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Waste of Time

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
Michael Althsuler

Why do we waste time?
Time is finite on this earth of ours. I find myself wasting moments that I should cherish.
We worry about things we can’t control and take for granted ones we love.

“I understood that if I wish to understand life and its meaning, I must not live the life of a parasite, but must live a real life, and — taking the meaning given to live by real humanity and merging myself in that life — verify it”.
Leo Tolstoy

We spent time chasing material goods rather than accepting what we are and relishing in it.
When was the last time you took a deep breath and appreciated it – taste it – savor it?
When did we hug someone we love just because?
When was the last walk in the sunshine with headphones on during a busy day?
What really are we waiting for?

“I believe there are more urgent and honorable occupations than the incomparable waste of time we call suffering.”
Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

Essence

Wasted time
Trickles down a crystal-cold mountain stream
Then in joining –
Floats lightly – seems almost to hover
Over the lake’s blue stillness;
Restless, it flits with dragonfly wings
Courts the subtle pine scent
That whispers of a forest banquet,
Sword-heavy tree-tops
Furry squirrel play
And contemplation.
But time isn’t wasted
Thoughts cast adrift
Can be profound
Can echo – ‘cross the world
And in a moment translucent
With suspended God-breath
Whooshhhhh –
Beauty makes
A difference.
–Author Unknown

Time Management

Belinda Munoz from the website:–“Tiny Buddha – Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives” shared “40 Ways to Use Time Wisely.”

Belinda states: “Time management systems abound and still, we flounder and falter at making the most of every sunrise. We plan for the future and neglect to cherish the present. We’d rather look back wistfully even though the future is full of hope. And yet, for many of us, it seems there are not enough hours in a day. We cram all that goes with living into twenty-four hours of ticking, bargaining with Father Time, naively expecting him to budge to our willful and resolute intentions to produce more, accomplish more, and be more.”

Belinda breaks down the 40 ways to use time in categories and suggests options to improve upon in each area:

Live It Up

  • Live in the moment.
  • Practice love-in-action.
  • Resist the urge to rush.
  • Single-task.
  • Do things that bring joy and require little to no effort.
  • Say yes when you mean it.
  • Do nothing. Instead, play.
  • Steal It
  • Block out a chunk of time only for yourself.
  • Make an appearance but don’t linger.
  • Take a vacation day.
  • Wake up earlier/go to bed later. (Habitual lack of sleep not recommended. Better sleep is.)
  • Delegate a task to your child (i.e. put toys away, make his or her bed, etc.)
  • Push back a deadline.
  • Double-task (i.e. go for a hike with a friend, an activity that takes care of two—social and physical—facets of your life).

Be Fierce

  • Do only those things that matter.
  • Limit (not cut out completely) dawdle time.
  • End a conversation/relationship that isn’t going anywhere.
  • Stop doing things that don’t bring joy or results.
  • Cancel a commitment
  • Skip a task.
  • Silence all distractions.
  • Choose a task or a path. Don’t relent. Focus.
  • Say no.

Call Up Your Inner Sage

  • Take a minute to list what you’d like to accomplish while being realistic about how long each item will take to complete.
  • Arrive late/leave early (aka swoop in/swoop out—not recommended for one-on-one meetings).
  • Show up for things that matter.
  • Keep doing things that work.
  • Multi-task (laundry, dishes, Crockpot and Roomba/iRobot work well simultaneously with little drama).
  • Take advantage of in-between times (i.e. sneak an important two-minute call between appointments, take a few minutes for micro-meditation moments).
  • Respond/engage only when you’re ready.
  • Let efficiency increase naturally (don’t force it).
  • Do only those things that have an urgent deadline
  • Screen calls/scan e-mails.
  • Partner with another taskmaster and take turns doing each other favors.
  • Make chores fun (crank up Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” dance around and get some exercise in).

Succumb To Its Might

  • Ask for help (hire a professional or an intern or enlist a volunteer).
  • Let things be (wrinkles, jiggles, warts and all).
  • Let go of guilt and enjoy every second.
  • Do you have a healthy relationship with time? What are some ways you’ve made peace with time?

Conclusions

Managing our time is taking control of our lives. We are the mechanism to creating our happiness. We are taught to give of our time to make a living in this day and age, give to others precious time but to what extent does it become a mandate versus a choice?

I am now creeping up on 60. What used to be important to me as lost its luster and I am finding solace in the fact I am who I am and it is time to gather what time I have left and make the best of it.

Yes, I have regrets but what can I really affect? Can I move back the clock and change past thoughts and actions? Can I move forward worrying about details I have no effect over? In reality, all I have is the here and now and understanding how to take control of it rather than it controlling me.

Days become weeks and weeks become months and before you know it, you’re blowing out another added candle on the cake. Take back your life, become aware of the precious commodity called time, and control it before it controls what it’s left of yours.

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flown. How did it get so late so soon?”
–Dr. Seuss

Clock photo available from Shutterstock

Waste of Time