Cherish your time and amplify your daily experiences.
The key is not in spending time, but in investing in it. – Stephen Covey
On January 6, 2020, an article in The Telegraph stated that three people in Britain were treated for what is being labeled “binge-watching addiction”.
This is a condition that results from heavy doses of time spent tuning into sites like Netflix and Prime to catch up on the latest streaming series.
Like all addictions, binging is just another opportunity to escape from the daily pressures you prefer to ignore.
Still, when the screen goes black at the end of the evening, where will you find yourself? Did your brief respite from reality leave you feeling restful and emotionally elevated?
Ask yourself honestly, what was accomplished during your binge and could you replace it with something more remarkable than Netflix?
I realize you feel trapped in daily rituals that wear you down. Why not couch yourself and veg a bit? I’ve been there and I understand wholeheartedly. You feel engulfed in a world of constant distraction, noise, and interruptions that compete for your time. How could you possibly spawn something satisfying like a new career, relationship, or health practice? Your plate is full. So yeah, curl up and let yourself fade away into another episode of Outlander.
you could turn a new page by asking more of yourself. After all, you are in control of your life. You could expand your mind by learning a new subject on Skillshare or Udemy. You could create your own self-guided learning program. You could go for a walk and prepare a nourishing meal to energize your body. You could convert your binge time to sleep time and feel more refreshed the next day. You absolutely could.
Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.” – Theophrastus.
Why is “time” so precious?
Time is a series of “now” moments. When those moments are strung together, they give you the perception of a timeline that becomes your past, present and future. Let that notion sink in for a bit.
Each “now” moment offers you a choice-point – a point in time to make a new choice that shifts your timeline and outcomes. When you make a new choice, you create a new experience. A new experience is a new life.
This moment right now is all that matters.
You own your choices, and you own your time. You have 168 hours of time per week to thoughtfully choose daily activities that maximize your life experiences by getting you closer to the best version of you.
Why would you waste even one of those hours on anything that moves you away from what you deeply desire for yourself? If you’ve ever been in love then you know the feeling of time stopping when you’re doing something you enjoy. It’s as if you’ve been suspended in your reality. The clock keeps ticking, but you’re oblivious to it because your bliss hastens you away from all other distractions.
The good news…it is possible to live that way all the time if you can learn to more effectively invest in your now moments.
Life, if well lived, is long enough. – Seneca
How can you stretch time?
Below are 15 suggestions you can implement today that are guaranteed to help you shift your internal programming so that you can begin maximizing your time. Pick one and commit to it for 30 days and make note of how it changes your life.
- Implement the 5-hour rule. This rule was coined by Michael Simmons, the founder of Empact. The idea is that the most successful people invest a minimum of 5 hours per week reading and learning something new. This methodology stretches your mind and leads to greater creativity in the long run. My personal preference is to make space for learning first thing in the morning while I’m savoring my first cup of coffee.
- Utilize time-blocking to accomplish important tasks. In your planner, block out time for important tasks and stick to it without interruption. Build a buffer around each block, say 15 minutes or so, for unexpected time adjustments.
- Manage your mental, emotional, and physical energy. When your productivity wanes, stop and take a break to refresh or shift to another more stimulating task. But don’t produce when your bucket has emptied. You create best when you’re vitalized.
- Learn to say no to distractions. If it doesn’t move you closer to what you value and help you create your overall vision for the various aspects of your life, say no! It’s not worth your time.
- Make space for reflection. Looking back on your day allows you to appreciate all that you’ve accomplished and the abundance that you’ve experienced. Reflection time also provides the solitude and stillness you require to stop thought and receive your inner instructions. Remember, the ego mind chatters. The authentic-self whispers. So, get quiet and be guided.
- Ask others to help you get things done. Being a martyr is overrated and delegation is honorable. Allow others to partner with you by sharing their skills and talents.
- Learn to tap into your flow state and coast on the momentum you generate. You’ll get more done in less time. I’ll share more about flow states in a future post.
- Random thoughts need a place to land so that your mind is peaceful. Write them down in a planner.
- Remind yourself that “you can have it all, but you can’t have it all right now.” Stop trying to do everything today.
- Structure your activities into bite-sized chunks that are manageable and balanced. This will keep stress at bay. If it doesn’t feel good, it isn’t actionable. Adjust your attitude and the size of the task until it feels exciting again.
- Organize your space so that it supports time enhancement and not time consumption. Make your space beautiful so that you want to be there.
- Lean into technology only when it enhances simplicity.
- Do one task at a time and give it your full attention so that you can be fruitful and able to move onto the next task quickly.
- Create flexible annual, monthly, weekly, and daily goals for your life. Expect the unexpected. Plans are meant to be fun and spontaneous, especially when a change improves the end results.
- Be meticulous about the social media you partake in. Your mind is not a wasteland.
Yes, you can still tune into your favorite online media venues.
Listen, it’s not altogether wrong to watch television or Netflix. Following the occasional online series for the pure pleasure of getting lost in a feel-good experience has its virtues. Those moments exist to offer us a new way of feeling spirited and that alone has value as long as it doesn’t get in the way of something more provocative for your life. Keep that in mind as you make your choices.
Time is what you make of it. It’s always your choice. You can pack it full of beauty or you can pack it full of nothing. But in the end, what you choose to pack it full of, becomes your life.
So, pack carefully. And forever be in-joy.
Download my free Happy Ways of Being guide and learn how to elevate and maintain positive feelings through journaling.