You know what they say. Time is precious. There’s no time like the present. It is of the essence. It’s an illusion. It’s intangible. It makes fools of us all!
Whatever. The point is usually, there’s not enough of it. There never will be. It’s running out as we speak! Oh no. Is that true? I spend a lot of... well, time, wondering about this.
My relationship with time is always changing. I have served a good deal of my time in the past as the Queen of wasting time, buying time, killing time. Spending it wisely or poorly. It’s all a matter of perspective. What is worthwhile and what isn’t? That’s for you to decide.
Is there enough time in a day? Is there anything we can do to slow this steady march?
When I take on new projects, I sometimes wonder how I’ll find the time for it all. We all grumble among colleagues and friends that there just isn’t enough time in a day. I guess what I am starting to realize is, if we think that, of course it’ll be true. We aren’t challenging ourselves to do more with it. We’re unsatisfied and that’s that. But what if we could manipulate it to our advantage?
Here are some ways I have learned how to make time when it seems impossible.
Decide what is truly worth your time. And then spend it on those things. Don’t do the other things.
Turn off the T.V. Better yet, get rid of your T.V. Seriously. This will instantly provide you with ample time to spend doing literally anything else you want to do.
Focus your screen-time. Beyond the T.V., spending time with a computer or cell phone is inevitable in our modern lives, but we can harness the time we allow ourselves to spend with them. Make a list of things that must be done while you are on the computer or using your phone. Then, do those things. Do only those things. This will save you from the trap that is your never-ending social media feed or falling in what I like to call "wiki-holes."
Don’t do stuff you don’t want to do. This one is hard for me. I am a pushover. I have a hard time saying no to things because I am usually so excited that the thing is a possibility to begin with. There’s a lot of talk about the value of saying yes, but I stand against it. You can’t do everything, so don’t try. Do the things that matter to you, and let the rest go.
Wake up early. This is easier than you think. Add a good two or three hours to your day by waking up a good two or three hours earlier than usual. As a bonus, you may enjoy seeing the sun rise every morning or get really good at making your own coffee.
Remove distractions. Stay as organized as possible, but don’t let the actual act of organizing distract you either. This is a new lesson I have learned. You can read my earlier musings about this on a blog post I wrote last year: Advice For The Distracted.
Learn how to use “free time.” Keep around a list of shit you want to do when you have the time or ideas you would like to work on someday. If you ever find yourself wondering what to work on next, consult the list. Do the thing.
Go for a walk. It slows things down and helps you focus, thus creating more quality time to spend on anything you’d like.
Making these choices has helped me stay the course as I take on more creative/professional projects and as I work to bring all my weird little ideas to life. Maybe your priority is watching T.V. That’s great! Perhaps you can use some of the suggestions I have left here to maximize your viewing time. For me, time always seems to be ticking, and the older I get, the more I realize it isn’t forever. Using it to the best of my ability is the goal, and of course I am always learning. That’s the thing about time-- it’s always moving, even if you aren’t. I’m just trying to keep up.