Where did the time go?
Once upon a time I used to read a lot of books. Operative words being used to, as it is rare that you will catch me with a book in my hand these days. Why do I not read anymore? Because I have been trapped in some sort of cyclone of time being sucked down into nothing. Somewhere along the way I have lost time to do the things I love. I am rather upset at the lack of time I give to my old friend, the book. As well as a lot of other things I used to do and get done. I am pressed to keep up with my own schedule! What is happening here, I find myself asking. What is eating up my time? So, while brainstorming this issue last night, I came up with 10 real reasons why we can’t find the time. ‘You only live once’ and ‘time flies’ are accurate idioms to describe how important it is. Hopefully these time sucks I have identified will trigger a realization in your own day-to-day activities. Once identified, you can abolish it, remove it, eradicate it, and reclaim your life!
TEN MAJOR TIME WASTERS
and tips to reclaim it
- 1. TV – Nothing needs to be said here. We have heard all our lives to quit watching so much television. Pick one or two shows and only watch them. If you find yourself watching something you don’t even really like, or re-runs, its time to get up and do something else!
- 2. Procrastination – It’s that little voice in the back of our heads that says, “Oh, I’ll do it later” or “I’ll get around to it.” No you won’t, so you might as well just go ahead and do it! I see stuff all around me that I’ve said I will get to later. Somehow I manage to not do all those things that need to be done. It makes for a messy and un-organized life.
- 3. Late Nighters – Are you a night owl? Do you find yourself up at 2 or even 3 am? Yes, bed time is a retreat from the busy world we live in. It’s where your mind can become quiet and you can concentrate on things you want or need to do. Some of us make our bedtime into a busy couple of hours. This is not good! You need that rest! If you lose sleep you will not be at your best. If you’re walking around groggy all day, not a lot will get done. So even if you’re reading a delicious book, limit your free time there and get some rest.
- 4. Worry and Anger – You don’t get a lot done while you’re ringing your hands in worry. Worry keeps us immobilized, frozen in fear. I’ll let this quote sum up how useless this time-consuming plague is. “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” – Corrie Ten Boom. Along with worry, don’t let anger get the best of you either. Letting things make our blood boil only gives them more strength. Don’t sweat the small stuff is more than a cute saying. Work on letting things go so you can have more time to concentrate on things that deserve our time instead of being angry at things that should really be ignored.
- 5. Super Hero Complex – This is what I call people who stay in horrible relationships, trying to make things work. In the end it never does and look at all the time that was wasted. I’m not just talking about romantic relations here either. There are all types of relationships, and all are included in this category. We are compelled by certain people to stay in unhealthy relationships for many reasons. Why stay with something doomed? You could have spent all that time building something worth while, working on yourself, or lending your time to a better world. Be honest with yourself and your situations. Only you can decide when its time to move on.
- 6. Waiting in line – Oh my goodness the time we spend waiting! Simple fix here though. Use this time to do your social networking, reading that good book, or anything else that requires quiet, alone time. Flipping through a magazine is fine, but this is an unsolicited time-out. Use it to get some time-consuming things you really like to do, done!
- 7. Social Networking and Social Networking Games – Ok, I’ll just say this straight forward, in the old days, before the internet, I was not consumed with my old school chums many random, day-to-day thoughts. All these social networking sites have sucked us in. We crave the daily contact. We crave the approval of our own thoughts and activities. In addition to the social aspect of these sites, they also offer super fun games to play. Did you get your crops harvested??? Look at my new score! It can be very addicting. I am very guilty of spending a lot of time using such sites. Maybe that is why you never see me with a book anymore! Limitations can be a good thing.
- 8. Your Phone – Phones these days are basically tiny computers in our pockets. You can easily chit-chat with your buddy across the planet or try to beat someone’s high score. All the apps, cameras, texting, and shiny, whistle blowing things we can do with our phones! You can spend hours staring at it! I was thoroughly disgusted when I watched an entire family sit down to eat at a local resteraunt, barely spoke two words to each other while all four of their heads pointed downwards at their phones. We are losing real life social skills. We don’t take the time to communicate unless it’s over the phone. Again, limitations are fundamental.
- 9. Winging It – When we go at anything with no plan, a lot of time gets waisted on trial and error, and forgotten aspects. Whatever you do, have a plan. Even if you have to write it down, do it. Forethought never does us wrong.
- 10. Our Kids! – Yes, that is right, our kids suck up so much of our time. Cutting down on extra-curricular activities not only takes a lot of pressure off your kid, but gives you back a lot of your time. No more running from game to game. Limit them to one, maybe two activities per year. That is enough to broaden little Jack or Jane’s horizons and make for less stress. Do you feel like you are always doing something for someone else? Have no time to yourself? If you answered yes, you can reclaim even more time by teaching them to fend for themselves. Not with everything though! Our kids still need to be supervised, and have some quality time spent with them, but a ten year old can be taught to do his or her own laundry. Delegate, delegate, delegate! It gives your kids some real-life skills and lets you get on to the next thing!
I hope my late night thoughts on where my time goes has helped you. I have targeted a few things that I am rescheduling/restructuring so I can do some of the things I love. Please let me know your thoughts on this issue. I need all the time I can get!