Time, time, time. It’s the one thing none of us can purchase more of as a raw resource. This is unfortunate, but it also does give us the motivation to make the most of our days and years respectively. The beauty of saving time and also staying in the present is a tightrope we must all walk. Additionally, saving time is not always the immediately beneficial allowance we may hope to gain.
For example, it might be that only taking that one shortcut to work prevents us from driving through the picturesque areas of our town, and while it may shorten the journey by a few minutes, is it worth a poorer, more tense driving experience? It’s up to you to decide. Additionally, you may decide to throw in all of your white and colored laundry together in order to save time against multiple washes, but the time it takes to purchase a new unstained shirt might completely erode this first intention.
Is there a balance of saving time while also staying in the present? Or is it somewhat hilarious to think of this as possible in the first instance? Of course, we’re not here to tell you how exactly to live your life, but we think we have some practical advice that could help you manage this process each day. Let us begin:
Making Use Of Dead Time
There are certain acceptable allowances of ‘dead time’ we factor into our week. For example, chores and commuting often take up the brunt of this. We know that we have to clean our homes or take the train an hour each way to and from work, and we have resigned ourselves to that as a fact of life. But there’s no reason why this time should be mindless. In fact, downloading audio books or podcasts can help you learn something new, hear fascinating conversations with fascinating people, and also feel quite invigorated by inspirational speech.
This can certainly help you texture your mindset. There’s no reason why over the months you cannot consume several paperbacks in this fashion. It’s truly something worthwhile to take part in. That being said, services such as swiftclean.com offer excellent housekeeping services to ensure that this time needn’t be dead in the first place, perhaps giving you more time to spend with your family and loved ones. Remember, in 2019 nearing closer to 2020, there’s often a great alternative to stay mentally occupied or to lighten your load should you invest in that.
We can often see meditation as some kind of kooky self-help practice, and this is especially true for those who have little desire to partake in it. But the truth is that meditation should be considered as vital as exercise, and perhaps even as vital as sleep. While you can function without it of course, the resounding benefits it can grant your day really shouldn’t be ignored if you can help against doing so.
Let us say that someone commits to a vipassana technique for thirty minutes each morning. We would consider that time out of our schedule. But the truth is that meditation adds time to your day, because it’s training you to be more focused in the present moment and more aware of what is happening around you. This means that the actual quantity of your ‘lived experience’ increases, because you are less likely to enter long daydreaming sessions, procrastinate, and remain indicative or mentally exhausted after a long day.
Additionally, the reduction in stress and boost in feelings of wellbeing and peace that this habit promotes can help you feel like a new person from top to bottom, and this is not a silly thing to ignore or consider impossible to achieve. Through a small amount of practice each morning and perhaps each night, you can truly see how you can make the most of your days without worrying about if this is too much of a timesink or not. Please read the guides we have linked to see just how this can be the case.
What Are You Saving Time For?
We may consider just what we are saving time for in the first place. We can get to the answer by figuring out what is most important to us. Time, after all, is one of the most valuable things we have, and that means investing it in something is a statement of value. You might place ‘family’ at the top of your priority pyramid. This means that if you take a longer walk through the park back from school while talking to your child, you may spend more time on the route, but you and your child are bonding in a nicer environment while walking home. Surely that’s more important than anything else, provided you have time for the essentials of life management and health.
When you consider what you are saving time for, you can avoid counting every single lost minute and following a militarized schedule and instead feel grateful for what you have in front of you. Additionally, you may set up regular time investments such as a movie night with your spouse, or perhaps a crafts weekend afternoon with your child. It’s these little plans that help you make use of time without being too aggressive with how you plan your days.
Keep A Journal
While keeping track of every single minute is not a feasible option, keeping track over each hour and presiding over your thoughts throughout the day can help you gain more of a cohesive understanding of the life you live. As Socrates said, perhaps a touch harshly, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’
You would be surprised just how much writing down notes, thoughts or engagements can help you keep track over your day. Additionally, it can help you squeeze the most out of what you are experiencing, because you’re keeping your ideas for improvement fresh, you’re noting your best thoughts, and you’re expressing your emotions through writing. Keeping a journal such as this can be a freeing and restorative act, as effective as meditation. In fact, researchers who had students commit to a free writing course for thirty minutes in their own time once a day found that they were 30% less likely to drop out of their college course should they keep up with this practice. Try it - see how it benefits you.
Keeping A Routine
A routine is often the most effective improvement anyone can have over their day. We are creatures of habit. Often, we crave schedule, the ability to move forward and overcome, and the willingness to improve. When we have a stable routine, we can improve it. We can also gain a number of health benefits such as sticking to the same sleeping schedule and thus making the most out of the precious hours of the morning and night.
Additionally, it can help us keep up with practices we may wish to retain as part of our schedule, such as reading before bed, keeping a solid hygiene and grooming practice or being prepared for the engagements we expect to attend to over the next day. Keeping a routine is not always an easy process, but it can be thoroughly worthwhile if you ease yourself into one and become accustomed to it.
A Work/Life Balance
Productivity is important. It’s also not the only thing to live for. It’s important to strike a healthy balance of productivity each day and to relax and rest for an adequate amount of time. However, most people live with an imbalance here. Most are well-trained at their jobs, work hard and know they must remain productive to get the best out of life. But then when they haven’t much to do they feel fidgety, unable to rest, as if they have to do something or perish.
But learning how to make use of downtime and to relax is essential. It’s a real skill. It’s not simply just switching on Netflix, but reading something that interests you, partaking in a relaxing hobby, listening to an album all the way through while meditating or trying yoga. You may say that it is your solemn duty to learn how to enjoy yourself. If you can achieve that, as many have done, then you can find a sense of peace in downtime, and the natural balance of work and life can meet in the middle.
This sounds so obvious and easy, but it isn’t. It’s something we have to practice. Making use of your practice talents to this end could help you avoid burning out and becoming too relaxed at both extremes, and enjoy what helps us all save time with the present - becoming focused and balanced.
With this advice, you are sure to achieve the vital task of learning how to correctly manage your time, but not to do so in an aggressive or fraught manner. It can be hard to achieve, but you’ll know when you do. We hope this advice can help you on your journey.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.