When asked, "How are you?" how often do you respond, "busy as always", or "good, but I never have enough time." What exactly is this elusive time that we feel we want more of, and where does the time go?
If you consider all the time you need to work, commute, eat, wash, sleep, exercise, and be social, we probably have much less available time than we imagine. But is there a way we could be more productive or more strategic with our time?
The best way to stay focused and not get distracted by time munching tasks is getting a good dose of intentionality. This means that when you wake up each morning, ask yourself what you are going to achieve today?
This is key, as in the modern world we are constantly finding ourselves to be distracted - with email and social media alerts, advertising, checking our phones etc. Email, is an especially draining use of free time. One way around this is to set a time in the day, especially to deal with non-essential email. Don't be tempted to open and read an email unless it is related to the task you want to achieve that morning. If it isn't, but it's potentially something that adds to what is meaningful and purposeful in your life (or is just plain fun and for the sake of it), drag it into a 'to read' folder for when you want to allocate time to this.
"Intentionality fuels the master's journey," wrote George Leonard in his book, Mastery. This thought provoking pocket sized book about the path to mastery provides wisdom and guidance you can apply to achieving mastery in anything. An essential first step is you have to first hold the feeling or the vision of what you want to achieve.
For example, maybe you are wanting to master healthier eating habits.
If you plan the next three day's meals and order a home delivery to match and make your evening meals into enjoyable events where you maybe sit and be present with someone else, light a candle and really taste the food you eat; how that will feel? Visualise how it would feel. Then set about implementing your strategy and tell yourself off if you get distracted or waver from your intended path. Self-talk can be very powerful.
Going Deeper into Things
Besides beefing up your intentionality, practice going deeper into things - into relationships - really getting to know someone, listening intently, feeling what they are feeling. Or feed your creative juices and get stuck into a creative process uninterrupted - it could be design, baking, brainstorming or mind mapping.
So, if you are successful at this, at staying on task and getting the important things done so you free up some time, what are you going to do with the extra time you make for yourself?
Be honest - are you making time so you can do more or are you making time so you can relax - just be or tap into your neglected creative and playful side?
This is the nugget of gold. Make the time so you can sit, can see what's in front of you. So you can be creative, think deeply, see the big picture, and find new connections between things. In summary, be more interesting and interested!
It's time to get off the time treadmill once and for all and create that delicious space to do a bit of being this summer.