How Do You Spend Your Time?

Look around you… observe how the people in your life use their time. Don’t be critical—just analytical. Ask questions, keeping in mind there are no wrong answers.

I am currently in London, UK. The square by my hotel has an M&M theme park and it is packed. There are crowds of tourists nearby. It’s Chinese New Year’s. Families are having a great time; children throwing firecrackers (bangers) on the ground and scaring the people around them. The crowds seem to be enjoying their time celebrating the Year of the Horse, gawking at the dragon dancers. It’s great to see them laughing with wide-eyed wonder. Some of these tourists are off to work—including me.

Time is a complex concept; we may never have enough, especially on holiday. And then sometimes we have too much, when we are sitting on an airplane or through a boring speech. Our biological clocks tick away the hours, days and years pushing us in a direction or making us feel incomplete. Time can be beneficial or it can trap us. It’s all in how we use it and navigate through it.

Time is an illusion, a human construct to help human beings manage the world around us. Yet we have very little or no training when it comes to managing it. The time we spend and the decisions we make are so important to where we end up in life; they can change the timeline we are on, the quality of our life and the amount of time we have left. But no one teaches us how to use time wisely. Instead we create distractions or are provided with ways to waste our time.

Why write about time? Because I see time flitter away. Everywhere I travel, I see a segment of the population that have given up in some way. The classic visual with middle-aged people is that they let themselves go (me included). Our bellies precede us. Our physical lives have been overridden by our work, bumps in the road, medical conditions or age. We wear out. I see people who have closer relationships to their retirements and obscurity than they do to the life around them.

How can we change our direction, where we are headed? Let’s start with the inevitable and make good use of the time we have available.

The basics: We have to eat, house ourselves and keep warm. So we work to earn money, to help us and our families survive. We learn, read and pursue hobbies to feed our minds. We love, build relationships and connect with others to fill our need for companionship and to make our world more complete.

What’s next? Everything!

There is nothing to stop you from building yourself and your capabilities, to expand upon your knowledge, your work experience, and your connections at a pace you are comfortable with. You can review on an ongoing basis what is worthwhile to you, what you want to do and compare that to the timewasters. Make a decision. Growth, knowledge and effective use of your time can fuel a passion in you, your family and the people around you. Balance is important. Breathe, pace yourself and keep a realistic goal. We do need downtime, breaks from life, to slow down now and then. Sleep is important—and this is not in disagreement with making an effective use of time.

Physical exercise, keeping your body in shape, weight loss and proper nutrition will help you extend your time and provide you with a better lifetime ahead.

Don’t give up, let go or feel like you have nothing to gain. Your world will be richer, your relationships stronger and your happiness deeper if you pursue a life of building, of growing, of keeping physically active and learning. Do things at your speed; but don’t give up. There are no barriers to growth or to change—except those we create in our own minds.

Time is finite, limited and valuable. What do you do with your time?

One Comment on "How Do You Spend Your Time?"

  1. nadia says:

    yes, yes and yes. Very well said.

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