The most precious currency…
What greater gift is there to give to yourself, or to your loved ones, than the gift of time. It’s November 1st and I am dumbstruck as to where this year has gone. Flown, is an understatement! And while time going quickly has some pros (for example, waiting for my besties return from her two year stint overseas), it can embed with it a sense of panic. What if I run out of time? What if I don’t get something done? And walking hand in hand with panic is rushing. Nothing makes me feel worse than when I have to hurry time with the people I care about. In an ideal world I want to hear what they have to say, feel their highs and lows with them as they share details of their lives with me and pay them the respect I feel they deserve by giving them my undivided attention. Sadly, the reality is I’ll be listening to a loved one talk, and at the same time be thinking about how I have to be at my next destination within the hour (and on the way I need to get petrol and call mum). Upon bidding my dearests farewell, rather than feeling fulfilled and recharged from spending my time nourishing a friendship, a sense of dullness and guilt can creep in instead. Why can’t I be a better friend? Why aren’t there more hours in the day?
TIME is what it is. We can’t race against it so there’s no point even trying. But in the same way we may have a savings account, current account and credit card, we don’t want empty savings, to be in our overdraft and maxing out on credit when it comes to how we spend time.
So what can be done? Invest wisely.
Use your YES sparingly. Maybe you don’t have to do everything.
Commit to the moment. Listen to the person in-front of you without distraction. If you said yes to them, then you’ve already decided they are as precious as time. Give the task at hand undivided attention so that when you move on to the next commitment you feel satisfied, not guilty.
Change your language. How many times a day do you use the phrase “I need to” rather than “I want to”. For example, “I need to go to see my mum” vs “I want to go and see my mum”. Or the gym. Or work. Or walk the dog or whatever. This shift in perspective can make you see the value in how you are spending your time and although there are always things we need to do, if you don’t want to do them then is there another way?
And get some credit in your savings account. Meditate. Do yoga. Go for a walk without your phone. Close your eyes and just pay attention to your breathing for a minute. Reclaim your time as your own by doing something without distraction.
At this time of year as the weather changes, immunity drops and stress levels rise as the diaries fill with things we must do before Christmas and the end of the year. People are more likely to get sick now because of this self induced hurry. Treat your time as if it were your money.
Being busy is so last year. Reclaim your time with some mindfulness and watch your relationships bloom and your stress levels dwindle.