Years ago, I realized that when I said that I didn’t have time to do something, I was creating a false reality. There is time, it is just a matter of priorities. Do I watch TV or do ___? Do I do the dishes or ____? Do I spend time with the kids of ___? Do I sleep or ____? Shower or ____? Eat or ____? Cook or ____? Hang-out on Facebook or ___?
There are time-sucks in our lives, indulgences, vices, and worst of all, distractions from our real work here.
It is the latter in which I am most interested, mainly because I have the rest mostly under control. But this trick likely would work in some form or another for other ineffectual uses of time. And I feel that time is really the most precious resource we have, because we need health for more and better time, time for family connection, time to fulfill our life purpose. In a lot of ways, it all comes down to time.
So think about what it is that you want to do with your life right now that you are not doing. Do you want to exercise? Reduce consumption of unhealthy foods and drinks? Spend more time with family? Say ‘thank you’ more often? Volunteer? Pray?
Write down at least the top 3 things that you most want to do in your life. I like to put them on a sticky note then take a photo of them.
Then consider what it is that you do that keeps you from doing something more beneficial with your time.
Where and when do you do it? Why do you do it?
And I am not saying that all time has to be used with what we consider ‘honorable’ pursuits. I think that well-chosen games, television, movies, reading, sitting with a cup of tea can all be very good uses of time. So look at the time you use where you feel, at the end, like you are no better afterwards for having done it than you were beforehand.
You can say a prayer about it, asking for help using your time more purposefully. You can ask for help with removing any fears you have about using your time more purposefully [sometimes we are afraid of failing at the thing we really want to do, for instance, so we occupy our time with other activities and tasks instead]. Or sometimes we do a lot of reading and listening but not a lot of putting into action. So acknowledge to yourself, then ask for help if it resonates, and when you are ready, take some action.
You can take steps to reduce the likelihood of engaging in the distraction — take the distracting game off of your phone or computer. Put the book someplace where you can read it but then put it down and put what you read to good use. Or put in place the items that would help you do what you most want to do — thank-you cards where you normally distract yourself with something else, an exercise regimen at the kitchen island, a journal by your bedside.
Or the Top 3 sticky note can easily be duplicated and put in the places where you are most likely to drain your time. You can take a photo of the sticky note and put it on your lock screen or computer screensaver. Use it as a reminder that there are things you want to accomplish in your life, in your time here, in this moment right now. Remember that anything you want to accomplish has a component that can be done in a short space of time. Even exercise can be done in short spurts at home [there are programs out there for that!]. The next time you choose, you will be able to choose more consciously.
Ummm … now I’ve gotta go find a sticky note!