For me, one of the greatest gifts of getting older is the increasing awareness of my mortality and the finiteness of my time on this incredible planet. I call this a great gift because it’s made me a lot more judicious when it comes to how I spend my time. I don’t settle for time-wasters that don’t serve a purpose in my life or allow me to create meaning in lives of others.
Whether we like it or not, the sand grains in the hourglass of our life is sifting down moment by moment. This necessitates the need to ask ourselves two important question on a regular basis: are we really making the most of our time here on Earth? Are we living our lives in a way that not only satisfies our desires but also gives us the opportunity to contribute towards improving the lives of our loved ones and our global family?
- How we experience time
- How we organize our time and prioritize
Let’s begin with the concept of how we experience time.
Everyone experiences time differently depending on the quality of their awareness at any given moment. Do you remember your experiences as a child? Do you remember how time stood still and everything seemed to stretch on forever? The reason why children have such strong “present moment awareness” is because they are totally immersed in the present moment.
When we grow up, this “present moment awareness” begins shifting as we become more distracted by the world around us. We develop a tendency to get stuck in the past or too focused on the future and because of this, we completely miss out on the richness of our experiences and our sense of time gets distorted.
So if we want to get the most out of every moment, we need to slow down and learn to live in the moment. Here are some tips on how this can be accomplished:
1- Give your 100% attention to everything you do. Be fully present and make an effort to engage all your senses so that you can take in everything that an experience or person has to offer.
2- Take longer and deeper breaths and practice gratitude.
3- Schedule some alone time that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of your daily life. Use this time to relax, reflect or do the things you love.
4- Keep away from too much media and technology such as smart phones, social media and watching/reading the news. This not only distract your thoughts but also is a heavy drain on your time.
5- Schedule special times during the week when you can “digest experiences” on a deeper level. I like to use this time to journal or read spiritual books. This helps you see the big picture of your life and the subtle interconnectedness of all the threads in your life.
In this way you can “stretch” time and get a lot more out of every moment.
The next step, for getting the most of your time, is to sharpen your time management skills. There are loads of books and programs written about time management so I’m going to boil it down to three main steps:
1- Get clear on what really matters to you by determining your values, life purpose and your goals.
2- Figuring out what it will take to get there in terms of resources such as time, money, effort, activities.
3- Balance your time between activities that will take you closer to your goals with other priorities in your life such as your career, relationships, hobbies, and health.
This inside-out approach towards time management ensures that you are spending your time doing what really matters to you and serves your highest calling. You stop getting distracted by the things and people who drain you and you begin shifting your focus to what feels right for you.
See our life as one big mosaic; you are the artists and your brush is time. As the artist you get to choose how you want to paint your mosaic using your brush. With carefully planned strokes you have the power to create a masterpiece with the most beautiful colors and imagery possible!
All my best on your journey,
Question for you: What is your perception of time? Do you feel that you have a lot of time or do you think it’s too less? What can you do to make the most of your time on Earth?
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