As the saying goes, time flies — but you are the pilot. How are you navigating your 168 hours every week?
Yep, we get less than 200 hours per week to play with. If I do the math right, (I do have an accounting degree, after all), we get 10,080 minutes each week. Do you spend a lot of them binge watching NetFlix?
No judging here. Do what floats your boat. If a marathon of Drop Dead Diva feels fun, go for it. Because as another saying goes, you are the captain of your ship. (Yes, I know the line is actually “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” I have an English degree too.) But if you just plunk down and randomly search for anything to watch to “kill time,” you are putting the knife in the heart of some precious minutes. (Nope, no theater degree, just a drama queen.)
Where does the time go? Can we recycle it or does it end up in a landfill?
We all lament the passing of time but don’t take up the reins to manage it better. People late in life often say if they could turn back the hands of time, they would have paid more attention to how they spent their time. The thing is, time is always in our hands. Now. We get to choose what to do with those hours.
If we treated time like money (“Time is money!”) and had some kind of physical tokens that disappeared with each hour, would that change our behavior? Would we be more cognizant and mindful of our choices of how we spend that time?
Maybe an hour glass that we flip each day is a good exercise. To have the visual aid of seeing the representation of seconds and minutes passing is a good reminder to use my grains of sand for my joy and be grateful for every day I get to flip the hourglass and start again.
Many people now set timers for themselves when they start perusing their social media feeds. That’s a great tool. Set a timer for 15 minutes of Facebook or YouTube videos or whatever venue catches you in a time suck. You might just be able to reclaim an hour (or more) of your day.
Another tip is to set your phone to chime each hour (if you don’t have a grandfather clock to do the same). When you hear the ding dong, you check in with yourself and evaluate how your day is going and how you can feel good the next hour. Re-focusing every hour is a huge boon to productivity, no matter what you are doing.
As Louisa May Alcott wrote in 1868 in Little Women: “Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.”
That’s all this conversation is about. The worth of time. You get to decide. When you get to your old age, you might not want to feel that you squandered your time. So now, every day, every hour, PLAY with your time. Institute more free time. By the way, the only way to have more free time is to take it. If you wait until time for it, you never will.
Everything, perhaps, is a matter of perspective. Henry Austin Dobson wrote: “Time goes, you say? Ah no! Alas, Time stays, we go.”
We do. Be delighted that you get to pilot a bit of time. Where do you want to fly with it?