There are many benefits to diversification, two being adding value and preventing stagnation. Diversifying has helped companies bring down costs by requiring workers to undertake a wider variety of tasks and using machines in place of people. Diversifying has helped financial investors by preventing all assets from being lost into a single investment.
How can diversifying in your own life add value and prevent stagnation? When most of us think about our life on a daily or weekly basis there are things we do every day or every week like clockwork. There is a beauty in consistency; it helps make life more predictable. Predictability helps us feel safe. But when does this predictability dull us down, keep us from meeting new people, trying new things, or worse yet, keep us from the things we love to do?
I have plenty of hobbies. Maybe that is the same with you. I know I like to try new things. Maybe that is true with you. However, many of us look at our schedules and say with exasperation, “I am too busy, I can’t possibly find time to do that in between work, household chores, taking the kids to soccer practice, going to the gym, etc.” I don’t condone giving up on responsibilities to take part in leisure activities, but I do condone a careful look at all the activities that are done in a day and see what can’t be removed, and what can.
For me, I realized, that I watch much more television and surf the internet aimlessly than is needed. I don’t want to eliminate these activities entirely, as they do help me unwind after a long day. However, reducing the time spent on these, helps me find time, even if that’s 20 minutes to partake in my hobbies or try something new.
I also think another way to diversify is to innovate within already scheduled activities. I am not suggesting multitasking. For me, this innovation takes part in the kitchen! I love to try to make new foods. I keep finding and trying recipes from many ethnic cuisines including American, European, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, African, etc. I guess you could say I am a jack of all cuisines, master of none!
I am continually impressed by the amount of things people I consider productive can do in their time that would take me much longer. Charlie Richards has said, “Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week's value out of a year while another man gets a full year's value out of a week." When I read that, I was reminded time is man made and that we are fooled by the concept of time. I think that a change in how we use our time comes from a change in how we think about time.
Motivation Across Cultures