This is a question which one of my great mentors Louis Vollebregt poses when there simply isn’t enough time to do everything we want to. There isn’t time to read, there isn’t time to exercise, no time to plan, to meditate, cook decent meals, whatever it is. This is one of the most common reasons for not following through our good resolutions or intentions – be them at the start of the new year or just at that awakening crossroads in life.
So what does Louis mean by this? Of course there are 24 hours in the day (other than when the clocks change – but even then we manage to cope in the Spring), but yet some people seem to be able to cram in far more than others. Some seem to be chaotically busy, whereas others seem to move with a sense of calm and tranquillity throughout the day achieving so much. The question is - ‘Is it better to be productive on what is truly important, or just seem frantically busy doing things?’- who has the best life, who actually gets more done, and who enjoys the day, week, year, life.
So where does the extra hour magically come from? This is the frighteningly simple part! By focussing our time on what is really important to us, by doing the things which provide on-going and long term benefit, in favour of the short term ‘flopping on the sofa and watching trash TV’ type of pleasure, suddenly everything seems to have more space.
Two things to do :
1. Take a blank sheet of paper, and make a 24 hour schedule, then fill it in with what you actually do. There are 96 slots of 15 minutes in each day – so roughly each slot is 1% of your day. Now add it all up and roughly see in percentage terms how you spend your day. Compare that to what is important to you, and see where you can adjust your time spent to really live life to the full.
2. Imagine this is your last day alive – when the clock ticks midnight, that is it. Looking at your time spent today, is that really how you would choose to spend your precious time? Be honest – how much of that really isn’t on your wish list.
Even more frightening is when this is spread over a week, a month, a year and so on.
Suddenly, by looking at things a slightly different way, there is time for what we really want to do and value – we find that time somewhere in those magical 24 hours.
‘Is it better to be productive on what is truly important, or just seem frantically busy doing things?’