Imagine what your tomorrow would look like if you had meticulously planned every detail of it to do only things that you find value in.
If you scratch the surface of this question, then you come up with a new one. What do I find value in?
Or think of it in terms of the endgame. When you lie on your deathbed, what will you look back and think; I never found the time for ___.
I believe how we spend our time is the truest expression of ourselves.
Think back to the last time a friend asked you if you wanted to do “something” for an hour or two. That something might be go for a drink, go for a bike ride, have a chat.
If that something aligns with your values, chances are you said yes. But if it didn’t align with your values, you probably made an excuse, and say something like “Oh, I don’t have the time for that” or “Perhaps another time.”
We are the sum total of how we spend our time, regardless of our own perception of who we are.
There are some hard truths in the sentence above. We may perceive ourselves as someone who looks after our health, but if we are unfit, overweight and overeating, then we find ourselves in denial. We may think of ourselves as being financially savvy, but if we struggle to get to the end of the month and we don’t have enough in savings in case of emergency, then we are not facing up to the reality of our own situation.
Imagine your 24 hour day as a pie chart. There’s probably a third or so taken up with sleep, and another third or so taken up with work. That leaves 8 hours, a lot of which will be taken up with essentials like eating and commuting. What makes you different from everyone else is what you do in that extra bit of time that is yours to do as you choose.
I often find with people who want to learn a new language that people say: I wish I had time to do that. But they won’t take 15 minutes a day to actually do it. The actually doing it part is the bit no one wants to do. It might take sacrifice, and sacrifice is hard.
Starting to run every morning means waking up earlier. Cycling to work will take extra energy. Learning a language will mean less time on Netflix. Saving money may mean making some hard choices.
The point of this post is not to rain on your parade. To quote David Allen, author of the GTD books: “You can do anything, but not everything.” The point is to take this precious, precious time, and do with it what you were put on this Earth to do. That isn’t necessarily the easiest course of action available at any time. In fact, it may be the hardest. But it will be the most deliberate. And that may take time to figure out.