Between the Internet, work, hobbies, family and friends, it’s possible to cram an endless amount of stuff into our days.
But, that doesn't mean we should.
We need to have open times in our days, too -- even if they are small ones like waiting for a lunch date to arrive at a restaurant, waiting for conditioner to sink into our hair in the shower or waiting for coworkers to arrive for a meeting at work.
Each of those small moments bridges a gap between now and later, or between here and there, and gives us an opportunity to check in with ourselves and recognize time and the fact that it is passing.
While the thought of intentionally watching time pass may seem about as exciting as watching paint dry, it's actually one of the most valuable investments you can make with your time and your life.
For many people, sitting, waiting, thinking and just being is incredibly uncomfortable, (even if it is only for five minutes.) So, they check Facebook one more time. They clean out their email in-box. They browse the top headlines on Reddit. They IM a friend. They do something (anything) that feels productive.
But, as Chris Hardwick says in his book, The Nerdist Way, all of that perceived productivity comes with a cost…
“The constant distraction of being connected is robbing us of our time. More specifically, it’s robbing our AWARENESS of time. Ultimately, if an hour feels like ten minutes, isn’t that important? What good is an hour if you lack the awareness to experience it?”
Filling all of your free moments with some sort of activity makes time move faster and, as a consequence, makes your life move faster. And, as Hardwick says, “It’s humanly counterintuitive to wish your life to expire faster.”
As boring as it may seem, there is real value in using the open times in your day to sit in silence, or to fully engage with the person right in front of you, or to give yourself the mind space to ask the hard questions that we usually “have no time” to consider…
You may not always learn the answers, but you'll never know if you don't make time to ask the questions.
The time you live, is all the time you have (whether that's until tomorrow or fifty years from tomorrow.) There is no clock ticking down the remaining time you have left and no opportunity to negotiate to get more.
This is your life...right now.
Don't distract yourself from even a minute of it.
I’m a consultant, strategist, author, educator, and speaker with more than 30 years of professional experience. I’m passionately curious, fairly sassy, kinda dorky and seriously good at what I do.