How often do you hear “I’m so busy” or “There’s not enough time”?
If you’re anything like me, it’s pretty darn often. And as frequent as not, it’s coming out of my very own mouth.
So I tried something a bit wild –
I took the Thanksgiving holiday off.
A l l f o u r d a y s off.
No client sessions, no mastermind groups, no social media, no talks or training, no content creation – not even writing. (In fact, I’m cranking out this Mindful Monday post today, the day you’re receiving it.)
For four straight days, I was still busy.
We think about time as a linear thing. One minute follows the next until it completes the hour, and then the day, week, month, year…
And we use our time based on that concept; particular hours carved out to eat, sleep, work, play, even love. This can be extremely useful. Repeated studies have shown that by attaching a particular time to doing a thing, we’re much more likely to actually do it.
So, go ahead and keep that planner up to date.
But what do we do with all the spaces in between the scheduled bits?
We fill them.
Social media has certainly proven that. For a generation with absolutely no free time, we certainly find a ton of it to engage with our screens and social media.
And that’s OK, no judgment here.
The challenge I’m posing is that perhaps we take a look at how we define our time – and how much of it we use intentionally.
Paying attention to TIME
As an experiment, begin each day this week with the following affirmation. Take 3-5 deep, grounding breaths and repeat “I have all the time I need. Time expands for me.”
Take a look at your scheduled time and remove anything that is not 100% in alignment with your current priorities and add it to a separate list labeled SWING Items.
Each day, when you find yourself in an in-between space – those spaces between scheduled tasks – take a deep breath and choose how you’ll use your time.
Having a snack
Chatting up a friend
Doing something from your Swing list
Cleaning out your top drawer
Taking a walk
For this experiment, what you do is less important than that you choose to do it.
Savor the moment. Do your best to be present, not just with the choice you make, but the thing you’ve chosen to engage in.
At the end of the week, take a few moments to evaluate your experiment.
How did you feel this week?
Did you get more done? Less? The same?
What else did you notice?