few ?multipurpose? activities you could try:

  • Listen to educational podcasts or return phone calls while driving (safely of course)
  • Check your social media while waiting for your morning coffee
  • Read news articles while waiting for appointments
  • Improve your ability to read body language during meetings
  • Have lunch with colleagues to strengthen relationships
  • Bring your runners to work and hold walking meetings
  • Intentionally ?do nothing? on your commute home to relax and unwind

And a few for parents with young kids?

  • Feed the kids while they?re in the bath (it?s amazing what they will eat when they?re busy splashing about)
  • Get your children to read to you while cooking dinner
  • Meditate with your children at bedtime which doubles as ?cuddle time? along with your own way to relax
  • Create an adventure out of your trip to the supermarket
  • Fold the laundry while watching your favourite, pre-recorded tv show (?in fast play)

I?d love to hear what you do to ?multipurpose? your time!

Shelley Flett is a passionate leader with a keen focus on creating sustainable team environments through adaptable leadership.?She is a Leadership Coach, Trainer, Facilitator, Mentor and Speaker who ignites vision and purpose in those she works with.

If you?d like to know more about her latest program ?Creating Sustainable Leadership? please drop her an email

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