Having a teenager in the house is a reminder that you can waste a lot of time doing nothing. There’s couch slouching, late get ups, back to the couch, floor, kitchen and afternoon sleep. It makes me tired just watching the inactivity and non productiveness. That phase of life for me has long passed and now by all calculations I have around 10,000 days to live, about 40 summers if I’m lucky. It’s not that long so I have to be a bit more vigilant with my time. Sure there are going to be periods of inactivity but what is the best way to spend what little time you have? What is going to be the most fulfilling, most productive and satisfying use of what I have left? In what ways do I waste my time and energy in what is not important.
Time for some lists;
Non productive use of time.
1)Worrying. Worrying about what to wear or eat, where to go or what to do, what to say or what will happen. These are all concepts produced by an over productive brain and don’t actually serve to help any situation. Worry is an indulgent emotion. If we don’t really have anything to worry about we find something. What’s the point? It just fills time but you are not going anywhere.
2) Dwelling in the past. The past has gone, so it doesn’t exist, so what is the point dwelling on something that is no longer real? If you do this then you are just filling your time with suffering about what could have been.
3) Trying to save time: When we try to save time we make mistakes, eat bad food, don’t look after ourselves, create stress through rushing and we are the least productive when we are forcing events to be stuffed into a limited time frame. Just take a couple of things out of your day.
4) Trying to help people that don’t want to be helped. Some people are on a path that is their path only. Trying to help them change or be better is wasting your time. Change needs to come from them.
Productive use of time:
1) Be in the moment. This eliminates worry, anxiety and stress. When you are present to what is happening now you realise that you can’t force or change anything. When you see this you will stop pushing and struggling and be more accepting of what is happening in your one precious life.
2)Taking time out in your day for the important things. Making some time to think about the big questions in life. Wondering about your place in life and what you special gifts and talents are. Contemplating how you can serve others by using your unique gifts.
3) Being productive. Cooking beautiful food, gardening, painting or producing something that makes your life beautiful and lights other people up.
4) Investing time in good people. People you love, your family and friends, those that need and want your help.
Practice for today: Make a mental list of what is good use of your time and not such good use. You may have 10,000 days, you may have ten, use them wisely.