Each day we are alive and breathing is a blessing. Although we tend to take each day for granted, and assume that the next day, week, month, and year are guaranteed, they are not. We only truly have the present moment. We never know when our time will expire, so we need to begin living like there are no guarantees on our time, because this is the reality.
When is the last time that you really thought about your time in this way? Have you ever?
Life flies by, and the older we get, the faster time seems to move. The mystery of the speed of time is unknown but we are all consumed by the concept. The awareness of our aging minds and bodies may be one reason that time seems to speed up as we mature. As children, we are most often unaware of time and the precious nature of the clock.
When you think of time, it should not be a defeating thought. This article is not one of those “bucket-list” recommendations either. (Do not go out and close your bank account and max out your credit cards, because the likelihood is that you will need them for much longer than you think.) Just start considering how you currently spend your time, value time, and who you include in your time. And begin seriously considering how you use your time, because it is not guaranteed.
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME?
Are your days consumed by work, work, and more work?
Do you often neglect those most important to you?
Are you meeting your personal goals and dreams?
Do you often feel like you accomplish nothing during your days?
These are the type of questions to consider when you think about the ways you spend time. Visualize your time as money. Each item that you do (or do not do) during each day has a dollar value. What dollar value would you assign to your activities? Are you living a meaningful life, including those most important to you, taking advantage of opportunities, accomplishing your goals?
All of this can be a delicate balancing act, but we have to begin to look at our time in this way, or we end up regretting what we deciding to spend our time on. If you are not using your time in the most meaningful way to you, then its time to do some re-prioritizing. Spend your time wisely.
DO YOU VALUE TIME?
Is time insignificant to you, or do you appreciate the time you have each day?
Do you view time as precious or disposable?
Do you create measurable goals that include time limits?
Time is valuable, but each of us could describe its value in different ways. Regardless of how you perceive time, we all have the same 24 hours in a day, so it is up to each of us how we use (or do not use) our time. While life happens and unexpected things arise, we still have to be the lead navigators of our lives, prepared to take control when priorities need adjustment.
If time is disposable to you, then you may not be accomplishing much each day. I have read many times that we should not put off doing something tomorrow that could be done today. Of course this is not a perfect science, it does make sense. Why procrastinate on something that we could get off of our list today? Stop taking your days for granted and start producing result.
Creating goals is much about the assessment of our time. If you are aimlessly creating goals that do not include a timetable, I encourage you to revisit your goal-making strategy. Start including some time expectations/limits along with your goals. Make some calendar checkpoints for your goals. Hold yourself accountable to your goals through the amount of time you believe is realistic to complete them.
WHO DO YOU INCLUDE IN YOUR TIME?
Who are the people regularly included in your days?
Who are the people who should be included, but you may be neglecting?
Are you including your own needs within your time?
Are you willing to make changes to the people who may consume your time?
My hope is that there are important people in your life, those who you love and value, and those who you spend as much time with as possible. If you are not able to answer this, then you need to begin identifying them, because we all need to have some significant people in our lives. These people help to show us love and care, and can help to motivate us in many ways.
Think about those most important to you. Think about the last time that you spent some time with them. Think about how they may feel if you are constantly absent from their life due to your other “obligations.” Once again, this is all about balance, as we all have things going on in our lives outside of those we love. However, if those we love do not feel our love because we are seldom physically present or show it, then what is the purpose of everything else we commit to?
Don’t allow people most important to you to come in last place in your life.
Along with those we love, we must first love ourselves. Are you taking care of yourself and making time for your needs, or do you just stay on GO mode? If you are neglecting quality time and care for your needs, you will be unable to show love or give time for others. Have you ever spent a day with yourself? If you are in need of some quiet time, do you take it without feeling guilty?
Finally, are there some people in your life that should be removed? Are you spending time with people who are unhealthy influences or do not bring out the best in you? Maybe you cannot completely eliminate these people from your life, but it may be time to start minimizing the time you spend with them. Making changes in this area can be a major step to improve your value of time.
Living today like it’s your last day is all about balancing your time. We are all guilty of taking advantage of the time we have, and even wasting time. This is life.
But we all can make changes, and each day alive gives us this unique opportunity. Start with some small things, such as placing more value on your time and taking control of it. You will feel immense freedom and peace as you begin to be the manager of the use of your time.
Work on eliminating the phrase: “I don’t have time.” This is an excuse. Simply say that you do not wish to do something or spend time with someone, as this is really what we mean. The words that we use have a lot of impact on our thoughts and actions.
Most of all, remember that each day is a blessing and the next one is not guaranteed. Tomorrow is likely, but not promised. Do what you can do today. Show love to those around you today. Say what you need to today. And, be positive and make good choices regarding your time today.