Time Is Ticking… Are You Using It Wisely?
Our Warped Relationship with Time
Why changing how we view time can drastically shift how we spend our time.
It sounds like a lot of time. The average human life span is 70 years old which is just over 25,000 days. Plenty of time for Netflix binging and lazy days of sleeping in.
But how much time is it really? Factor in sleep and we see that number decrease 30% to 17,500 days or 48 years. Add work and that number falls another 11 years, down to 37 years.
The average person watches 4 hours of TV a day or the equivalent of 12 years in a lifetime. And then there is social media. Based on current statistics of 136 minutes per day, we can expect to spend about 6 years of our lives on social media. Once we account for this time, that leaves us 19 years and we’ve barely scratched the surface.
Does it still feel like a lot of time?
Our relationship with time can be problematic and unhealthy. We often behave as though we have an indefinite amount of time, yet we complain on the daily about never having enough time. We succumb to language like “one day” or “some time”. We interact under the false expectation that there will always be a tomorrow, a next week, a next year, a next time.
Are we present with our time or are we thinking about things we have to do or a previous conversation we had? How do we utilize our time? Are we purposeful and intentional with our time or are we mindlessly going through life, reacting to experiences? Do we view time as scarce and never feel that we have enough? Are we constantly feeling rushed and pressed for time?
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. It doesn’t matter what your profession, where you live, or what you believe. The clock is not something we can control. But how we view time and the energy we bring to our time is something we can manage.
Be Present. Be Aware.
Show up and be fully present in each moment. This is the only guaranteed time you have right now.
If you have children, you have likely heard the saying, “The days are long but the years are short.” Sometimes we forget that these days will soon pass and get caught up in the day to day activities with the anticipation of “one day”. Most of our time with our kids is spent during the first 18 years of their life. For me, thinking in terms of total experiences or events has helped me bring perspective to time. For example, recently I was thinking about summer vacation. My son is already 10 years old and if we have 18 summer vacations together (although, hopefully many more!) I may already have over half of them behind me. This awareness of time has been a gift and helps me to stay present.
Be Intentional. Be Purposeful.
Manage how you show up and interact with others. This includes setting your intention and managing the energy you want to bring. Do the things that matter to you. Schedule them. Plan them. Don’t wait for some day.
On a recent trip to visit my dad, I did the math. If we continued on our current schedule of visiting once a year, based on average life expectancy… WHOA! I had to stop there. My dad is 68 and suddenly it became clear that the time to go fishing together was NOW. Of course, I wish for my dad to live a healthy and active life into his 100’s. But the reality is, we don’t know. None of us know. This is why it is so important to focus on the things that really matter.
Be Kind. Be Gentle.
I once heard Tony Robbins say at his seminar, “The quality of our life is the quality of our relationships.” Be kind to people, including yourself. Show people that are important to you, how much they matter. Don’t carry resentment or keep a scorecard.
Be the first. The first to open a discussion or to admit you’re wrong. Be the first to lean in or to give a hug. Life is short. Time is the best gift we can give ourselves and others.
Be Grateful. Be Generous.
Give and then give more. Gratitude is essential for overall well being. Living in gratitude will bring more things to be grateful for. Be thankful for the time and experiences you have.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”
The truth is, none of us know how much time we have. If we are lucky we live until an old age, but some of us will not be so lucky. Yet we waste our time worrying about things that often never transpire, carry resentment towards people we should often make amends with or lament about things from the past. We wait for someday when no day is guaranteed.
We believe that what we see is true but we don’t see things as they are, we see things as WE are. When we begin to change our perspective of time, we begin to change our relationship with time.
Photo credits: Pixabay, user:annca and user: ijmaki