We’ve all been there before. You jotted down a fantastic to-do list, cracked open your laptop and set a timeline for how long you’d like to be at your computer for. In between checking sports score, articles and a quick trip down memory lane on Youtube, you’ve come to find out that what you needed accomplished wasn’t done. Time is a precious commodity, one that gets eaten up in a world of unlimited options. The phrases “there’s always next time” or “we’ll finish later” all hinder what progress can be made in the present. Being truthful to yourself about time is vital to you accomplishing what needs to be done in a punctual and correct manner. Putting things off until later is a bad habit, one that can be quelled only through honesty to yourself.
It’s always nice to come across stories of someone past the age of 60 go back to school, start a business or travel the world. And we look in the mirror, as a young person, and are inspired by that, saying we’ll do that one day too. The promise of the future, while encouraging, is not promised. What we give our time to is in direct correlation to what we value. When we observe our values transparently, then we can understand what and why we spend time on. There is no shame in valuing leisure, but compartmentalizing it to be done in the right space of time is important.
When we think about time too, it’s important to ask the question “how much time have I spent?” How much time have I spent trying to please people? How much time have I spent looking for affirmation from people I don’t value? How much time have I spent doing something I wasn’t truly passionate about?”
Being truthfully honest about our time investments is a great way to center ourselves in being more connected to our times.
One personification of time I like to use is a farm. You’ve got enough space to plant food, trees, herd cattle and even make a pond. When you personify your time, and not just think of it in a traditional business sense (time is money) then you can allocate what areas you like to build towards. Some projects will take time longer than others, but taking the time everyday to plant a seed on our farm of development is vital.
Being realistic about your time also means tackling the concept of what “old” is. It’s funny to think of someone that is 30 as ancient. But in reality, should you live a full life, at thirty, you still have two thirds of your life remaining! Perhaps the responsibilities that come with life in our 30’s and 40’s make us fear the concept of “being old.” But by spending our time wisely in the present, we are better able to prepare for what is to come in the future.
In summary, I’d like to reintroduce the ideal of “compound gains” in relation to time. As we spend more time at something, and get better at it, it takes less time to get the desired results as before. This is encouraging to continue to get as good as possible. Being purpose oriented and conscientious of our time is key to making ourselves more valuable to our family, loved ones and world at large.