I can help you with your New Year’s resolutions by helping you get back some of your most precious resource: time.

Now, why on earth am I bringing up New Year’s Resolutions in late January? Because this is about the time of the month when we start to go from ambitious enthusiasm to wondering if setting those goals were such a good idea in the first place (as the gym parking lot meme shows).

gym parking lot JanuaryBut we do set them! Millions of us set goals for the new year, and then most of us fail at them within the first week or month. I’m no psychiatrist so I won’t delve into the why we fail at them, but I do want to address one possible reason. Read on to learn the reason…and what to do about it.

Our most common resolutions

When I look at the most common resolutions for 2023, according to research done by Forbes, I see a common theme. Do you see it? The most common resolutions are listed here:

  • 45% want to improve mental health
  • 39% want to improve fitness
  • 37% want to lose weight
  • 33% want to improve their diet

OK, I take that back. I see two common themes: One is a desire for better health, whether mental or physical (since they go together, in my opinion). That’s probably the theme you picked up on too.

But there is another commonality, one of time. All of these resolutions require time as much as they require willpower. Want better mental health? That takes time. Want to exercise more? You need time (and energy). Want to eat healthier? You need time to shop and cook and sit down to eat slowly.

All of these resolutions require time as much as they require willpower.

Without the time for these goals, no wonder we fail at them. And time is something I don’t think we are taking into account.

Time is the great equalizer

Time is both a precious resource and the great equalizer. We all of us have the exact same number of every minute of every day. You might have more or less money than me. You might be prettier/stronger/smarter/taller than me. But you have the same 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day that I do. And for both of us, time is something we never get back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

It’s how we spend—or better yet manage—or time that sets us apart from one another. And those that make better use of their time are going to be the ones who are more likely to reach their goals.

Where does the time go?

How often do people tell you they don’t “have time” for something but you know they dink around on Facebook, or veg out in front of the TV, or spend countless hours gaming? In the year 2023, our opportunities for wasting time are too numerous to count, sadly, and waste it we do.

But there’s another way we waste time, yet it’s in the guise of supposed productivity so we don’t recognize it: We waste time at and on work.

I know for a fact that much time is wasted at work because of poor writing skills and sorry email practices. I see it every day. But most of us are clueless. We are “working” so we don’t see it as wasted time, just work time.

It is so sad. Over the years, I’ve met and worked with countless people who have no idea how much of their work time could be better used to free up some of that work time for work that matters, like taking a walk for mental / physical health, or putting down the smartphone to focus on the family, or cooking a healthy meal from scratch, or taking an online class for self improvement.

As I’ve said elsewhere, we waste up to 291 hours per year on email alone. Just think what you could do in 291 hours to improve your mental and physical health? And that’s just on email. That’s not even diving into how many hours we waste on writing at work because people write poorly or simply too fast.

So how can I help?

At this point, you’re probably wondering what the heck this retired copywriter is getting at. “Yeah yeah yeah, Sharon,” you’re thinking. “We suck at sticking with resolutions and we waste time. What’s that got to do with you?”

Hang on! There’s a point to all of this: I can help you with your New Year’s resolutions by helping you get back some of your most precious resource: time.

Yes. I can help you get some of your time back, freeing up precious hours for your resolutions or anything else.

When you improve your workplace writing skills and when you how to manage email as opposed to letting email manage you, you take back some of your precious time.

How? Because strong writing skills mean you communicate clearly the first time…

  • eliminating confusion,
  • improving collaboration and teamwork,
  • setting realistic expectations,
  • saving time by avoiding back and forth emails,
  • and making sure the time you spend writing even a short email is time well spent, not time wasted.

You make sure your money is invested wisely, right? Make sure your time is invested wisely too. Because—like money—you can get a return on your time investment as well.

You make sure your money is invested wisely, right? Make sure your time is invested wisely too.

So let’s get started, shall we? I’ll make it super easy for you. Just read these four blog posts:

Yes, that’s it. Yes, it’s free. And yes, it will take time, but seriously, it will take you maybe 20 minutes, which is only a fraction of the 2 ½ hours people waste on social media every single day.

Spend the 20 minutes. Take the lessons to heart. Start making your writing at work do the work so you don’t have to. Then take back some of that time for your mental and physical health. Trust me, the whole world will be better when you’re able to be a better you.

Relaxed woman Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/happy-african-american-female-stretching-on-sofa-3960427/

Sharon Ernst is a freelance editor and writer at www.weknowwords.com, a teacher and coach at www.betterfasterwriter.com. And a farmer and planet saver at www.literalroadfarm.com.