I want to do it all! I want to travel, sing and dance, write and give workshops, teach, have time for friends, read a book every day, entertain, have long conversations with good friends, etc, etc, etc.
However, I soon find myself at odds with time. There are only so many hours in a day after all and unless I can somehow come to terms with what I am able to do each day, I will soon become dis-stressed.
Since I had made the decision long ago to avoid harmful stress, the choices I make are important. While I can’t control events, I am the one who chooses to be in charge of my life. That includes how I choose to respond to events and circumstances.
So then – how do we choose between all the things we want to do?
First, become flexible.
Accept the fact that there will be times when we will overextend ourselves. It is our turn to serve on the board of our organization, be involved in community projects that benefit us all, etc. Adjust your schedules to accommodate these time periods. Then learn to say No.
Second, become mindful of how you spend your time.
How much time is wasted on meaningless habits every day? We are often unaware of how much time we waste every day that we can use for doing the things that are important to us. For example, we can limit mindless chatter with others during lunch break and use that time instead for more productive moments: go for a walk, read that book, do some long range planning, phone a friend who is going through tough times, etc. We will remain in these mundane habits until we make a conscious choice to change them.
Third, choose to make your life meaningful
Pay attention to those activities in life that feed your soul, renew your spirit and leave you energized. If I eliminate these things from my life, life can soon become oppressive. They are as important to our lives as eating and sleeping. Focus on those that are truly meaningful to you and let the others go. What things can be combined?
Managing our time can be a source of intense pressure and dis-stress or it can be exciting and a source of joy and purpose. What we choose to do with our time will be different for each of us. We are all given 24 hours every day. We are the ones who decide how we will use that time. As we become more proficient in regulating ourselves and our time, we will be amazed at all the things we can do.