Endurance sports can teach us much about time. Not just about timing, but the value of time, right up to the second. Every step is equivalent to a unit of time. When qualifying for the Boston Marathon, every second counts. I knew my chances for Boston 2011 was dashed at the three-quarter mark when my pace dropped significantly. With a 10-minute leeway this year, I am closer to the qualifying mark, so I am optimistic that next year I would have a winning shot at it. In a 17-hour Ironman triathlon, it may appear that we have lots of time, yet who would want to spend so much time out there, braving the elements? Every additional minute spent completing the race exerts strain on an already fatigued body. In a fast 5K race, the challenge of holding a faster pace takes its toll on the body quickly because we tap on another energy system.
In the new James Franco (Spiderman’s arch-villain, the Green Goblin) movie, 127 Hours a climber has that many hours to save himself before he gets rescued or dies. Inspired by real events, the climber dismembers his trapped arm with a blunt jackknife. Although audiences may watch this film for the wrong reason, the story is told in flashbacks as the climber’s life flashes before him.
How do you respect people’s time? Do your clients respect your time? When you lead in meetings, does your team appreciate the time spent? Do you charge by the minute, hour, day or month? The degree of respect for one’s time can be determined when one considers how we rarely wish to waste our time with legal professionals. Perhaps, it is time to think like a lawyer.