Time is sacred, yet we worship things easily replaced. We take it as a given, though none of us know how long we’ve got. Time offers no do-overs, only lessons. Time is uncompromising: it neither stops nor slows down—no matter how compelling the argument.
And, nowhere else is our hypocrisy more obvious than in how we treat time and what we spend it on... We say we want a better relationship with our spouse, but spend most of our free time and energy on meaningless tasks, TV, social media, etc. We say we want a healthier body but go to a bar after work instead of the gym.
We can’t fool or trick time. Efficiency ‘experts’ postulate that you can get more done in less time, but ‘more’ can be a trap that doesn’t bring satisfaction-- only a gambler-like compulsion for more. Just a little more… when I get this accomplished…we chase the ‘when…’, ‘if only…’ and ‘as soon as…’
Celebrate your accomplishments (and those of others), savor the outcomes of your actions, slow the hell down and discriminate between the ‘have-to’ and ‘get-to’ lines in your planner. Get really stingy with time, then assess where you want to loosen things up a bit.
Philip Zimbardo talks about positive present moment-centeredness as energizing force. (Watch his TED talk here) You know, stop and smell the roses. You won’t have the energy to spend quality time with the husband WHEN you get things crossed off your list and your time frees up. You’ll be energized and nurtured BY spending time with your husband and will be able to approach your to-do list with a fully charged battery (or maybe scrap it altogether?)
Here are some PRACTICAL TIPS for trimming the time ‘fat’ and investing your gift of time wisely.
1. Put boundaries around email accessibility.
2. Cap mindless digital media consumption.
3. Differentiate SPENT time from INVESTED time. For example, 10 minutes a day to connect with your partner will yield greater positive results than spending 10 minutes scrolling through your Facebook feed.
4. Close down “the shop” for intentional restorative time each day. “Close”for chores, errands, work, email, etc. Only “open” for yourself.
What restores you?
5. Celebrate ALL accomplishments, goals achieved. Savor the pride, the joy of achievement.
6. Make room for family time each day and for sure on weekends. Talk as a family. Was your day a win, lose or draw?
7. Reduce time suckers. Take inventory, then methodically and mercilessly eliminate things that are:
Curious why time seems to go faster and faster as you get older? Watch this video!