The thing about killing time is that it isn’t a crime of passion but rather a passive whimper.
I live in LA and any given day of the week there are so many things to do, so much vying for our attention and many ways to spend time. We just celebrated the Chinese New Year. We are going to a hockey game this week and the Super Bowl is this weekend.
There are probably twenty things happening around and inside you that could take you away from the things you want to focus on.
Everyone I talk to is busy. Busy can mean a highly productive machine or it could mean that maybe it’s time to cut down on external activities that you do for the sake of doing.
Not all busy work is created equal.
One of the things we all hear is, “I don’t have the time for that.”
“I just don’t have the time.”
This could be an excuse to not go to a social gathering or it could be a response to that new exercise class you wish you could take. If it’s the latter, a more definitive phrase to use is:
“I don’t have the life.”
You see, time is an asset – one that we are all spending. Are you using it wisely? Making great investments or just going with the flow? Money can be lost but it can be made again; once time is spent it is gone forever.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to expedite everything and do things with haste. To the contrary, in some situations it could mean slowing down, checking in and giving full attention to the moment.
When my wife and I see each other for the first time later today after a work day will I notice her countenance, offer my undivided attention, a warm hug and kiss or will I miss the moment? Will I be fully present?
What can YOU do?
View time as an investment and spend it wisely.
Are you working hard or hardly working? Make an effort to remove distractions, practice to learn single-minded focus and work and play hard.
When you have conversations notice the color of the other person’s eyes. I did this recently and noticed my friend Jeff wears contacts.
If you hear yourself saying, “I don’t have time,” replace the word “time” with “life.”
This will help to reframe your perspective and may help give you that push to start living the life you want to today.
Also if you’re just making lame excuses to get out of that social gathering or whatever it is, know that it’s OK to just say “NO.”
Some time ago I was looking for a musician to fill in. One of the guys I asked told me that ”No.” It was very cut and dry and I was a bit taken aback because musicians can be very “I don’t know, lemme see what I got going on…”-kind of people.
I appreciated his directness, lack of excuses and the fact that he did not lead me on in the process and waste both of our time.
Perhaps explore why saying, “No.” is difficult for you.
Assess your busyness and cut away the excess of what you don’t want to do.
Learn to do things efficiently and with excellence.
Instead of multi-tasking focus on doing one thing at a time.
Take one day and try this experiment: “Today, I’m just going to do one thing at a time.” You may experience great self-discovery and see how fragmented all the distractions aim to make you.
Assess your productivity and seek to maximize it.
Find a work-to-break-time ratio that helps you perform your best.
Learn to meditate and learn diaphragm breathing (deep breathing). Learn to be in the moment and just be.
Become aware of your unawareness. Drinking in a coffee shop on your computer? How connected are you to the people or environment around you? Coffee almost gone? How was it? Did you taste each sip and relish in the moment?
Aim to be fully alive in as many moments as possible in this gift we call life.
Prioritize your time/life in a way that aligns with your values, who you are and the legacy you want to leave.
What other things do you do to guard your time, invest in the moment and spend time wisely?
Time is ticking by, invest it wisely.