Make seconds count

  • Published
  • By Jacqueline Bing
  • Director of Personnel Program Management
Have you noticed that almost every clock in the building shows a different time? To be on time for meetings or anything else, one must be conscious of the disparity and adjust. 

At one point, an effort to remedy the differences resulted in a day of everyone synchronizing the office clocks. It didn't work. Some clocks turn slow.

Apparently, the earth, too, has been turning more slowly. According to scientists, the cumulative spin of the earth over the past three years has been one second slower than the atomic clock, therefore, a leap second was added to 2008. Leap second? I know there is a leap year, a leap day, but I hadn't heard of a leap second. 

The extra time was inserted between 6:59 and 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Dec. 31. According to scientists, adding the extra second ensures the sun reaches its highest point in the sky at about noon local time.

I don't know how many times I've said and heard others say, we could use more time in the day. Lo and behold, it's possible - we had this extra second in the day going into the new year.

So, how should we use this extra second in 2009? That's easy ... use it the same way you should use all of your time -- by making it count. 

As you go into the new year, here are some things to do that are not new, but may fall into the category of making your time count:

-- Learn something new. You might have to look outside of your office, comfort zone or realm of responsibility for inspiration. Read, talk to others and learn to network.

-- Do something fun and laugh more (Hint: not at your boss, but maybe at yourself or some funny joke). There have been occasions when I've received a funny e-mail, and I can feel the stress draining away as I laugh. Laughter can make you feel better.

-- Reflect on the positive things in your life and maintain a positive attitude. Many things are not within our control, but this definitely is. Look at difficult situations and people through a positive filter. In other words, don't allow negative situations or people to frame your outlook on life or work.

-- Take care of your mental and physical health today. We all know it's important to manage stress, exercise and eat right, but many tend to live in the moment and put things off. Think about the quality of life you want during your senior years.

-- Work hard and remember that complaining customers, glitches in processes and computer downtime goes with the territory for which we are paid. Treat customers, co-workers and supervisors as you would like to be treated. Also, don't dwell on mistakes --correct them, learn from them and move on.

-- Don't neglect leisure time. Spend quality time with family and friends throughout the year -- not just during holidays. Save and plan your leave wisely.

-- Lastly, have faith, forgive someone and count your many blessings.

Doing any of these is worthwhile. A second is not very long, but what a big difference that could be realized when making every second count.