determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you."
How many things do you have on a secret wish list that you hope to do “someday”? But there’s just no time right now. The fact of the matter is we all have the same 1440 minutes every day, the same 3600 seconds every hour. Time is a valuable resource...perhaps our most valuable resource...so how are you spending yours?
Almost everyone I talk to is racing around, trying to fit in so many things, and wishing they had more time. In this age of technology and modern conveniences which could give us more time we seem to be more rushed than ever.
When people complain to me about not having enough time, I don’t ask “How busy are you?” I ask “What are you busy doing?” Our lives are overscheduled. We say we wish we could take a break from our hectic schedules and do something on our personal “to do” list. We can’t do it now, but maybe “someday”.
Yet when the opportunity arises to have some unscheduled empty time, we tend to fill it with busy work. We clean out closets, the basement or the garage; dust those hard-to-reach places like the top of the fridge, and behind the dresser – as if anyone ever looks there anyway; and we clean out old files and email folders, probably so we can fill them up again. You name it, we do it. It seems like we are afraid to have any empty time in our schedules.
We say we want a break from the fast pace of life, yet we do almost anything we can to avoid it. So we end up frittering away our lives because we don’t do the things that would take us down the path to what’s on our wish list – our “someday” things. We’re sprinting through life with no finish line in sight.
We need to start treating our time as a treasured possession and spending it wisely. It’s a resource we can never get back once it’s spent, so we should try to use it on things that matter to us – things that relax us, fill our souls and make our hearts sing. Don’t say maybe you’ll do this someday because someday may never come. After all, someday is not the 8th day of the week.
We see a packed schedule as a sign that life is really moving along. We must be doing something right of all these things we have scheduled. Empty time is for losers, right? Well, I beg to differ. Unless your schedule is incredibly planned and prioritized, “busy” could be another word for “out of control”. With that in mind, let me give you some suggestions for you to turn those empty moments into small treasures.
If you have 5 minutes, forget everything. Make a quick written “to do” list so you can clear your mind. Then do some daydreaming. Just let your mind wander. When you’re finished, go back to your “to do” list (it’ll still be there) a little more refreshed than when you started.
If you have an hour, laugh. Read the comics or think of some jokes. Laughter improves your immune system and brightens your mood. It is the best medicine.
If you have a free afternoon, disappear. Instead of doing things like returning phone calls or starting a cleaning project, go to the park, the library, the museum – anyplace you enjoy but don’t usually go. Don’t tell anyone about your guilty pleasure.
If you find yourself with an entire day, think about what you want your life to mean (it really is about more than showing up at the office everyday, making sure the house is spotless and all those other “important” things we work so hard at). And then take a step in that direction. It helps to remember that, in the grand scheme of things, your life really does have meaning.
What things are you putting off until "someday"?