If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of. — Bruce Lee
Making the most of our time sounds great. We can cut off all the little corners, and squeeze more into any given day than we could have wished for. It’s easy to crave this new pace and want an even greater edge over the next person. All of this work, in hopes that we get a promotion, a new title, or more attention.
But there are always tradeoffs that are part of this process. We lose sleep, joy, and our sanity in attempts to increase efficiency. When we make our schedule so tight, we assume that everything will go the way we plan. If it doesn’t, even if it’s for a reason outside of our control, it throws off our schedule and everything piles up, including our levels of stress.
Sometimes this is necessary, yet other times we just think it is. In a society where productivity is the prize, stuffing our days full of tasks seems like the next logical step. I’ve been there and chances are, you have too.
What if we had extra room in our life? What if we left time around the tasks that we had each day, and focused more on giving time to the tasks that are important? So, when things did go longer than expected, it’d be okay because we allowed extra room for that in our schedule. By the time our head hit the pillow, we were happy because we made sure to make time for the tasks, and the people, that we find important.
This change doesn’t mean being lazy or only doing things when you feel like it. It’s about being kind to yourself. Look at your schedule with a realistic mindset instead of one that’s all about productivity.
Start with giving yourself a five minute time window to allow yourself more room for big tasks or projects. Use this extra time to collect your thoughts, drink some water, or just to breathe and be present. It’ll leave you with more energy, clarity, and focus as you begin the next thing on the list.
Productivity is great, but your time and attention are limited. Use it on what matters most.1