No Time for This

Time is the biggest equalizer but for many of us it’s also the most mismanaged of our assets. We all have the same amount of it allotted to us, and we can never get more of it, yet how many people go through life stressed out and feeling like they’ll never have enough?

Time is perhaps the biggest gift we can give anyone, including ourselves. Our time is our own to decide what to do with, and we trade it for paychecks, college degrees and speaking fees. We trade our time for deeper relationships and for inner peace. Time spent reading or exercising helps us improve.  Time spent worrying or complaining is rarely, if ever, worthwhile.

If we break the law we risk having time taken away from us, but even in a jail cell you can choose whether to be angry or peaceful. Even in that extreme situation you get to decide how you’re going to spend at least some of your waking hours. Will you spend them doing nothing or will you choose to exercise, read, write or meditate?

Some of us spend all our waking hours working while others relax all day long. Time spent “chilling out” in front of the TV isn’t necessarily wasted, and by the same token, time continually spent “at work” is not always productive.

The secret to getting a handle on time, I feel, is to make time for not just your responsibilities, but also for those activities that nourish your body and soul. One of the things that irks me most is when people complain about not having time.

They say that if you want to get something done, then you should ask a busy person because those people tend to be time masters. I suggest that, starting now, you stop saying that you erase the phrase “I don’t have time” from your vocabulary, because the reality is, you do have the same amount of time as anyone else. You’re just choosing to use it differently.

So, choose wisely, because the other thing about time is, you can never get it back. And when you make your choices about how you’re spending your time, practice really living in the moment. One of my clients is a man who has a lot on his plate. He has big responsibilities with his job and his days are full of meetings, talks and media events.  And yet, every time that this guy has a conversation with anyone he makes the person he’s talking to feel like they’re the most important person in the world – whether it’s his boss or a server in a restaurant.

It’s amazing how people light up under his attention and I think that one reason for this is that these days, most of us are not accustomed to the person we’re talking to being fully present. But that ability to be in the moment, I think, is the hack you need to feel like you actually have more time. You’ll still just get those 24 hours every day, but being fully present and aware will give you a much richer and more fulfilling experience. Start appreciating the details, and making real connections with others and before you know it you’ll start to feel as if you do have more control over that all-important commodity that we all can’t seem to get enough of.

 

 

 

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