At a speaking engagement last weekend in Rotorua, someone came up to me, said I was an inspiration and asked me how I could find the time to do all the things that I do and have done in my life.
How do I find the time to have a career, a wonderful family, successful businesses, write books, travel the world, race cars, fly aeroplanes, spend time with Jiun, etc.. How do I find the time to do all that and be a Councillor?
I actually get asked that a lot. Some people don't believe that I could fulfill my almost full-time job at Tauranga City Council and continue to do the things that I enjoy. I can and I do. I have time for 8 other sub-committees and taskforces which are entirely voluntary. What's more, I recently joined a gym and made time for my health.
Today, I'll tell you how I find precious time.
My audience always thinks I am extraordinary but I think of myself as just an ordinary person. There is nothing extraordinary about what I do. Anybody can do the things I have done and achieve the things I have achieved.
I have the same number of hours in a day as everybody else. It is what you do with those hours that makes a difference.
Of utmost importance, I always have a goal and a plan for today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. I wake early in the morning and have a plan for the day. I don't waste time. I don't spend hours surfing the web or playing Angry Bird and Candy Crush on my smartphone. As for sleep, I get enough and have lots of time to do that when I die.
I often put too much on my plate and I do struggle to keep up with my own plans. And more often than not, my day or week end up longer than I intended. But I always plan to over-achieve, not otherwise. Like everybody else, things don't always go as I planned but I don't have time to regret or waste time thinking about what I should have, could have or would have done. I plan for another day.
It is true that I am often very busy and with Council responsibilities, I have forgotten what it was like staying in my workshop and working on my man toys during the week. I am not saying that sacrifices don't have to be made. I have prioritised, changed my life for public office and made concessions with my speaking career in order to fit my current life into a 24-hour day. That act was also a deliberate plan for my time.
I could probably spend more time interacting with ratepayers on social media like some Councillors do and I could probably be more diligent with the emails that I receive. I do apologise for that and would like to ask members of the community to call me for a prompt and immediate engagement.
With all that said, I couldn't do it without Jiun who manages my entire speaking business, travels with me to most speaking engagements, makes me look good, built this very website and several others, looks after me and is now managing my 2013 Election campaign. All that in addition to managing her own business interests, voluntary work at Tauranga RDA, exercising 3-4 times a week, staying up to date with NZ, Malaysia and world news, having intelligent discussions with me, managing our home and pursuing her varied culinary experiments. How she finds the time to play with her smartphone is a true mystery to me!