“I just don’t have time.”
During the busy holiday season, and the frantic early January aftermath when we all return to the realities of work, this thought is likely never far from the front of our minds.
Whether it is an extra game of chess with your nephew, a morning run after the excesses of New Year’s eve or a meeting to catch up with a business partner, it is not hard to find a scapegoat for the inevitable knock-back.
Time is finite, and with a myriad of priorities clamouring for attention, we have to decide not to do certain things if we are to fit everything in efficiently.
If we have the game of chess with our nephew, then we might not have time to play with our niece later. If we go on the morning run after a longer lie-in, we might not be able to catch up on our work emails before lunch. We definitely don’t need to meet the business partner – surely a chat over the phone will suffice.
The thing is, time might be finite, but we have far more of it than we think.
We just need to stretch it out a bit.
But first, we have to decide which activities are important to us.
You can play that extra game with your young relatives and curtail the chat over coffee about the stock market. You can have 30 minutes less in bed and go for that run. You can definitely meet that client – and how special will they feel that you have gone to all that effort?
Time can enable wonderful moments – you just have to give it permission.
Or you can blame it for all your failings and let the opportunities of life pass you by.
Many of our New Year resolutions will require a considerable amount of time and effort, but actually they will be far easier to accomplish if we decide what we don’t need in our life first. When we compress the passages of time that contribute less to our wellbeing and happiness, we free up space for something new.
All this comes with an important caveat. The something new should ideally be something that will leave a lasting impact. With the global economy and stock markets having a wobble currently, it is all to easy to sit there thinking about what might be and planning for contingencies, but after the first few minutes of “what if” scenarios, how useful will all that rumination be really? You might think that spending time getting your head in the right place to handle an uncertain future might be useful, but it is all to easy to waste time thinking about something that may never happen.
Live in the present, make the most of the time that you have been gifted, and be ruthless when you consider how best to spend the minutes and hours ahead of you.
Written by Alex Turner, Edited by Paul Drury