Time is one of the most valuable things we have and we never know how much we have left. While we can’t stop time, or control how fast it passes, we can create more.
Take Your Time – In the land of enough, you have time to breathe. Stop trying to squeeze so much in. If you are always running late, falling behind, or trying to catch up, try slowing down. Cancel a few unnecessary appointments and don’t schedule any new ones if you can help it. Then, make a little time everyday for solitude.
That was the recommendation for a short hiatus in the Land of Enough. For a longer stay, like a lifetime, you will need to consider how you really want to spend your time. Ask questions like:
- Is this the best use of my time?
- Are distractions taking larger chunks of my day than I thought?
- Am I doing things efficiently, or am I so stretched that it takes me more time than it should to get anything done?
- At the end of the day, am I grateful for the day, or just grateful that it’s over?
If you are open to living with less, then you will be able to create real time for yourself. It may take a job change, lifestyle adjustment, or maybe just small shifts, but if what you really want is more time, it’s yours for the asking.
How to Create Time
Be Efficient - Let’s face it, working 8+ hours a day in a job that you aren’t crazy about doesn’t pump you full of energy. The hours after work are often spent recovering with food, alcohol, TV, facebook and anything else that doesn’t require anything of you. It might not be possible, or even necessary to quit your job, but you do have to redesign your day. If your lunch break is spent in front of a computer, in your car or on the phone, that is the first place to start.
Taking an hour in the middle of the work day to go for a walk, take a yoga class or eat a simple meal will help you re-charge.
Kill your TV – After being TV free for three months now, I can tell you with conviction…It has to go! Don’t be afraid of saying goodbye to 500+ channels. Once it’s gone, you will wonder how you ever had time for it in the first place.
Limit distraction – Don’t bother getting rid of the TV if you are going to fill the hours with facebook and googling anything to keep your mind off your day. Set a certain amount of time to check in, but do not check out!
Schedule e-mail - If you are checking your email more than three times a day, you are losing time. I know you want to be responsive and I know you are curious to see who sent what, but it can wait. If you aren’t ready to reduce your email time to two or three times a day, at the very least, don’t check your email first thing in the morning. This is a tough habit to break, but unless you want to spend your day doing everyone else’s most important tasks, do yours first.
Stop unwinding - Did you ever think that if you weren’t overworked, stressed out, and over it, that you wouldn’t have to spend so much time and money unwinding? Here are 7 ways to stop unwinding.
Say no – It’s ok to say no to things that you aren’t interested in and don’t believe in. When you don’t have the time to commit to something new, it is ok to say no. Do not feel compelled to come up with an excuse or apology. A simple, “no thank you” will do.
Say yes – Agree to commitments that make your heart swell.
Sit still - I know you want to do it all, see it all, make a difference and change the world, but sometimes, your time is best spent sitting still.
I have to constantly remind myself what is most important. It’s not that I forget, but it’s easy to get lost in e-email or doing things out of obligation, instead of true interest. Keep in mind that open time on your calendar doesn’t mean that you aren’t important, it means that you value your time. Once you stop living with back to back appointments, the day can really reveal itself. You never know what’s in store until you open your heart and time to possibility.